The NBA's Most Overpaid Players

Pictured: total salary for one minute of Chandler Parson’s time on the court.

Pictured: total salary for one minute of Chandler Parson’s time on the court.

By Dan Morris

From the editor:
Dan’s information on overpaid and underpaid players was a great help for episode 10 of the Limitless Range NBA podcast. His research is now presented as two companion pieces on our website. Thanks, Dan!

Point Guards

Kyle Lowry - $31M

2019-2020 Salary: $33.3M

Age: Turns 33 in March

Stats: 14.2 ppg / 9.4 apg / 4.5 rpg / 41.6 FG% / 31.9 3pt%

While Lowry is posting a career high 9.4 assists, he is also averaging the lowest amount of points since his first year in Toronto (14.2), and his worst shooting percentage in five years. To boot, Lowry has missed eleven games this season, and the Raptors seem to winning in spite of their veteran point guard’s lack of court time.

Brandon Knight - $14.6M

2019-2020 Salary: $15.6M

Age: 27

Stats: 3.0 ppg / 0.8 apg / 23.4 FG% / 15.6 3pt%

This Houston Rockets guard has only appeared in 12 games this season, and even during those he’s averaging less than ten minutes per game. Knight, a career 35.6% shooter from behind the arc, has shot a dismal 15.6% this season. A late September knee surgery has definitely slowed the PG down, but at almost $15 million, Knight is easily one of the most overpaid players in the league.

Shooting Guards

Nicolas Batum - $24M

2019-2020 Salary: $25.5M

2020-2021 Salary: $27.1M

Age: 30

Stats: 9.1 ppg / 5.1 rpg / 3.4 apg / 46.4 FG% / 40.6 3pt %

While Batum has shown nice shooting efficiency this season - 46.4% from the field and 40.6 from three - the counting stats just ain’t there any more. His 9.1 points per game is a far cry from the 15.6 Batum averaged just two seasons ago. Assists have also dropped significantly from the 5+ a game to the mid 3s per game. At double the salary of Kemba Walker, Batum simply isn't doing enough to warrant not only his salary this year, but for the next two seasons following.

Tyler Johnson - $19.2M

2019-2020 Salary: $19.2M

Age: 25

Stats: 11.2 ppg / 2.8 rpg / 2.5 apg / 43.3 FG% / 37.6 3pt %

Although Johnson is only in his 5th NBA season, it appears this may be his ceiling; The progression has stopped, and this is who he is. Furthermore, Johnson has been unable to lock in a starting spot on a team that frankly has underwhelming talent — and Goran Dragic missing most of the season.

Small Forwards

Gordon Hayward - $31.2M

2019-2020 Salary: $32.7M

2020-2021 Salary: $34.1M

Age: 28

Stats: 11 ppg / 4.6 rpg / 3.5 apg / 42.5 FG% / 31.9 3pt %

Hayward's dip in counting stats is not completely surprising due to his playing on a loaded team (and coming off a gruesome leg injury), but the lack of shooting efficiency is surprising. The 42.5 FG% and 31.9 3pt% are well below his career averages of 44.3 and 36.4, respectively. The pairing between him and his former Butler coach Brad Stevens appeared to be a match made in heaven, but has been a disappointment thus far.

Chandler Parsons - $24.1M

2019-2020 Salary: $25.1M

Age: 30

Stats: Only 3 games played this year. We’ll focus on the three years since signing a 4 year, $94M deal with Memphis. Parsons has missed 139 games out of possible 212 so far.

In those 3 years stats: 7 ppg / 2.4 rpg / 1.7 apg / 40.2 FG% / 35.2 3pt%


Ahem. Continuing on…

Power Forwards

Ryan Anderson - $20.4M

2019-2020 Salary: $21.2M

Age: 30

Stats: (15 games) 3.7 ppg / 3 rpg / 1.1 apg / 31.7 FG% / 20.6 3pt%

Not much to say here: Anderson has been non existent on a young Suns team, as he has so far racked up a total of 28 DNPs. I would suspect a buyout looming in the near future.

Paul Millsap - $29.2M

2019-2020 Salary: $30M

Age: 33

Stats: 12.6 ppg / 6.7rpg / 1.8 apg

Although Millsap is a nice player, and is helping the Denver Nuggets to their best year in recent memory, $29.2M is the kind of money normally reserved for the best of the best players in the NBA. To put it into perspective, Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo are each making $4M and $5M less than Millsap. This goes without mentioning the fact that the power forward has one MORE year left on his deal, which easily gets him a spot on this overpaid list.


Bismack Biyombo- $17M

2019-2020 Salary: $17M

Age: 26

Stats: (22 games) 4.8 ppg / 5.1 rpg / 1.14 bpg

Playing only 22 games normally would indicate Biyombo has been dealing with injuries, but that's not the case in Bismack's current situation. Charlotte Head Coach James Borrego (Pronounced BOAR-ego) has simply opted to make Biyombo inactive for 25 of the Hornets games this year.

Timofey Mozgov - $16M

2019-2020: $16.7M

Age: 32

Stats: 0.0 ppg / 0.0 rpg / 0.0 apg / [Has not played at all this season]

Timofey “Mozgov Money” Mozgov has routinely been named as a over paid player in the NBA. With only one season of double digit scoring in his entire career, it was amazing enough that Mozgov was able to pull a 4 year / $64M contract in the summer of 2016. Mozgov has since played for the Brooklyn Nets and now “plays” for the Orlando Magic.

Have any other overpaid players deserving of the list? I’m sure you do. Leave us a comment, tweet at us, or send an email. Tie a note to a carrier pigeon! We always appreciate your feedback.

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