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3 PM ET, 12/14/06

SI.com's NBA Salary Report

Posted by Mike McAllister
As you peruse SI.com's salary list for each NBA team this season and beyond, checking out all those eye-popping numbers that makes your measly income seem like chump change, you'll probably keep muttering one question to yourself: Is he worth it?

Well, forget the fundamental issue of whether anybody actually deserves a seven- or eight-figure salary to hit a handful of jumpers and yank down a few rebounds 82 nights a year (not including playoffs, of course). It's all relative, and in the land of the NBA, where a $5 million a year salary is merely average, even the role players can afford Lamborghinis.

In determining which players belong on our top 10 overpaid list, our SI.com hoops crew kept arguing about one name: Shaquille O'Neal. The big fellow makes $20 million this season (and for the next three after that), and considering he has played just four games, obviously thus far he's not earning his keep. But we kept him off the list because of his ability to help deliver an NBA title last season (even though he did play second fiddle to Dwyane Wade), his impact on the game when healthy, and his off-the-court worth that contributes to the bottom line (Shaq jerseys may not be flying off the shelves like they used to, but we're still pretty confident more are being sold than, say, Michael Finley jerseys).

But perhaps the biggest reason we left him off the overpaid list is that, well, we had plenty of other players to consider (alas, by limiting the list to 10, we had to leave off the likes of Antawn Jamison, Wally Szczerbiak and Samuel Dalembert). So now's your chance. Take a look at the salaries and let us know which players you think are overpaid, which ones are underpaid and which ones are worth every penny they make. And if you have any other salary-related comments, feel free to fire away (this means you, Knicks fans).

UPDATE (12/15): Several readers have inquired as to why Brian Grant, who's on the Lakers' and Celtics' books for a combined salary of more than $16 million, is not on our overpaid list. Simple -- we only considered players currently in the league and Grant retired just before this season started. Vin Baker, who was released by the Timberwolves in mid-November, also didn't make the list.

In addition, some readers wondered why we bothered to include LeBron James and other players still tied to their rookie scale contracts on our underpaid list, since technically they're making the maximum amount teams can pay them. We considered that aspect but decided that as we put our lists together, we should give more weight to relative worth against their peers. That's the same reason why we included Yao Ming, who signed a five-year maximum extension before the 2005-06 season. But we did limit the rookie-scale guys to one entry, which also could have included Josh Howard and other outstanding young pros. And let's face it - had we not accounted for LeBron & Co., many readers would have wondered why, so just consider it a preemptive move.


Posted: 5:28 PM   by Anonymous
I was a bit surprised to see my Lakers rank right up there in salary, but then one has to remember that we are still paying Brian Grant-BRIAN GRANT!!!- over $15 million this year, and he isn't even playing! How sweet it is to be collecting a hefty paycheck while not even working for it. One has to question what Pat Riley was thinking when he gave Grant this monstrous offer, as all Grant was, even when healthy, was nothing more than a complementary player.
Posted: 5:30 PM   by Anonymous
Though these numbers are eye-popping, to be fair you should publish the average yearly profit the teams return to their owners. These salaries will look paltry next to that and put them in proper perspective. That said, I've always believed that no pro team should sign a player for more than 3 years. That is how you end up with guys like Steve Francis making more than double what Chauncey Billups makes. A six or seven-year deal is far too long---for every Kevin Garnett that will earn every penny during that time--you have ten Jerome James' that'll quit on you before the ink dries.
Posted: 5:34 PM   by Anonymous
Posted: 5:35 PM   by Anonymous
Almost all NBA players are overpaid and it's rediculous that their contracts are guaranteed. It should be more like the NFL so when you get cut your done. Also I believe all pro sports should have incentive based contracts so they have to earn the extra money they get.
Posted: 5:35 PM   by Brad Scott
Your underpaid analysis is a bit perplexing in the eyes of an ordinary citizen. How can anyone earning $1,000,000 or more a year be considered underpaid? In the eyes of us mere mortals, that constitutes 20 years of work; for playing a game!
Posted: 5:39 PM   by Oliver
Wow, these lists are shocking. Half of these guys who are making 8 digit salaries don't deserve a fraction of the amount of money they make. Good thing all that money pays off for the Knicks. They really earn their money. I'll tell you what, you know what happens in the real world when that much money is mismanaged year in and year out? I'll tell you what happens, people get fired. In this case, would it be possible to fire a coach, its players, and it's GM and refund everybody's ticket purchases back? These guys don't have anything to work hard for any more....you know when role players averaging 8 points a game are making 8 million a season, there's something wrong with the world. Thanks for the depressing news....I'm going to go cry myself asleep.
Posted: 5:55 PM   by Anonymous
Kevin Garnett is worth every penny. Cannot get a better FRANCHISE player than him. Now if we can just get Iverson the puzzle will be complete!!
Posted: 6:00 PM   by Anonymous
Yeah, it's pretty much a lock now ... the Knicks are idiots
Posted: 6:03 PM   by Anonymous
No wonder the Bobcats stink night in and night out. They are paying minimum wage compared to the league. If I were Iverson I wouldn't pay to watch the Bobcats play with that minor league squad. Bob Johnson have you ever heard the term it takes money to make money. This is for you Bobcats...my sons High School team has more people attending there JV games.
Posted: 6:13 PM   by Anonymous
We need to decide whether or not we're socialists or capitalists. There's no such thing as "deserving" what you're paid. It's as simple as supply and demand, its what the market will bear. If you have a skill that's valuable, you should be compensated accordingly for providing that skill. If you really want to cut there pay, stop buying the merchandise, attending the games, buying leagues passes, etc. But criticizing law-abiding citizens for earning a living the best way they know how is un-American.
Posted: 6:16 PM   by Anonymous
i particularly like how the knicks are paying Malik Rose, jerome james and the junkyard dog 20 million this year and only one of them is even on the active roster every night.
Posted: 6:17 PM   by Anonymous
How is Gilbert Arenas not be on the list on the most underpaid players. He is the 4th leading scorer in the league this year with 28 ppg and is a back-to-back allstar and he only makes 11 million a year!?!? Sounds like he is underpaid to me. Gilbert is a top 15 player in the league and his salary should resemble that.
Posted: 6:19 PM   by Anonymous
Sure most players are overpaid, but so are actors, tv news anchors, talk show hosts and so on. NBA players were played a relative pittance(to today's players) till the mega TV deals came around.

