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How it worked: Bobby Marks on Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving bonuses

Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

In the days leading up to the “clean sweep” of June 30, there was a lot of confusion about how Sean Marks and the agents for Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan could fit all that salary under the cap.

It took a while to work out, helped immeasurably by Golden State’s willingness to work a double sign-and-trade involving KD and DLo.

In an article Thursday on this season’s bonuses, ESPN’s Bobby Marks lays out how the Nets did it, how bonuses played a role in initial discussions etc.

Here’s Marks...

Because there was not a sign-and-trade agreement in place for D’Angelo Russell when Brooklyn’s new stars committed on June 30, both Irving and Durant at first were set to have $4-5 million in unlikely bonuses in their contracts. That extra $10 million -- generated because unlikely bonuses don’t count toward the salary cap -- would have allowed the team to sign Irving and Durant outright and use the remaining room on free agent DeAndre Jordan and second-round pick Nicolas Claxton.

However, both players caught a financial break when Golden State approached Brooklyn later that night about the possibility of acquiring Russell in a sign-and-trade for Durant. Because cap space was not required to sign Durant, Brooklyn only needed to structure $1 million in unlikely bonuses for Irving to still have room for Jordan and Claxton. In total, Durant and Irving could have opened the door to lose a combined $16 million had the Warriors not stepped in at the last minute.

The $1 million in unlikely incentives for Irving are broken into eight $125,000 bonuses, ranging from games played, statistical benchmarks and offensive/defensive rating. All eight are deemed unlikely for cap purposes since they weren’t achieved in 2018-19.

KD got bonuses written into his deal, Marks added. And he’ll likely get this one...

Durant still has a $1 million bonus based on the success of the team -- even if he doesn’t play this season. If the Nets reach the first round of the playoffs or win at least 43 games, Durant reaches the criteria.

Bobby Marks didn’t point to any other bonuses on the Nets salary cap.