What Is An NBA 10-Day Contract?

In a competitive industry filled with talented professionals, playing for NBA teams on a max contract and on a full-time basis is challenging.

As an aspiring player, you may have heard and are eager to learn more about the NBA 10-day contract.

The salary range is from $60,000 to $200,000, depending on your status, number of years played, and overall experience.

What Are 10-Day Contracts?

The name pretty much encompasses its purposes. A ten-day contract is a short-period agreement effective for either ten days or three games.

In simple terms, when you sign a 10-day contract, you become part of an NBA team for ten (10) days during the season.

The term entails playing three games rather than ten days in some cases.

How Much Is the Salary For 10-Day Contracts?

The good thing about a 10-day contract is that the pay is usually more than the full season minimum deal in the league.

Again, the specific amounts vary from one player to another, but using this easy formula helps you calculate:

  • (Player’s minimum salary / days during the season) x 10
  • It’s like when you calculate a typical daily salary, dividing the minimum by the total number of days during the entire season.
  • Example: ($20,000 / 174) x 10 = $1,149.43
    • A player with a minimum salary of $20,000 will be paid $1,149.43 minimum if he signs a 10-day contract during the 2021/2022 season.

But I’ll save you time from doing the math. Here’s a list of the approximate 10-day contract salaries from rookies to veterans based on the 2021/2022 NBA season:

  • Rookie (0 years of experience in the league): ~$61,500
  • One year: ~$99,000
  • Two years: ~$111,000
  • Three years: ~$114,990
  • Four years: ~$118,900
  • Five years: ~$129,000
  • Six years: ~$139,000
  • Seven years: ~$149,000
  • Eight years: ~$158,907
  • Nine years: ~$159,698
  • Veterans (more than ten years): ~$175,668

Why An NBA Team Signs A 10-Day Player

You may wonder why NBA teams sign these short-term players when they already have a roster of professionals.

Well, it’s an intelligent strategy to make sure that the team won’t lose momentum throughout the season.

Having a solid backup despite unforeseen events is crucial. But besides that, there are other good reasons too. Let’s discuss.

Preparing for Injuries or Unexpected Incidents

A full-season in the NBA is long.

There are so many unforeseen circumstances that can happen, from injuries to absences. And as we’ve witnessed in recent years, a global pandemic.

Having backup players will help fill the required roster spot while the other players recover. It was especially rampant during the COVID-19 surge when players caught the virus left and right.

Infected players are not allowed to play regardless of the symptoms’ intensity. In situations like this, signing 10-day contract players pays off.

Assessing NBA Players

One of the rules with 10-day contracts is that the team needs to either release the player or officially sign him.

The short contract period allows them to see if the guy performs well and assess if he is a good fit for the team.

Contract Ease

Since a 10-day contract is short and straightforward, it lessens the complications.

You can either be absorbed or dropped without much commitment and impact to the rest of the roster.

What’s In It For The Player?

What do players get out of signing 10-day contracts? Frankly, a lot. It can either make or break your name in the professional basketball scene.

Opportunity to Showcase Player Potential

The NBA world is a toughie.

No matter how good you are as a center or as a point guard, getting opportunities to play is hard to come by. Even the very skilled players are not an exception.

But let’s face it, due to the lack of free-agent options, fewer G League seasons, and many other factors, it’s also hard to practice and prepare for showing your full potential. It’s like an endless cycle.

Training Camp

For an NBA player, 10-day contracts set you off to a path of possibly more success. More than being paid an excellent daily salary, it’s pretty much the opportunities that follow.

Take Isaiah Thomas, for example.

After being traded, he bounced around many teams on 10-day contracts, with the Los Angeles Lakers as his most recent stint (more on Isaiah Thomas in the next section).

Being part of teams, even as a 10-day contract player, lets you train with their training camp, access benefits, and build reputation for yourself until you win a game and set yourself up for more career milestones.

Famous 10-Day Contract Players

If you think that 10-day contracts are only for rookies, think again.

There have been many 10-day contracts among some of the famous NBA players. I am sure that you are familiar with a few of them.

Anthony Mason

The late prodigy Anthony Mason didn’t have the smoothest experience with basketball until he signed a 10-day contract with the Denver Nuggets in 1990.

After playing three games, the Knicks signed him a year later, and his career in the NBA started to flourish.

He made it to the All-Star team and played alongside Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, and John Starks.

Avery Johnson

Johnson signed a 10-day contract with the Rockets during the 1992 season first but was then waived.

Later on, Houston signed him, and he made it to their official roster throughout the season. After which, he was set off to a booming career with the San Antonio Spurs.

Shaun Livingston

Livingston is probably the top-of-mind name for NBA fans when talking about 10-day contracts.

He signed a 10-day contract twice with the Washington Wizards during 2009-2010 before moving to the Golden State Warriors (GSW), where he brought home three championship victories in 2015, 2017, and 2018.

Matt Barnes

Another 10-day contract guy is Matt Barnes.

Matt signed a 10-day contract with the Golden State Warriors in 2017. He became one of the most notable players in the game due to his on-court personality.

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas had an early start with Sacramento before moving to Boston, where he achieved several milestones as an established point guard.

But when Isiah Thomas was injured, he was traded from Boston to Cleveland and played for different NBA teams since then.

Isaiah Thomas’ most recent activity was when he signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. He has already signed with the Lakers twice.

For someone like Isaiah Thomas, his 10-day contract salary is probably around $170,000 to $180,000.

Types of 10-Day Contracts [Standard vs. Hardship]

There are two common types of 10-day contracts. I have simplified the terms for your reference.


  • A player can only sign twice with a team (teams must decide between absorption or withdrawal after that).
  • Limited spots. For example, a 15-man roster can only have one place for a 10-day contract player.
  • 10-day contract salaries count against the regular team’s salary.


  • Players can sign more than twice.
  • A hardship exception allows more spots during the season.
  • A 10-day contract salary doesn’t count against the regular team’s salary.

Summary [TL;DR]

A 10-day contract in the NBA is a short-term agreement. Depending on the agreed terms, players essentially become part of the team for either ten days or three games.

Players make around $60,000-$200,000. It varies depending on their years of experience, status in the league, and other factors.

You can easily get a daily average based on a minimum amount divided by the number of days in a season.

Teams benefit from this because:

  • Even during unforeseen events such as injuries, burnout, and health concerns, it still completes the roster.
  • It’s an easy agreement without many complications.
  • It’s a great way to assess players before officially signing them to longer term contracts.

Players benefit from this because:

  • It allows them to showcase their potential – for rookies and fringe players alike.
  • The pay is good.
  • It can set them off to a booming career.


Behind the fame and glory of your favorite teams and players, there are undoubtedly numerous hardships and sacrifices behind the scenes throughout the season.

NBA teams are more than just cool jersey designs or money-making enterprises; they involve discipline, strategy, and hard work. To many of the aspiring NBA players, these 10-day contracts are the beginning of hope and potentially the path to successful future careers.