Bottom line:
TV = money

However, contract length should be max 4 years. 7 year/6 year are ridiculous.

Also sliding scale salaries should pay the most in the middle years of a contract. This way CWebb won't make 22.5 next year, but probably would have when he atleast earned a bit of his keep.
Posted: 6:25 PM   by Anonymous
simply put, if the 90% of the owners were not making a profit, then the ballers wouldn't be getting it. Simple maths. the owners must be making a killing (except for new york!).
Posted: 6:27 PM   by Anonymous
I'm suprised to see how some players are getting paid that much and they are not giving anything in return. For example, look at Larry Hughes from the Cavs; he deserves to get paid like that only when he is healthy. That guy is as fragile as glass. He's one of the most unhealthy players I ever seen. He gets paid more than Gilbert Arenas!!!!
Posted: 6:30 PM   by Anonymous
I want a "Underpaid" salary like these NBA players...
Posted: 6:30 PM   by Anonymous
oh my. i know that do to the revenue they generate, they "deserve" $20 Million a year, but good God... how much of their money can they actually spend? Could you imagine if the owners spent 10% on something other than highly tuned men who put a ball in a basket? I will never understand hold-outs. I imagine the millions of people who live below the poverty line don't either. mercy
Posted: 6:31 PM   by Anonymous
Man, the Knicks are a train wreck and plane crash all rolled into one. Roll this team into the Hudson and fuggedaboudit. We're due for another team aren't we? Two in football, two in hockey.
Come on Stern, look in the mirror and do the right thing.
Posted: 6:34 PM   by Anonymous
Speaking of abusrd salaries, . . .

That reminds me:

James Dolan is throwing Isiah Thomas a 3-Year Anniversary Party, and you're invited!

Here is your invitation:

Posted: 6:37 PM   by Anonymous
Reason number 32,254,375 I hate the NBA.
Posted: 6:43 PM   by Anonymous
It's sad the return you get on your dollar these days. For every KG, Dirk, Duncan or Nash there's a (insert any Knick player).
Posted: 6:44 PM   by Clif
Who ever posted this comment I agree with you 100%.

Posted: 5:35 PM, December 14, 2006 by Anonymous
Almost all NBA players are overpaid and it's rediculous that their contracts are guaranteed. It should be more like the NFL so when you get cut your done. Also I believe all pro sports should have incentive based contracts so they have to earn the extra money they get.
Posted: 6:46 PM   by rgon23
I couldn't agree more THE PEOPLE RUNNING the Knicks are complete morons, for paying so much money to spoiled athletes... then again if people would stop paying so much for tickets; the lack of demand would lower prices... so all of these people would learn the value of a hard-earned buck!

Rene Gonzalez
Guatemala, Central America
Posted: 6:48 PM   by Anonymous
How do you not have Nene on the overpaid list?
Posted: 6:50 PM   by Anonymous
Amazing that Steve Nash the 2 time MVP, who is still at the top of his game and a veteran is #44 on the list. What a steal for the Suns. He seems very intellegent. I got to think it is just the lack of greed on his part.
Posted: 6:52 PM   by Anonymous
Luol Deng is very very underpaid
Posted: 6:58 PM   by Anonymous
Sacramento's Kevin Martin is averaging almost 22ppg and over 4 rpg in 36 minutes for only $1 million. How is Yao more underpaid than that?
Posted: 7:07 PM   by Anonymous
well guys this is America, this is pure capitalism!! Do players deserve their salaries ? that is not the question! the true question rather is the following: How long will it take us to establish a system where every single citizen is able to earn 7, 8 or more digits salaries?
Posted: 7:38 PM   by Anonymous
...continuing on Nash, the double shocking thing is Cuban not paying him to stay in Dallas! Nash is underpaid on the hottest team in the NBA. They'd be nowhere without him. He should get his contract renegotiated because he's aging fast.
Posted: 7:44 PM   by Anonymous
Gilbert Arens is under paided bigtime.
Posted: 8:46 PM   by Anonymous
Grant Hill is worth every cent he's paid for his effect on the Magic both on and off the court.
Posted: 9:00 PM   by Anonymous
I am from africa, how can in usa a player can make more than an anually budget of all nation
Posted: 9:39 PM   by Anonymous
garnett is worth $21 mill and much more!
Posted: 9:54 PM   by Anonymous
LA Lakers' Smush Parker is one of the lowest paid starting guards in the NBA at $800K; add starting small forward Luke Walton for $1.4 million. Not bad for two starters.
Posted: 9:54 PM   by Anonymous
Steve Nash, the MVP of the league, I think is like 40th on that list...hes underpaid!
Posted: 10:36 PM   by Anonymous
Josh Howard makes less than $2 mil a year. How is not on the underpaid list?
Posted: 10:44 PM   by Anonymous
how is Jermaine O'neal making more money than the best player in the league Kobe Bryant
Posted: 11:19 PM   by Anonymous
The NBA is in a donward spiral ever since Michael Jordan left. These salaries don't bother me but they shouldn't be guaranteed for so many years. I love to know that I would be guranteed a 5 year contract at work too but that isn't how it works in the real world.
Posted: 11:33 PM   by Anonymous
You people come here and say how the NBA players earn sooo much, and that they don't even deserve to earn this much cash. Bottom line is, it is us, the fans who provide them with their nice paychecks. We do this by attending their games, buying jerseys, Television, etc... (I still can't believe Michael Finley's contract and Chris WEbber's contract). GO LAKERS!!!
Posted: 11:36 PM   by Anonymous
I find it very funny a guy like webber (the question) makes more then AI (the answer)...take to jump ship...

