Loyalty isn’t valued as it should be nowadays, especially with everybody teaming up to create superteams and try to win it all, making players try to ring chase and play for contending sides even if that means having a lesser role.
However, some players really establish themselves as local heroes in their respective communities, or just feel so comfortable playing for one coach that they would rather take less money in order to continue as a part of that process.
Obviously, that doesn’t happen quite often, with most players pursuing a lucrative check or a ring on their finger, but today, we’re going to let you know about the 10 players that are likely to take a pay cut in order to stay with their teams.
10. Derrick Favors
Derrick Favors didn’t look quite comfortable with the Jazz for most of the season, but truth to be told, he’s not going to get paid big time elsewhere either after spending most of the past couple of years in the sidelines.
Favors can still bring a lot of energy and a sweet scoring and rebounding touch off the bench for this exciting Jazz team that looks poised for greatness in a couple of years, so he’d be smart to take a pay cut in order to help his team land more talent.
9. Tony Parker
Even though Tony Parker recently stated that he’s open to leave the San Antonio Spurs after being demoted to a substitute role, we all know that’s not likely to happen, as he’d rather just retire than play elsewhere.
San Antonio has always been an appealing destination for free agents due to Gregg Popovich’s flawless system, so Tony Parker’s last contribution to this team should be taking less money in order to make room for a young player.
8. Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo went back to being his former self this year with the New Orleans Pelicans, especially during the playoffs when his performances peaked as he’s always used to do before with the Celtics and Bulls.
The New Orleans Pelicans are on the verge of contention and made great strides this season with Rondo’s two-way impact, and he’s likely to want to stay put under Alvin Gentry’s tutelage, but money’s kind of tight there right now.
7. Trevor Ariza
If the Houston Rockets wind up landing LeBron James as they intend to do, Trevor Ariza will be smart to just take a lot of less money and play to win another NBA Championship rather than chasing the money elsewhere.
Ariza is a top-notch 3 and D wing and he could have a lot of offers on his table, but he’s not going to get paid big time elsewhere anyway, so staying at Houston would be the smartest thing to do for him if you ask us.
6. David West
Just a couple of years after David West emphatically criticized players that went ring chasing, he decided to do the very same thing with the San Antonio Spurs and then the Golden State Warriors, and it has worked out pretty well for him, actually.
So, now that he’s used to taking less money and play for the greatest dynasty on earth, he’s a no-brainer to just sign whatever piece of paper the Dubs offer him if that gives him the chance to win yet another Championship.
5. Dwyane Wade
Well, Dwyane Wade’s used to taking pay cuts in order to do what’s best for the Miami Heat, and even though that pretty much caused the beef between him and Pat Riley, it would be dumb not to do it again this season.
If Wade wants to play for another year, he knows the Heat are going to need as much help as they can get during the summer, and now that he’s embraced his lesser role, he could just take the veteran minimum.
4. JJ Redick
JJ Redick was outstanding all season long with the Philadelphia 76ers and he definitely looked comfortable under Brett Brown’s system, but Philly’s unlikely to be able to match this year’s salary for the upcoming campaign.
Having said that, with the Sixers reportedly being one of the frontrunners to land LeBron James during the summer, the wisest thing for Redick to do would be to just get paid a bit and finally be able to compete for the Chip.
3. Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez has already earned over 100 million dollars throughout his NBA career so it’s pretty safe to assume that he’s done chasing the dough and will finally look to play for a contender, something the Lakers may become right away.
If Pelinka and Johnson work their magic and they wind up landing one or two top-tier free agents as they hope to complement their already impressive young core of Ball, Kuzma and Ingram, Lopez shouldn’t hesitate to sign a minimum deal.
2. Zaza Pachulia
Zaza Pachulia has always been the Warriors ultimate piggyback rider, up to the point that he’s (finally) entirely fallen out of Steve Kerr’s rotation, losing his minutes to JaVale McGee, Jordan Bell and David West.
He’s got a lot of detractors in the league and has always been known for being a dirty player, so if he doesn’t stay with the Dubs, this is it for him and he knows it, so he should definitely just take whatever they give him.
1. Jeff Green
Despite never being able to achieve his true potential, Jeff Green has always been a solid backup player, and he’s been one of the few consistent bright spots in the messy Cleveland Cavaliers rotation this season for sure.
So, if the team manages to keep LeBron James beyond this season, Jeff Green would be one of the few players worthy of keeping, although he’s definitely going to have to accept way less money than he’s getting right now.