TL;DR Starter money is, by the simplest of maths, anything greater than $4 million a season.
I have been meaning to write a post on salary for ages because the misinformation is so rife, but you know, life.
Everyone seems to think that starter money is somewhere around $7 million - maybe higher. This is based on several false assumptions, but mostly that the MLE is less than starter money because the MLE is the "average" salary, and a starter must make more than "average".
In an effort to address to add real information, I put the details (scraped from ESPN) into a Google doc here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlSEoxg2JxHJdE5Ma2F5VjhpXzFOcmVrNVNvLUthOUE#gid=0
The key numbers are:
- Mean $4,119,478.77 (average salary)
- Median $2,462,400.00 (the middle salary)
- Realistic Median $2,886,915.00 (the middle salary of all players paid at least the rookie minimum)
- Standard deviation $4,534,080.67 (that is pretty high)
- There are 30 teams, with 5 starters, which means there are 150 starters, Anything higher than the 150th salary is therefore starter money. The 150th highest Salary? Wesley Johnson, Minnesota timberwolves at $4,006,080