Top 15 Highest Paid Benchwarmers in the NBA Today

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

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

14 Luke Ridnour - $2,750,000

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

13 Furkan Aldemir - $2,963,232

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

12 Joel Freeland - $3,013,512

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

11 Alexey Shved - $3,282,056

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

10 Andrei Kirilenko - $3,326,235

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

9 Steve Novak - $3,445,947

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

8 Joel Anthony - $3,800,000

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

7 Ben Gordon - $4,500,000

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

6 Chuck Hayes - $5,958,750

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

5 Landry Fields - $6,250,000

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

4 Jason Richardson – $6,601,125

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

3 Steve Nash - $9,701,000

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

2 Gerald Wallace - $10,105,855

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

1 JaVale McGee - $11,250,000

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

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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Top 15 Highest Paid Benchwarmers in the NBA Today