As for the knick... JYD works in Toronto Canada for the Raptors doing Community Promos for them...

Wow...and I thought the leafs were bad for spending...
Posted: 11:39 PM   by Anonymous
Brian Grant is the most over paid player on this list considering the fact that he is collecting a healthy 15 million to watch highlights
Posted: 11:42 PM   by Anonymous
I think that NBA players derserve their salaries because it's all about entertainment now. People pay to see the best in the whole world on what they do, not to mention the many games they play during the season, being on the road and missing their families and special events. KC from SA
Posted: 11:43 PM   by Anonymous
Every time I see a players salary or a teams payroll, in any sport I feel sick. I remember when Ryan Sandberg signed the largest contract in the history of sports and it was for (around) 9.5 million a season. Maybe one day we fans will wake up and quit pouring our dollars down the drain. I wanted to go to one NFL game this year and see my Jets play and the only tickets were 105 a piece for upper deck. I will never go to a pro game again, can't afford it and wouldn't pay it if I could. -MMP
Posted: 11:47 PM   by Anonymous
makes me wanna puke
Posted: 11:48 PM   by Anonymous
Nash - two time MVP - his stats are even better this year - and his leadership & passing ability (and the Suns style of play) has made it all fun again! Pure entertainment - definitely underpaid!
Posted: 11:51 PM   by Anonymous
Its honestly amazing how where the suns Salary cap is for this season and where they are at. Its a shame all that money is going to waste in NY.
Posted: 11:53 PM   by ChrTh
I find it funny that anyone would criticize the Bobcats when 2/3rds in the league would kill their mothers to have Charlotte's payroll/cap number.

Remember, Charlotte was limited to a percentage of the salary cap until this season. What free agent should they have wasted their money on in a weak class? They'll be making a play for Vince Carter (among others) next year and with a strong nexus of May/Okafor/
Wallace/Felton/Morrison they'll be competing for a playoff spot right away.
Posted: 11:56 PM   by Anonymous
The knicks only need to move Crawford and Richardson sometime in the next 2 years to be under the cap by 2009 or 2010 (remember Lebron has a $50 million bonus in his sneaker contract if he came to NY)
But then again, that makes too much sense for the knicks
Posted: 11:57 PM   by -CHAD-
Austin Croshere at 7.3 million? Eric Dampier at 9.6 million? Jerry Stackhouse getting more than 9 million? Michael Finley and his ridiculous contract.

With all these overpaid players, why didn't Cuban want to give Steve Nash market value?
Posted: 11:58 PM   by Anonymous
I would much rather watch college basketball than the NBA. I haven't seen an NBA game in person since 1985, and I don't plan on attending one in the future.
Posted: 11:59 PM   by Anonymous
Everyone on this list is overpaid. I would love to see a team pay their players the lowest possible salary and put the rest of that money into their communityBut then most of them would whine about not being able to afford the multiple cars and houses that they have. WELL SUCK IT UP YOU OVERPAID PANSIES. The rest of us have to live with five digit salaries, I don't see why they can't do the same.
Posted: 12:02 AM   by Anonymous
Garnett can own half of Bobcats
Posted: 12:03 AM   by Anonymous
Overall none of these salaries seem that outrageous if you consider today's market of very high paid pro athletes. I think it's a gamble for teams to commit big dollars for a player who may turned out to be worth it or he may turn out to be bust. The NBA is particularly risky because a percentage of every contract is guaranteed unlike the NFL where only signing bonus money is guaranteed.
Posted: 12:08 AM   by Anonymous
Whoever posted the comment about being from Africa, and having a persons salary being more than an annual budget for a country is dead on. Screw the whole capitalism thing. There are more important needs in this world to tend to than having NBA players deciding on what Ferrari to buy.
Posted: 12:11 AM   by Anonymous
Mabye Isiah Thomas should lead the Taliban since he destroys everything he is in charge of. You always know in the back of your mind how much these guys are getting paid, but until you see it on paper, or the computer screen, that is when it really hits you the amount the players receive. I'm a Magic fan so i thank isiah for taking on stevie f's huge contract. I see G Hill is on the overpaid list which is understandable but at the same time I'm thrilled to see him healthy and playing well. There is no other NBA player who has endured so many injuries and return to respectable form. I hope Grant signs for the veteran minimum or close to it next year so he can be a part of some real Magic.
Posted: 12:15 AM   by Berns Trovela
Most NBA player's salary is equivalent to the GNP of third world country.
Posted: 12:17 AM   by Anonymous
I love the NBA--I love a good game. Yes, I have my favorite team, but I really do enjoy a good game. My enjoyment causes me to watch, therefore increasing the demand of the airtime of the broadcast games. Yes, I go to games--increasing the demand again. However, just because I enjoy it, and am willing to pay my $60 for nosebleed section, plus $15 for 2.5 hours of parking, not to mention the cost of the beer & snacks...my question is, although these are talented, hardworking men, just how much money does it take to live comfortably?? And who am I to judge? Except that maybe I can live comfortably in a family of 5 on a two-income salary of nearly $80,000 a year. Talk about good that can be done. The ones who really deserve that kind of money are the cancer doctors, the nurses who hold up the head of a sick patient, the teacher who teaches my children to do math problems I cannot even fathom, the homeless and desperate, the children who have no food if their daddy doesn't catch fish today. Those are the real underpaid stars. For shame.
Posted: 12:24 AM   by Anonymous
No wonder the rest of the world thinks America is an awful place. Paying these bums such huge sums of money is pathetic. How many homeless people could be sheltered for $1 million, let alone $20 million. I am glad I have refused to watche a pro basketball game for the past 10 years.
Posted: 12:25 AM   by Anonymous
It is ok if they get paid what they do when they put in the work, but not all of them do. I have put in some work in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, it is nice to get the extra pay but when your done no more pay check, no more playing time no more money. But don't say you are not getting enough money when honest working people put their family in debt sometimes just to get a good $250 a seat for one game because it is what their child wants for christmas, because they don't want a $20 dollar seat because the say they can see ants in the back yard. Some players forget those days and let sports agents tell them what they should get.. But there are some who do good and give $2 million to the kids that is cool and would hope others could lead by example...
Posted: 12:46 AM   by Ob H.
WOW WOW WOW...these guys really hit the jackpot. Some of these guys on the list should NOT have recieved that kind of money, they showed a little flash in the pan and watched the money fall in their laps. Adonal Foyle's contract is a joke, WHAT WERE YOU THINK G-STATE???? Everyone can't hate a player who signs a ridiculous contract and basically collects his paycheck and is the MOST EXPENSIVE BENCH WARMER EVER....SIGN ME UP, I'LL HIT TACO BELL BEFORE EVERY GAME, PRACTICE AND PLANE FLIGHT....air spray is optional.

