Michael Carter-Williams isn't allowed to make it rain. Yet.
Transitioning to the NBA is quite the leap for rookies, especially financially. Many of them go from unpaid college athletes to multimillionaires overnight. The temptation to spend, spend, spend is there. It has to be. In some instances, teenagers are being handed large sums of cash. Think of what you would do with that kind of budget at their age.
Nowadays, (Mandy) Carter-Zegarowski and her best friend, Tracie Tracy, are running his management team. They are taking a proactive approach to make sure he doesn't spend all his money in a couple of years.
His rookie contract guarantees him $4.5 million over his first two seasons. He could make a total of $10 million if the Sixers pick up the final two seasons of his contract.
But his salary is deposited into a trust he can't touch for three years. Carter-Williams is living off endorsement deals with Nike and Panini trading cards.
This isn't the first we've heard of a player's parents looking out for his financial future. Klay Thompson, star shooting guard for the Golden State Warriors, was given an allowance by his parents as recently as last season.
While on ESPN 710 in Los Angeles last February, Thompson's father, Mychal, jokingly indicated the then-sophomore didn't have access to his own money and explained his financial situation, as transcribed by Believe the Hype:
So, if Mychal takes care of Klay’s finances, what does his week-by-week financial situation look like?
“Rent is $3K… Walking around money $300 a week…” Mychal explained.
“That’s a lot of money to go to the movies & buy pizza…”
It was later determined that Thompson actually handled his own money, but you get the point: Parents are concerned about the spending habits of their suddenly rich children.
Though the Association hosts a four-day-long "transitioning program" aimed at educating neophytes on the fiscal perils of their new situation, a little extra guidance cannot hurt.
Carter-Williams will earn more than $2.2 million this season with the Philadelphia 76ers. Had you handed me that kind of coin fresh out of college, I would've splurged on any number of impractical purchases, including a meet and greet with the man or woman behind sporks.
Assuming Carter-Williams is just like any other 22-year-old, the lure of that spending power could have a similar effect on him. A car here, a down payment on a private island there—you never know what luxurious nonessentials he would have been seduced by.
Luckily for him, those who care about his future are trying to ensure that never happens. Three years from now, when he has control of his own paychecks, he'll be a veteran, hopefully schooled in the art of conserving his fortune.
Until then, thank God for protective, economically savvy parental units.
More importantly, for the current spendthrift in Carter-Williams, thank God for endorsement deals.
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