Being a benchwarmer in the NBA job might sound demeaning, sympathy earning, and a lousy gig, but once you realize the amount of money these benchwarmers make, 99% of the world would trade their jobs in a heartbeat to be a towel waving benchwarmer that never breaks a sweat. And out of respect to these professional cheerleaders, even though they may not be the crème de la crème of the NBA, they are some of the best athletes in the entire world.
Your Matt Bonnor’s, Beno Udrih’s, Reggie Evans’s, might seem like unathletic, uncoordinated, and goofy, but put them in the D-League, the Euroleague, or in Division I basketball, and they will look like men amongst boys.
Furthermore, benchwarmers are an indispensable part of a team. There are just too many injuries that can take place during a 82-game season that make a 12-man roster absolutely necessary for the duration of such a long season. Okay, maybe not 12, but at least 10. The San Antonio Spurs play eleven to twelve players in a game on a regular basis, especially with Pop’s recent Kentucky substitution style where he subs five players at a time. However, there are teams like the Portland Trailblazers that pretty much have an 8-man rotation. This means that there are a whole lot of players that never even break a sweat in Portland, but earn millions of dollars.
We all know about the salary cap restriction that you cannot go over unless you want to get penalized with the luxury tax. However, there is also a lower salary cap that every team must pay up towards. The maximum salary cap is $63.065 million, which is an increase of 7.5% from last year. The minimum salary requirement for this season is $56.759 million, which is approximately 90% of the maximum salary cap. What this means is that every team must spend at least this amount with a roster of a minimum of 12 players. The result of this is a plethora of players that get paid handsomely for practicing hard, but playing little. And this is a list of the top 15.
15 Elton Brand - $2,000,000
14 Luke Ridnour - $2,750,000
13 Furkan Aldemir - $2,963,232
12 Joel Freeland - $3,013,512
11 Alexey Shved - $3,282,056
10 Andrei Kirilenko - $3,326,235
9 Steve Novak - $3,445,947
8 Joel Anthony - $3,800,000
7 Ben Gordon - $4,500,000
6 Chuck Hayes - $5,958,750
5 Landry Fields - $6,250,000
4 Jason Richardson – $6,601,125
3 Steve Nash - $9,701,000
2 Gerald Wallace - $10,105,855
1 JaVale McGee - $11,250,000
Shaqtin’ a Fool’s favorite whipping boy has only played 14 games this past season. During those 14 games, McGee has only averaged 11.6 minutes per game with an average of 5.4 points per game, 3.0 rebounds per game, and 1.1 blocks per game. On July 18th, 2012, McGee signed a 4-year contract worth $44,000,00o, however, he has yet to live up to his contract. McGee has been battling a leg injury as of late, but once he gets healthy, he will have the opportunity to live up to his contract once again.
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