Posted: 1:02 AM   by Sam
How does webber contract balloon to over $22 million next year. That is one of the most absurb things I have ever heard. He might even become the NBA's highest paid player
Posted: 1:05 AM   by Anonymous
Saying that players don't deserve their salaries, that their contracts shouldn't be guaranteed, or that they should be signed for shorter periods is completely ridiculous. They and their employer agree to everything up front; "bad" contracts are a result of somebody messing up in the negotiating process and they only have themselves to blame. As was said before, players have the right to make as much as their abilities will allow, and they, nor any other honest workers, should be judged for that.
Posted: 1:15 AM   by Anonymous
salaries are only relative to entertainment value. and there is very little of that outside san antonio, detroit, phoenix, etc. can this league be saved?
Posted: 1:28 AM   by Anonymous
Poor Yao Ming. Can't see how he's scraping by on $12 million+ a year. Under paid? Give me a break.
Posted: 1:45 AM   by Anonymous
NBA players are PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES. Which is to say they are generally the cream of the crop compared to amateur or minor leagues. Some people want even their lowest paid salary... then work for it on the basketball courts.

Their pay is more or less due to the television and marketing revenues than you or me paying for a seat in an arena. You can be a good high paid player on a bad team. You can be an All-Star and never win a ring. You could be born into Paris Hilton's family. Life's not fair. Live with it.
Posted: 1:49 AM   by Anonymous
Shouldn't listing Steve Francis and Stephon "starbury" really count as the #1 and #2 listing.

That's eleven on the list. Or did you just nominate the entire backcourt of the Knicks. Hey, where is Alan Houston anyway? Knicks love to buy out contracts.

Maybe we can get Isiah to suit up. WE'll give him a huge contract. In one year we'll buy it out and let him go. Then the Knicks can return to winning.
Posted: 2:00 AM   by Anonymous
I concur with the above statement. Converse to that though, a few years ago, when Webber for instance was lighting it up with back door passes, etc in Sacramento, if you were the GM, would you not have tried to keep him as an investment (to woah the crowds in the nosiest building in the league at the time)?

I was looking at that list and thinking for several of them (including Francis and Starbury - who were so promising at the time): dang, I would have probably made the same mistake. Isn't life funny?
Posted: 2:00 AM   by Anonymous
the nba is not worth watching at all in these hard times. you know what, i would still love to watch the previous years where the NBA really glorified basketball, where are the Magic's, Erving's, Bird's??? todays players do not deserve what they are earning. period. they dont play well, they can run, they cant shoot well, not even shoot the free-throw well, and they get paid millions. im better shooting those free throws and im just a fence sitter. sure they get fancy basketball shoes, but that's all...all fancy. they cant even win the World's or even the next Olympics.

alex, philippines.
Posted: 2:11 AM   by Anonymous
The players do deserve the salaries as they are a fraction of what the team does in sales but the contracts should be a max of 3-4 years for guys to show up every night. Jordan or no Jordan I LOVE THE NBA
Posted: 2:44 AM   by Anonymous
The ball players are assessed & evaluated by their past and be rewarded of what the GM/ owners might think of them now & the future. True, too I like to be underpaid in the NBA (No Bargain Athletes)!
Posted: 3:59 AM   by Anonymous
nash wasn't playing this good when he signed with the suns, plus he was already 30. thats y he didnt get a fat contract. arenas wasnt playing this good when he signed with the wiz, thats y he didnt get a fat contract. i just hope that arenas was smart enough to sign a short term contract and i hope he gets paid when in the future. that guy is damn good!!!
Posted: 5:10 AM   by Anonymous
How many player on that list is worth their salary, maybe 25%. But i guess it's hard to judge the future performance of players. Still NBA team GM need to manage their money better, the Knicks situation is not going away in a hurry. Let that be a lesson to you all
Posted: 5:11 AM   by Anonymous
I'm just glad Bill Gates & Donald Trump don't need to put a ball in a hole to earn millions of dollars.
Posted: 5:45 AM   by Anonymous
Well, if I were the Phoenix Suns owners and managers, I would be highly embarrassed not to have renegotiated Nash's contract. Lets see now, 2 MVP's and maybe a third, consummate team player, good pr, professional to the last and he is 40th highest paid. I don't even want to go into who's on the list before him. Really, truly, embarrassing and cheap!!!!
Posted: 6:38 AM   by Anonymous
Isiah Thomas should get advise from his buddy Joe Dumars. Dumars is doing a great job with the Pistons - ranked 24th in salary, a championship ring and consistent contender team. Thomas' Knicks on the other hand, have twice the Pistons' payroll thrown away to a bunch of overpaid, lazy players with nothing to be proud of..
Posted: 7:33 AM   by Anonymous
hi everyone, I heard that the Knicks are negociating a 5 year $ 36 million deal with Denis Defrere, the superstar from Belgium. Thongs are just getting better for the Knicks...
Posted: 8:31 AM   by Anonymous
90% of the NBA is overpaid. Why?....because the money needs to come from somewhere to pay a player making $5 million per season (average salary). Where does this money come from....us fans who make an average of $30k per year. I love the NBA but it's pathetic that it cost me over $100 to go to an NBA game with my wife (2 tickets, parking, 2 beers).

