Michael Carter-Williams is proving he’s not your average NBA rookie on and off the court. He holds the top spot on the NBA’s Rookie Ladder, won the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month Award for November, and has placed his salary from the Philadelphia 76ers in a trust.
The entire salary. Carter-Williams, commonly known as MCW, is only 22 years old. He will earn $4.5 million over his first two seasons with the Sixers, who selected him as the eleventh overall pick of the 2013 draft. If he stays with the Sixers in the final two years of his contract, he’ll make $10 million for his first four NBA seasons. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on the trust, being managed by MCW’s mother, Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, and her best friend, Tracie Tracy. He cannot touch the money in the trust for three years. Instead, he is living off endorsements from Nike and Panini trading cards.
During the 2013-2014 season, the average salary of NBA players is $4.25 million, the median is $2.39 million. The players are praised for their physical prowess, but rarely lauded for fiscal awareness. In 2009, Sports Illustrated discussed how, and why, professional athletes end up blowing through their earnings. It estimated that within five years of an NBA career ending, 60 percent of players are broke. ESPN picked up the thread of the story in Broke as part of its 30 for 30 series. After years of living a flashy lifestyle, players are confronted with cold, hard, economic truths. They have medical bills and free-loaders to contend with. Suddenly, the money appears to evaporate.