Huge Raises, Huge Expectations For NBA Players Like Denver’s Jokic
/ Nuggets

By nuggets writer

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Miami guard Tyler Johnson has already seen what his new-and-much-improved paychecks from the Heat will look like this season.

Frankly, he’s still stunned.

“It’s surreal,” Johnson said.

Virtually every player in the NBA is a millionaire. But a handful like Johnson, Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon are seeing their salaries rise to a different stratosphere this season, enormous raises that may come with an enormous rise in expectations.

When getting paid like stars, it stands to reason that fans — and their teams — will expect star efforts.

“I feel like some people would feel the added pressure, but I don’t,” said Gordon, who signed a $76 million extension with Orlando over the summer. “I’m just going to go out there and play the game that I love to play with teammates that I love to play with. I know they’ll be there to help take the pressure off me and I’m going to help take the pressure off them.”

According to figures reviewed by The Associated Press, there are 11 NBA players who in line for raises of $11 million or more this season. Many of them are former high draft picks cashing in on non-rookie deals for the first time, and a couple others are established stars whose deals went from “big” to “really big” this...

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