Taking stock of the NBA salary cut events

Dirk Nowitzki has been praised for his salary reductions in the NBA. He took pay cuts four times, totaling $70 million. During the 2011 lockout, Nowitzki declined a $96 million contract, accepting $80 million instead. This allowed the Dallas Mavericks to sign players like Jason Terry and win the championship. Nowitzki took another $38 million reduction to keep the team intact. 

In 2010, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade reduced their salaries to keep Udonis Haslem. 

Kevin Durant did the same in 2017 and 2018 to strengthen the Golden State Warriors. James Harden recently lowered his salary with the Philadelphia 76ers. The league is investigating possible tampering in his contract negotiation.