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Worthy's New Contract Shows Little Deferred

October 24, 1987|GORDON EDES

While Magic Johnson is attempting to restructure his 10-year, $25-million contract with the Lakers this season, James Worthy is beginning to reap the benefits of the $10.9-million contract extension he signed with the team this summer.

Under the terms of that extension, which will take him through the 1993-94 season, Worthy becomes the Lakers' third millionaire, joining Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who signed a two-year, $5-million deal at the end of last season.

Worthy, 26, will make $1 million for the 1987-88 season. The contract escalates to $1.3 million the next season, then to $1.5 million, $1.7 million and finally, $1.8 million for the last three seasons of the contract. According to a source familiar with the negotiations, only $300,000 of the total amount is deferred compensation.

Johnson also is signed through the 1993-94 season. Currently, he is being paid $1 million a year in salary, with $15 million in deferred compensation to be paid in a 15-year period from 1994 to 2009. He is trying to work out an arrangement with team owner Jerry Buss that would pay him more money up front.

At Landover, Md., Friday night, Johnson scored 23 points, and Mychal Thompson added 21 to lead the Lakers to a 113-106 exhibition victory over the Washington Bullets.

It was the first appearance for Johnson, who has been idled by an Achilles' tendon injury. The Lakers have won all three of their exhibitions.

Washington (0-3) was led by Moses Malone with 22 points.

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