But West was not the only Spurs player to take a pay cut. Spurs superstar Tim Duncan "slashed his salary in half before the 2013 season, then won his fifth NBA title." And before the 2015-2016 season, he "cut his salary in half again." Why? Because, explains Ben Cohen in the article cited, that cut was needed if the Spurs were to sign both LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard "to lucrative deals without dipping too deep into the NBA's luxury tax."
The idea that pay from a job is not all that matters applies beyond the NBA to the labor market in general. Some workers will accept lower pay if they can get more flexibility about hours worked. Others will accept lower pay if they can have a window in their office. The same reasoning applies to unpleasant aspects of a job. Workers who do dangerous jobs, for example, insist on being paid more to take those risks.
This is from "It's Not Just About the Money," the Econlib Feature Article for August. It's by Berry College economics professor Lauren Heller. In the article, Professor Heller reminds us that economics is about human behavior and that money is only one aspect.