Ja Morant contract: How money lost from 25-game suspension impacts Grizzlies star’s salary, future earnings

Tuesday’s matchup with the Pelicans will mark Ja Morant’s first game of the season.

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The two-time All-Star has yet to play in 2023-24 because he had to serve a suspension to start the season.

As the NBA announced in June, Morant displayed a gun while in a car with other individuals during an Instagram Live video on May 13, 2023. It came two months after he “displayed a firearm while in an intoxicated state at a Denver area nightclub,” which earned him an eight-game suspension at the time.

Morant was suspended for 25 games without pay by the NBA for the May 13 incident for “conduct detrimental to the league.”

As you might expect, a star of Morant’s caliber missing 25 games without pay works out to be a lot of money.

MORE: Everything you need to know about Draymond Green’s latest suspension

How much money did Ja Morant lose from his suspension?

Morant’s 25-game suspension to start the 2023-24 NBA season cost him around $7.6 million. That does not include the off-court impact of his suspension.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks explained that the cost of Morant’s suspension works out to be 1/110th of his salary this season because he was suspended for more than 20 games. That’s notable because Morant is in the first year of a five-year, $197.2 contract extension. His salary increases each year of his deal, from $34.0 million in 2023-24 to an estimated $44.9 million in 2027-28.

When Morant was suspended for eight games during the 2022-23 season, his salary was $12.1 million. That suspension cost him $668,659. However, he likely cost himself a lot more money because the value of his extension would’ve increased to $230 million had he made an All-NBA team last season. 

As I wrote at the time, Morant faced stiff competition at the guard position. Had he not gotten suspended, he might have earned one of the six spots up for grabs.

“It would be hard to see him getting All-NBA at this point,” Brian Windhorst said on ESPN’s The Hoop Collective podcast at the time. “Not because of like as a result of the suspension, but because the competition for the guard spots is so high and the voters are already looking to kind of break ties so to speak.

“Regardless of what you think about it, if you’re not available to your team for a self-inflicted situation like this, it affects your candidacy.”

Ja Morant contract details

Morant signed a five-year, $197.2 million extension with the Grizzlies in 2022. His deal begins in 2023-24 and ends in 2027-28.

Season Salary
2023-24 $34,005,250
2024-25 $36,725,670
2025-26 $39,446,090
2026-27 $42,166,510
2027-28 $44,886,930

Morant’s career earnings are projected to exceed $230 million at the end of his current contract.

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