The first two episodes of Michael Jordan's documentary, The Last Dance, were released on April 19 (April 20 IST). While the first episode featured various highlights of Jordan’s career, the second episode revolved around his teammate Scottie Pippen and his five-year contract with the Chicago Bulls. Though Pippen helped Jordan lead the team to the finals, the Scottie Pippen Bulls contract and Scottie Pippen salary history suggest that the Bulls legend was underpaid during his time with the organisation.
An NBA agent told me Scottie Pippen’s agents back then were Jimmy Sexton and Kyle Rote. They recommended Pippen not take the bad deal from Bulls, which is why he stayed loyal to them. Agent added that Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf also was not big on giving opt-outs in contracts.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) April 20, 2020
According to reports, Pippen was trying to feed his family and he also had to take into account any injuries he would face. Pippen was apparently concerned that any injury would limit his playing abilities and he would have a short NBA career. Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf reportedly told Pippen that if he signed the deal and got injured, he would still have to pay him. However, he added that if he outperforms, he asked Pippen to not return to the Bulls.
Jimmy Sexton and Kyle Rote were Pippen's agents when he was signing with the Bulls and advised him to not sign a bad deal with the Bulls. As per reports, that is one reason why he stayed loyal to both of them. Reports also indicated that Reinsdorf was against giving opt-outs in contracts. In The Last Dance, Scottie Pippen revealed that he did indeed sign the contract under pressure. At that time, he could not risk getting injured as it would result in him being unable to feed his family.
In the documentary, Reinsdorf stated that he thought Pippen's contract was longer than necessary. He told both Pippen and Jordan the same thing regarding their contracts. He thought they were selling themselves short and it was 'too long of a deal'. The Bulls would not negotiate the contract back then, as they did not have any cap space. Pippen signed with the Bulls in 1987.
By the 1997-98 season, Pippen was clear about his issues with GM Jerry Krause. He admitted delaying his foot surgery till it was close to the season as he did not want to spoil his summer, indicating that contract problems were a part of the reason. He added that the Bulls were not going to be eager to have him, so he wanted to enjoy the summer.
Pippen was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers after a year with the Houston Rockets, who absorbed his contract. The six-time NBA champion earned a reported $14,795,642 during his first year with them, followed by $13,750,000 in his second. As per reports, for his final year with the team, he received $19,727,524. Pippen returned to the Bulls to wrap up his NBA career, where he made $10.3 million.