Glenn Robinson's 10-Year, $68 Million Rookie Deal Seems Insane 26 Years Later

By Stephen Douglas
Nov 3, 2020, 11:12 AM EST
Glenn Robinson and Michael Jordan
Glenn Robinson and Michael Jordan | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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NBA contracts from the 90's are an incredible time capsule. The 90's don't sound so long ago and sometimes seem very recent with all the nostalgia online. And then you see that Glenn Robinson, as the top pick in the 1994 NBA Draft, signed a 10-year deal worth $68 million and you realize, yeah, that was a very different time.

When Robinson signed that deal, it was the richest rookie deal in NBA history. The fact that it was a 10-year deal (fully guaranteed) seems superweird considering the current way things are done. Zion Williamson, the top pick in last year's draft, will make about $45 million by the time his initial rookie deal with the Pelicans is over after four seasons. Makes you wonder what the Pelicans would have given Zion if they could sign him for 10 years.

The other funny part about Robinson's deal is that the $68 million was a figure that Robinson settled on. He apparently wanted to be the first NBA player with a $100 million deal. Stephen Curry will make just under $89 million over the next two seasons. The last two years of Damian LIllard's current contract, which don't start until 2023, will net him $105 million. Who knows what kind of deals Zion, Ja Morant or Luka Doncic will be negotiating by then.

It's hard to say the Bucks didn't get their money's worth from the Big Dog. Robinson played eight seasons in Milwaukee and averaged 20-plus points in seven of them. They didn't have much success in the postseason, but with Robinson and Ray Allen they made a run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001. Robinson averaged 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a block in 18 playoff games and shot 39 percent from three. Who knows what he and his high socks could have done in the modern NBA.

Robinson was traded to the Hawks in 2002 and then spent a year with 76ers before finally winning a ring in San Antonio in 2005. So he won a ring and made $80 million. Short of his goal to become a $100 million player, but still pretty good.

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