NBA playoff payoff? It’s not necessarily a matter of Heat cashing in (particularly Duncan Robinson)

MIAMI — The ultimate goal is to become NBA champion, but there also is a financial aspect to this two-month postseason whirlwind for the Miami Heat — even if a title would not come with the ultimate payoff for one particular Heat player.

As part of the NBA’s playoff pool, the Heat already have cashed in to a degree and are in the midst of one more opportunity to up the stakes.

When it came to the regular season, the Heat, with their seventh-place finish in the Eastern Conference, failed to cash on that aspect, with the NBA’s postseason pool awarding bonus payments to teams that finish among the top six in conference, ranging from $680,680 to the team with the top record in a conference to $182,395 to the team that finishes in sixth place.

Although the Heat finished in seventh place, they wound up as the No. 8 playoff seed as a result of the play-in tournament.

For appearing in the first round, the Heat, as a team, received $402,493.

For making the conference semifinals, there was an additional league payment of $478,913.

And for appearing in the conference finals, the Heat received $791,402.

So that, so far, makes a payoff from the league of $1.7 million.

From there, the team that loses in these NBA Finals receives $3,164,739, with the winning team in the NBA Finals receiving $4,776,070.

So by winning this best-of-seven series against the Denver Nuggets, with Game 4 on Friday night at Kaseya Center, the Heat could cash in to an overall playoff tune of $6.5 million.

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Of course, there also is perspective amid the greater overall NBA salary spectrum.

Just dividing that amount among the 17 Heat players currently under contract, an NBA title would mean a $379,000 payout per player.

But teams also can vote shares to players who spent time with the team during the season, such as center Dewayne Dedmon. Players only can receive playoff shares from one team, with Dedmon having advanced two rounds this postseason with the Philadelphia 76ers.

In addition teams can vote shares to support staff, further reducing the pool.

As a matter of perspective, Heat forward Jimmy Butler earned $37,653,300 this season, which, divided by the 82-game regular-season schedule, would equate to $459,000 per game. In other words, Butler will earn less for the entire playoff pool for the entire postseason than a single regular-season game.

Friday marks the Heat’s 24th game this postseason, when counting the two play-in games. In fact, the NBA’s entire playoff pool of $26,969,000 for all of the teams involved is less than the Heat’s Butler, Bam Adebayo ($30 million) or Kyle Lowry ($28.3 million) earned this season.

Playoff bonuses do not count against the salary cap or luxury tax.

Then there is the ring thing, with the Golden State Warriors’ 2022 NBA championship rings with an estimated value of $50,000 each.

There could have been a payoff to Heat guard Duncan Robinson that would have eclipsed the Heat’s entire playoff pool, with a clause in the five-year, $90 million contract he signed in the 2021 offseason guaranteeing the final $10 million of his contract with a championship.

Robinson’s contract, however, stipulates that he meet four addition criteria during the championship season to collect: play at least 70 regular-season games (he appeared in 42); average at least 25 minutes per game during the regular season (he averaged 16.5); play in at least 75 percent of the team’s playoff games (entering Friday, he had appeared in all 21); average at least 25 minutes per game during the playoffs (he entered Friday averaging 17.9).

As a matter of perspective with the Florida Panthers in the NHL playoffs, the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoff pool this season is $21 million. The team winning the Stanley Cup receives an additional $3.8 million from the playoff pool, the losing team $2.3 million.