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.