So as their salaries increase, it us the fans that are getting screwed more and more.
Posted: 8:58 AM   by Anonymous
I think pro athletes and owners should have things put into perspective. You and I pay $7 for a beer and $4 for a hotdog on our slaries. If they go to a bar, a beer should cost$100 and a hamburger $70. These guys have ruined sports.
Posted: 9:06 AM   by Anonymous
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.
Posted: 9:13 AM   by Anonymous
Posted: 9:55 AM   by Anonymous
My dad taught me that most salaries are based not on intrinsic value to society (in which case teachers and parents would be near the top of the payscale), but based on your replacement cost. If 100 million people could fill your shoes, you are not going to make much coin. If nobody can do what you can do (e.g. Shaq, Wade, Kobe), and you happen to fill an arena while doing it, you are going to make major moolah. It's not about fairness. Its about the bottom line.
Posted: 10:05 AM   by Anonymous
Someone in this comments section said Gilbert Arenas "only makes 11 million per year". Only? Seriously? Since when is 11 million "only"? These salaries are atrocious man. The saddest thing is it all reflects on the common man in ticket prices, parking fees, food & drink prices at the stadium. And how about those prices at the team store? $60-$70 for a jersey?
Posted: 10:10 AM   by Anonymous
It is inane to do an "underpaid" list and include guys on their rookie contracts or who are making the maximum amount under the CBA. They point in making those lists is not simply to list the best young players. It is to list guys whose *contracts* are notably less than they should be. If Wilt Chamberlein returned tomorrow and was the top overall pick, he would not be underpaid because he would be getting the maximum allowed under the rules of the game.

Listing guys on their rookie contracts who are "underpaid" is less challenging than shooting fish in a barrel.
Posted: 10:18 AM   by Anonymous
I dunno why folks are shouting about salaries. NBA Teams make lots of money on tickets, merchandise and TV rights. Its fair that marquee players get their share. Ticket prices are high bcos they are compared with live shows/ broadway etc which also costs high.

Only terrible decisions are like awarding Jerome James 29 million with a career average of 3 ppg bcos he had 2 average playoff games. Isiah should have been sacked for that. Also why did isiah trade expiring contracts of Antonio davis and Penny Hardaway for big contracts of Steve Francis and Jalen rose when they already have similar overpaid players. Isiah should have been sacked b4 L. Brown.

Also its not fair to say a rookie (L.James) is underpaid when that's the price they pay for entering the league. But look at amount of money he earns outside the game.
Posted: 10:25 AM   by Mark R
I don't think it's worth getting upset about how much the players make, but if you think it's too much then you should blame the owners not the players. These players negotiate the highest contract that they can (like most of us). It's the owners who raise ticket prices, and parking, and concessions, and jerseys. The players just take their percentage. If you don't like the costs, go to a lower division game, you'll still see a basketball game, just at a lower level. If you want to see the best, then you have to compete with millions of other fans and pay the price.
Posted: 10:46 AM   by Anonymous
As long as there are foolish fans that will continue to pay $150 for a pair of shoes, $250 for a game ticket, $100 for a jersey, and so on, these guys will continue to make more and more money. It's ridiculous to think that they can command so much money with having to guarantee their production in any way. As fans, we need to do our part in letting the league and owners know that we are tired of it. We must individually boycott supporting the league and players in any way in hopes that they will realize how lucky they are to be making the money they have been getting. I'm glad to do my part by not purchasing any NBA goods or watching any televised games.
Posted: 10:49 AM   by Anonymous
The last comment summed it up. Yes the dollar figures are absurd, but it a capitalistic market thats what they are worth. If you don't like it, you have three options 1) stop going to games, buying merchandise, etc (lower demand) 2) everyone wuit their job and practice basketball all day long (increase supply)3) hate capitalism, in which case you should move to a communist country and have to share your earnings with others.
Posted: 10:57 AM   by Anonymous
What about the “Salary Cap” and how can a team like the Knick still add players being that much over the cap, blows my mind! Were is our society when basketball players make this much? As a T-Wolve fan its hard to figure out this stuff! This is why football is ruling the industry right now. A guy can get his head taken off and the next thing is there dropped when there value is no longer there! NBA should take a look at the NFL and soon! Go wolves!
Posted: 11:05 AM   by Anonymous
Speaking of NBA salaries, anyone remember the "I've got my family to feed" quote from Latrell Sprewell?
Posted: 11:14 AM   by Anonymous
Lol, I know that some people think Yao being underpaid at 12 million per year is ridiculous, but think of the other players at his position. Theo Ratliff, 11 mil, Ben Wallace, 16 mil,Raef LaFrentz, another 11 mil, Dalembert, 9 million, and Chris Kaman , 8 million next year, and of course, Shaq at 20 million. Compared to this level of talent, Yao should be getting 20 million simply for being an all-star at the C position. Oh yeah, and Yao owns all of the mentioned (and other) players.
Posted: 11:22 AM   by Anonymous
Looking over these figures, and reading about baseballs mediocre free-agent contracts, I am shocked that any great young athlete would ever choose to play pro football - where the abrupt end of your income is always just one play away.

