Analyzing the Bonuses in Dejounte Murray’s Contract Extension

Shortly before the deadline to do so, the San Antonio Spurs and Dejounte Murray agreed to a $64 million, four-year contract extension. On top of that money guaranteed to Murray is $6 million in bonuses. Thanks to John Hollinger, we now have details regarding the specifics of Murray’s bonuses.

Each of the four seasons of Murray’s extension, he can earn a total of $1.5 million in bonuses. The bonuses are divided between three categories, with each category worth $500,000.

Details of Dejounte Murray’s Bonuses

The first category, which is by far the most likely for Murray to trigger, is for him to be named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team or Second Team. Considering Murray was on the All-Defensive Second Team two years ago despite averaging only 21.5 minutes per game, that is a very reasonable goal for him going forward.

If he’s healthy, remains uber disruptive on defense and the Spurs post sturdy defensive numbers as a team, Murray — who was the youngest player to ever receive All-Defensive honors — has a legitimate chance to take home that $500,000 bonus each season. Prior to last year’s porous defensive squad, the Spurs had at least one player on an All-Defensive team in 28 of the previous 31 seasons.

The second category is three-pointers made. For Murray to receive the $500,000 bonus, he needs to make 125 three-pointers. This is, no pun intended, a long shot for Murray considering he has made 19 three-pointers in his NBA career to date. His three-point shot looks much improved but 125 is a lofty number. 

To put it in perspective, Tony Parker never hit more than 82 threes in a season and Manu Ginobili only reached that number four times in his career. Last season, Marco Belinelli played in 79 games and averaged 23 minutes per game and his main job was shooting threes. He finished with just 147 for the season.

The third and final category is posting a true shooting percentage of at least 58%. True shooting percentage factors in field goal percentage, three-point percentage and free throw percentage. Players with high true shooting percentages are usually either hired guns who shoot three-pointers at a high percentage or bigs who dunk but don’t do much else.

Murray has a career true shooting percentage of 49.2%, so getting up to 58% will be quite the challenge. Parker was one of the best finishers ever at the point guard position and he only reached that level twice in his career. Due to his three-point shooting, high free throw rate and high free throw percentage, Ginobili did it nine times. Murray, a career 45.5% two-point shooter, 32.8% three-point shooter and 71.3% free throw shooter, would need to make substantial improvements across the board.

If Murray turns into a monster on both ends of the court and takes home all the bonus money, the Spurs will pay him $70 million over the life of the four-year extension. If that happens, San Antonio would be thrilled because they’d be paying pennies on the dollar for a player performing at a maximum contract level.