KEY POINTS

  • The first pick of the 2021 NBA draft could receive around $8.4 million for his first year
  • Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham has been touted as the potential top pick in the NBA draft
  • Last year's No. 1 overall pick, Anthony Edwards, was signed to a rookie deal with $20 million guaranteed

Being selected in the 2021 NBA draft would be a great moment for any of the talented youngsters in the roster this year, but being the No. 1 overall pick would bring not only prestige to a rookie but also a deal worth millions of dollars.

The first pick for this year's NBA draft goes to the Detroit Pistons, with the next picks held by the Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic. Both the No. 5 and No. 8 slots go to the Magic, which is the only team to have multiple picks in the top 10, according to NBA.com.

According to the rookie scale salaries for 2021’s first-round picks, via Spotrac, the rookie who gets selected first by the Pistons could be signed to a two-year contract worth more than $17 million. The rookie deal could potentially pay the player $8.4 million and $8.8 million for the 2021-22 season and 2022-23 season, respectively.

The Pistons can sign the top overall pick to as little as 80% of that rookie scale amount or up to 120% of that figure. Rookie scale contracts are guaranteed for the first two years, with team options on the third and fourth years.

If the Pistons do exercise the team options, their rookie could potentially earn around $9.2 million and $11.6 million in their third and fourth years.

First-year contract salaries for the rest of the top five picks could be around $7.5 million, $6.7 million, $6.1 million and $5.5 million. The top five picks have an estimated first-year earnings total of $34.16 million.

The figures have not changed drastically from the rookie scale salaries for last year’s draft. The 2020 NBA draft No. 1 pick was expected to be paid around $16.6 million for the first two years, $8.9 million for the third and an optional 26.1% increase over the third year for the fourth year, Rookie Wire reported.

Anthony Edwards was selected first overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2020 NBA draft. He was signed to a rookie deal with $20 million guaranteed and is set to receive a base salary of $10.2 million for the 2021-22 season, according to Spotrac. The Timberwolves hold team options for the final two years of the deal, including an $8.94 million salary in 2022-23.

But while Edwards was the No. 1 overall pick, it was the No. 3 pick of the 2020 draft, Charlotte Hornets' LaMelo Ball, who was named the 2020-21 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, according to NBA.com.

With an average of 15.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals in 28.8 minutes per game, Ball became the 12th rookie in the history of the NBA to achieve an average of at least 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 1.5 steals since the 1973-74 season.

This year, Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham has been touted as the potential top pick for the NBA draft.

The 2021 NBA draft will begin at 8 p.m. EDT Thursday and will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City, for the eighth time. The venue has hosted the draft every year since 2013, with the exception of the 2020 virtual draft.

Cade Cunningham Oklahoma State Baylor Cade Cunningham #2 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys controls the ball as Davion Mitchell #45 of the Baylor Bears defends during the Big 12 basketball tournament semifinal game at the T-Mobile Center on March 12, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images