The guaranteed contracts in baseball and basketball are insane.
Posted: 11:31 AM   by Anonymous
Guaranteed contracts are rediculous! Brian Grant is a thief. The man admitted he didn't take care of himself before he went to the Lakers because he didnt think it would be as tough. Bring in the NFL contracts....you get what you earn and not a penny more!! You don't produce you shouldnt get paid!
Posted: 11:35 AM   by Anonymous
You wonder why people can't afford to go see a game or two.....there's your sign!
Posted: 11:36 AM   by Anonymous
somebody will have to explain to me why Jamison was even being considered for this list....yes he is making a ton of money (15+ million) but so are alot of NBA players....

the man is averaging 18.2 points a game (33rd overall in the league) and 7.3 rebounds a game (31st overall in the league)
Athletes, whether we like this or not, are not overpaid. They are paid in relation to the amount of money the respective leagues generate. Between ticket prices, paraphenalia, and ad revene, hundred of billions are generated. Why would the people responsible for that not get a big piece? It is not harming us as not athletes at all when they get paid, because every time we watch the games, and buy the jerseys and the tickets, that's how the money is generated. Think about it.
Posted: 11:53 AM   by michael kargas
if the new york knicks were a school district or some other local government agency they'd be subject to federal take over for mismanagement of funds.
Posted: 12:03 PM   by Anonymous
in fairness to sprewell, he doesn't just have his family to feed. he has his legal woes to pay for, his mistresses to keep quiet, his auto detailing hobby to finance and the rest of his life to live without any kind of salary, seeing as no one in their right mind would give a job to this guy.
Posted: 12:12 PM   by BennieInDallas
I make decent money, but I can't handle the kind of financial outlay it takes to go to a game. I hope these guys (and owners) enjoy all the money they have. I'll be watching on TV until they start charging for that too. When will sports fans wake up and stop this insanity?
Posted: 12:20 PM   by Anonymous
First of all, Deshawn Stevenson shouldn't be on your underpaid list because he has that salary because of his own stupidity. But as far as Value, and also without counting the rookie scale, GILBERT ARENAS IS BY FAR THE MOST UNDERPAID PLAYER IN THE NBA.
Posted: 12:57 PM   by J. Batten
Fascinating article on NBA salaries. But the facts are bit off. The fact is there are NO underpaid players in the NBA. It's just a game. However, the day one of these guys cures cancer I'll shut the hell up.
Posted: 1:11 PM   by Anonymous
The real question should be "what are the owners making!" Let's be real - Im not paying a player 21 million unless I'm making at least 22 million!
Posted: 1:24 PM   by Anonymous
well as the great center patrick ewing once said during a labor dispute "the nba players need to make this much money because the nba players spend a lot of money"
Posted: 1:29 PM   by Anonymous
Iverson....please take Webber with you wherever you go!!!!
If anything, your periodic review of NBA salaries shows that salary caps just don't always work.

The NBA has turned into a league where it's not the quality of the player being rewarded, it's how the player and the player's position fits into the cap.

The perception of filling the cap has turned into the reality. Teams can say that they're at or above the cap (some cap, then) and therefore must be doing something good.

