The rise of Omicron-era LeBrons

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Over 100 NBA players signed hardship deals In the past month now that the COVID-stricken teams can hand out 10-day contracts.

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Why this matters: In addition to fulfilling their NBA dreams, the financial turnaround for these players is staggering. G Leaguers make $37,000 a year, while 10-day contracts category $53,176 (rookies) to $151,821 (10-year-old vet) – for those 10 days only.

“The Omicron pummeling locker room presents an unlikely, potentially life-changing opportunity for a certain type of basketball player: someone good enough for the NBA, but not good enough to keep a home already.”

, Ben Cohen, WSJ

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Standouts: While most replacement players won’t be sticking around, a few have made a strong impression, with a handful already earning long runs.

  • Stanley Johnson, Lakers: Former lottery pick impresses in 25 impressive minutes in one night, earns Another 10-day contract,
  • Alfonzo McKinnie, Bulls: After consecutive 10-day deals, he became the first difficulty player to earn a rest-of-season contract, boosting his salary to more than $1 million.
  • Lance Stephenson, Pacers: The 10-year-old vet went nuclear in his third game on Wednesday with the team that drafted him, scoring 20 straight points in a span of six minutes.
  • Xavier Moon, Clippers: After stints in France, Canada, Poland and Israel, Moon (Jamario’s nephew) finally made his NBA debut last month. A week later, he earned a second 10-day contract.

big picture: A record 580 players have already been used this season, with more than half the schedule still remaining.

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go in: NCAA updates COVID-19 guidance for winter sports

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