Basketball is the one sport where money hasn't entered into the discussion, it IS the ONLY discussion.
Posted: 1:48 PM   by Anonymous
This is a joke, the joke is on the fans. Due to this I am proud to say that I have not gone to a game in over 10 years and I never will. The cost is a joke and why fans keep allowing themselves to look stupid by supporting these over paid men playing basketball is totally beyond me. I think the players should make good money but 10 to 20 million a year to play basketball is nonsense. I have money but refuse to directly support it as I have not been to any pro game of any type in over 10 years. I wish other people would do the same then perhaps the cost of a hot dog at a game will be below 4 bucks.
Posted: 1:50 PM   by Anonymous
I'm a person who went to college, has worked hard my whole life and has helped two different communities with youth programs. I will never see $5 million in my lifetime. To call any of these men underpaid, even compared with each other, is somewhat of a cruel joke to those of us that only own one car that doesn't run well and a house that's too close to the neighbors.
They need to pay Lebron james more money or hes not staying in cleveland. This guy obviously realizes the kind of talent he has and hes already started not to play with the kind of impact he played with last year because the cavaliers are not paying him enough. They're paying Kevin Garnet 4 times what Lebron is being paid and if you compare the way the two players play. It should be the other way around. PAY THE KING HIS DUES.
Posted: 2:11 PM   by Anonymous
What seems to kill the chances (and futures) of so many franchises is not shelling out huge dollars for superstars. Instead, what seems to be the mistake of many franchises is giving large contracts to average, or even soon-to-be above average talent. These deals seem to be made with the idea that a role player is what a franchise needs to make it deep into the playoffs. However, rather than offer only role player money, teams agree to pay these players slightly under the going rate for a superstar.
Posted: 2:16 PM   by Anonymous
The current salary structure and rules of the NBA are the reason that it is not like it was "back in the day". First off of a team makes a bad decision on a player contract your STUCK... its all guaranteed!! Teams have no wiggle room... look at the NFL with the non guaranteed contracts.. they can make mistakes and not have to blow it up to correct those mistakes... You have too many overpaid players so when another player that has comparable numbers comes up to negotiations he'll cammand around what that other overpaid stiff is getting... I wish they would take the guarantee off the contracts!!! Couple the monetary issues along with the fact that NBA rules dont allow you to play defense anymore and you have the formula for the decline of the NBA...
Posted: 2:24 PM   by Anonymous
A lot of the players are over paid and a lot of role players are over paid. I look at this and I understand that, Yes, the teams are making millions, however there are teams that are losing millions, like the Portland Trailblazers, just to name one. My concern is that guaranteed contracts should not be, dare I say, guaranteed. C. Webb and S. Marbury are extremely overpaid, however they fill seats. The NBA should take a lesson from the NFL. Nothings guaranteed. Goodness, you think that if they get paid $20 million one season, get hurt and not get paid the next, that they actually can maintain their finances. I mean, goodness, I understand that the NBA makes billions of dollars, but so does Google, and other companies. I say Google, because they employ some where in the same numbers of the NBA about 1000 or so, (I mean, give or take a few here and there, and just read through the synopsis) and every player is vital in some way or the other to the league, just like every employee at Google is vital in some way or the other to their perspective company. Now, Google pulls in roughly the same money as the NBA, if not maaaaybe less. They are definitely worth way more money than the NBA, with a market cap of 149,999,999 billion dollars. Now, what if Google and hey, what if other companies paid everyone the same amount of money for lack of performance or whatever. Sounds fair, but its not, and the NBA needs to do something to curb this. Any contract over 4 years, I would have to agree, should be eliminated. I mean, is a 4 year $100 million dollar contract in the NBA unlikely for some players to handle with no guarantee. Shouldn’t they be entitled to keeping their part of the deal, like playing hard, smart, and showing fans the fun? And if they earn their keep, hey, why not another 4 years of that $100 million dollars if they are just that good. I guess I hate it when players get the money and then cheapen their game, and then cheat the fans by not playing hard or even caring. NBA Teams should all get together with the NBA front office and set up some new rules during CB, and the saying should entertain the thought for the NBA and its players to: Keep Your Part of the Deal! If the teams have to guarantee contracts, shouldn’t the NBA player guarantee some hard playing when they are on the floor. Come to practice on time. Stop the whining and start the winning. Shouldn’t ALL the entertainment be on the NBA floor and not outside the floor, like shooting up clubs, continuous reckless driving, troubles with the law. Here is another thing teams should start doing, with ALL NBA players, hell, maybe all sports need to adopt these rules like, if you are convicted of a felony, you should be FIRED or FINED heavily from the league. 0 tolerance. Beat on their wife or someone else and convicted or end up having a plea bargain, not only should they fined for all their other fees, they should pay fines for the embarrassment of the league or organization and those funds can be distributed to charitable organizations. OH, and the regular fees of $10,000 fine during a game or what not, how is that a big fine. Sounds like a lot to me and you, but it should be based on percentage of what they are making in that game. So, if like Rasheed Wallace gets pissed, and believe me he will again, and with him making $11,650,000 this year, roughly $142,073 a game, maybe a 25% fee for fines. Extreme fines, 50% and kicked out the game, whatever minute is left in the game maybe divided up or forfeit entire salary that game. I am sure that their would be a lot less ignorance on the floor. Oh well, I said what I said.
Posted: 2:55 PM   by Anonymous
One of these days the entertainment industry is going to collapse. I hope I'm alive to see it.
Posted: 2:56 PM   by Anonymous
here's something that not a lot of people know: NBA players acutally get per diem money for road trips--and so do the coaches. Private/chartered planes, 4 star hotels and 100-200 a day meal money. good work if you can get it!!
Posted: 3:02 PM   by Anonymous
First of all, whatever these players and agents negotiate is what they are entitled to. It is no different for you and I. There are ten other people with the same title as mine, but if I negotiated a higher salary, then that is what I am entitled to. The GMs don't have to agree to it, they could tell me to walk. But we, as fans demand that our respective teams be competitive year-in and year-out and therefore the GMs have to play the game.

Secondly, comparing historical salaries of past players is a fruitless effort. I'm making more in my late 20s than my dad did in his late 50s, but that doesn't tell you anything about our individual skill and experience. It simply underscores the sign of the times and inflation.

Lastly, take a look at the Bulls salary figures - I believe that's a team that is at least headed in the right direction on their two marquee contracts. Wallace and Hinrich both have tiered contracts that decline, as opposed to incline, over the term of the contract. At the very least that shows that the Bulls are willing to negotiate a contract based on prior performance, and reward their players with higher salaries in the years they are expected to be more productive.
Posted: 3:34 PM   by Anonymous
After seeing what Brian Grant is getting paid by the LA Lakers and not even playing anymore for any team, is my #1 reason for not wasting my hard earned money to attend an NBA game live to see a bunch of stiffs. The NBA game today does not even interest me anymore. I'll view the play-offs and championship series on TV. But spending my moola to see these stiffs??? NO WAY!!! By the looks of some of today's starting NBA players game, when I was their age, I could out play most of them simply by playing with intensity and passion, as well as being more fundamentally sound in the game of basketball.
Posted: 3:40 PM   by Anonymous
If you look at money per games played then Shaq is by far the highest paid/most over paid NBA player.
Posted: 3:54 PM   by Anonymous
What my friend above does not understand is that there are obscene profits being made by NBA teams. If you were working in an industry where there were billion dollar TV contracts and millions in other revenue, you would be able to demand more money. This is especially the case for NBA players, where their economic rent is quite high and the ability to replace them with quality alternatives is quite low. So in summation, whether we think these athletes deserve this much money, it is the time and money each of us devote to these teams that allows them to make such obscene wages.
Posted: 4:00 PM   by Anonymous
Some of you guys make no sense when you say they're being overpaid which is stupid because they entertain uds. They have a talent that none of us have and most of them show it to us day in and day out. Even those who are overpaid there was a time in their career in which they deserved that kind of money. We pay to watch them play wheter it be tv or going to the game.
Posted: 4:06 PM   by Evan
How is Kevin Martin not included on the underpaid list. He is scoring over 20 a game and is making less than 2 million this year
Posted: 4:14 PM   by Anonymous
NBA has it right. Rookies get small contracts I like that fix. Remember John Koncak SMU got 3 mill it was huge back then. By the time a vet gets a big contract he has earned his way into the leauge and deserves more for taking less as a rookie. No Huge contracts for guys that dont make it. Still has some flaws but you need those longer contracts to make up for dues paid early on. I agree with KC earlier players should not have to be away from families so long. So Shorten the season to say 70 games so they can travel less. I wish NBA had a stock you could buy and vote your shares I vote for shorter season and to shorten the halfs to 20 min like college so the star players dont log so many min. Bill San Antonio
Posted: 4:21 PM   by Anonymous
omg wad 99% of you guys are posting doesnt make sense at all

like complaining that even the best players are overpaid... we are supposed to compare their salaries to that of the other nba players not to how much the rest of you earn

and stop comparing their salaries to other sportsmen as no other league plays 82+ games a year because it is redudant

and those who are paid tons (eg. grant hill, larry hughes) even when they dont suit up for most games are due to the fact that they are under contracts. honestly who would return their employer millions? especially if their employer can easily afford it

the bobcats have a lower salary cap and that is why there isnt a point for them to blow all their money when they will easily pass the luxury tax and end up paying out more than the knicks are. whats more, they are a new ballclub which means that they dont have as much funds as the other teams

the previous post by Lusumino Nyamayedenga is stating what most of u are. dont any of you get it that there are maximum salaries that the players can attain? it increases accordingly to the number of years they play in the league
Posted: 1:33 PM   by Anonymous
i think kobe is underpaid,if garnett can get 21 mil kb only 17 mil.he is only player in the nba who can win the game on his own
Posted: 8:43 AM   by Anonymous
After the fight last night, we can clearly see that money doesn't buy class.
Posted: 5:11 PM   by Anonymous
I am suprised that there is still a debate over the salaries of Pro Ball Players.I have never thought of it as a tough decision.
I challenge anyone who loves sports of any type to look at the level of dedication/results that
"Professionals" exhibit each year in their respective sports, and still justify the extremely high salaries that pervade those same sports...If you or I exhibited the same dedication/results as these Pro's We could discuss at great length the morality of our demise in the unemployment line.

I don't care what anyone does for a living... I do know that it isn't worth even 1-2 million a year..
Harder working people make it on less every day....Think about it.
Posted: 5:26 PM   by Jeff Enquist
Let's begin by saying a player on his rookie deal, even the great King James, should be excluded from the underpaid list. Had the Cavs wanted to pay him more or rules allowed it, I'm sure the contract would be much higher (remember an agent is involved). Players are also paid on what they have done and potential, so when we factor that in, we can also eliminate a few. So, here's the 10 overpaid.
1. Chris Webber, nine whines... sorry, nine wins. Based on past and potential, still not a $20M man.
2. Stephon Marbury, and the numerous Knicks jokes that follow. No wonder he can sell his shoes at $15 a piece.
3. Jalen Rose, although not signed to thoes figures by the Knicks, a one-time overpaid Knicks player, nonetheless. How's he doing in PHX? Oh, he doesn't play, I see.
4. Steve Francis. Wait a minute, is that another Knicks player?
5. Joe Johnson, role player to overpaid player. Good player starting to flourish in ATL, but not $12.7M and 2 first rounders flourish.
6. Andrei Kirilenko. As a Jazz fan, hard to include him. Even harder not to include him. He does fill the box score, but not worth that kind of cash and will never carry a team by himself.
7. Kenyon Martin. Jazz got blasted for picking up Boozer the same year Martin got a max deal. What people probably don't realize is that Boozer had better numbers and a worse publicity guy. As I can't dog a guy for getting injured, I can dog a guy who didn't produce max money numbers when he got max money, even when healthy.
8. Zach Randolph. Not only does the guy shackle a team for $12M a year, but he detroys your locker room. Great deal.
9. Wally Szczerbiak. In Wally's World, he's a better player than Boozer, Steve Nash, Gilbert Arenas, Rasheed Wallace and Tony Parker. In reality, he didn't have the potential to become as good as these guys.
10. Raef Lafrentz. If we base it off past performance and potential..., what, he gets paid $11.5 M? Were they thinking he was playing for the Jayhawks in a diminished conference and not the NBA?

Most underpaid. Any second round draft pick producing for their team. See Paul Millsap or Monta Ellis for an example.
Posted: 4:20 AM   by Anonymous
Tell me something: if you were working for a company, had to travel all the time, miss holidays with your family and your company was making gazillions dollars as a DIRECT result of your work and the 15 or so other employees wouldn’t you feel like you deserve a piece of the pie… think about it!
And please please, post the owner’s revenues as well!
Posted: 2:27 AM   by Anonymous
It would be nice if they gave more back to the community.
Posted: 1:19 PM   by Anonymous
Howard Stern Just got an 83 million dollar bonus for ONE year!!! Look outside your NBA bubble before talking about overpaid!! They would not get paid if the owners did not make the money. Don't base your thoughts on just the Knicks, in every field there are companies that overpay and don't succced.
Posted: 4:50 PM   by Anonymous
Oh my god are there some dumb people posting comments to this topic. I am a lot more surprised that most of you can find a job paying 30k a year than I am that these guys are making millions.
Posted: 5:16 PM   by Mel Will
I can't belive all the whining that I'm reading. Hey if you don't like there salaries, don't watch the game. they (owners) get paid for nationaly televised exposure, vendor sales & merchandising. So don't go to the game when you and you're buddy have to flip a coin to see who's paying for parking. These guy's are entertainers, most arenas fit at least 50k so why not let you're 12-15 players reap it's benefits.
Posted: 6:07 PM   by Anonymous
Utah Jazz seem to be very efficient throughout the years. Daron Williams is the only lottery pick they have had in 20 years, and they are not among the top spenders, yet they are always competitive. S.I.'s power rankings this week are messed up. Denver & Detroit were bumped up due to what he is predicting they will do in the future. The Jazz beat both of these teams withing the past two weeks, beating Detroit in Detroit! New York seems to have no clue! Spending out of control on players that don't mesh at all! They are a mess!
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