How Much Do NBA Players Make Per Game?

How Much Do NBA Players Make Per Game?

How Much Do NBA Players Make Per Game?

Whether you believe NBA players are overpaid or not, the truth of the matter is that most NBA players are paid a healthy salary per season.  And as compared to other American sports, NBA players definitely get paid within the top quartile of all athletes.

Similarly, with the average NBA salary standing in at $7.5 million for the 2021-22 season, the question as to whether or not NBA players are overpaid begins to seem a bit obvious.  However, wanting to dig a bit deeper into payment structure of NBA players, we are going to look to see how much NBA players make per game, per minute, and even per second.

It should be noted, before fully delving into the question of how much do NBA players make per game, per minute, and even per second, that the data we will be using to answer these questions will come from Basketball Reference.   Basketball Reference is, as the name suggests, the premiere destination for basketball reference points and is generally a reliable site for NBA information.

Lastly, as we will be looking at how much NBA players are paid per game, we will need to make a few assumptions before answering the question.  The main assumption here is that the players we discuss play the full 82 game season, are neither waived nor opted out from the team, and do not incur any fines or suspensions during the season.

Again, our review is a general one and takes these assumptions into account as to make the math a bit easier to complete.

How Much Do NBA Players Make Per Game?

When do NBA Players Get Paid

Contrary to popular belief, NBA players are not paid after each game.  Rather, NBA players are paid according to the league’s standard paydays, which are on the 1st and 15th of each month, beginning on November 15th.  The default paycheck system amounts to 24 paychecks over a one calendar year period.

However, as with many things in the NBA, there are a few clauses which can affect the total pay a player receives within their paycheck.  While we won’t consider these clauses into our calculation of how much an NBA player makes per game, it is some insightful information.

Firstly, an NBA player can be paid a portion of their total contract as soon as it is signed.  Secondly, an NBA player can be paid an advance on their salary, which is limited to 80% of the player’s guaranteed salary or 50% of their base salary, whichever is less.

Similarly, an NBA player may receive a loan against their salary.  This loan must be repaid from their salary and each loan cannot exceed the individual player’s remaining amount of guaranteed salary for that season.  However, the loan can be repaid over the remaining seasons that are fully guaranteed.

And lastly, an NBA player can defer up to 25% of their compensation.  This deferred compensation will be paid after May 1st of the following season and is included in the team salary in which it is earned and not the season in. which it is paid out.

Do NBA Players Get Paid During the Playoffs?

As mentioned above, NBA players are paid on their entire salary throughout the year.  These payments are broken down into 24 individual paychecks, which are paid to each player on the 1st and 15th of each month.  However, an NBA player on an NBA team which reaches the NBA playoffs is also awarded an additional bonus payment.

Currently, the NBA has set aside a sum of $23,287,260 for NBA playoff teams.  This amount is split amongst teams as they advance through the playoffs.  Team’s that qualify for the NBA playoffs will receive $347,545 to be split amongst the members of the team.  Reaching the second round of the playoffs qualifies those teams for an additional $413,534 and conference finalists receiving an additional $683,363.

However, by making the NBA Finals, the losing team will be awarded an additional $2,732,699, while the winning team will be awarded an additional $4,124,054.

How Much Do NBA Players Make Per Game?

NBA Salaries Per Game

As discussed above, NBA players are paid on the 1st and 15th of each month.  However, if we wanted to look deeper and analyze just how much an NBA player is paid per game, then we will need to base the information off-of a regular, 82-game schedule.

Below, we will take a look at how much an NBA player is paid peer game against the average player salary of $7.5 million as well as the game salaries of some of the more notable players currently in the league.

  • Average NBA Salary – $7.5 million – pay-per-game – $91,463.41
  • Stephen Curry – $45,780,966 – pay-per-game – $558,304.46
  • Russel Westbrook – $44,211,146 -pay-per-game – $539,160.31
  • James Harden -$43,848,000 – pay-per-game – $534,731.70
  • LeBron James – $41,180,544 – pay-per-game – $502,201.75
  • Kevin Durant –  $40,918,900 – pay-per-game – $499,010.97
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo – $39,344,970 – pay-per-game – $479,816.70
  • Kawhi Leonard – $39,344,900 – pay-per-game – $479,815.85
  • Kyrie Irving – $34,916,200 – pay-per-game – $425,807.31
  • Devin Booker – $31,610,000 – pay-per-game – $385,487.80
  • Ben Simmons – $31,590,000 – pay-per-game – $385,243.90
  • Joel Embiid – $31,579,390 – pay-per-game – $385,114.51
  • Chris Paul – $30,800,000 – pay-per-game – $375,609.75
  • Nikola Jokic – $30,510,423 – pay-per-game – $372,078.32
  • Kyle Lowry – $26,984,128 – pay-per-game – $329,074.73
  • Draymond Green – $24,026,712 – pay-per-game – $293,008.68
  • Lonzo Ball – $19,767,442 – pay-per-game – $241,066.36
  • Thaddeus Young – $14,190,000 – pay-per-game – $173,048.78
  • Derrick Rose – $13,445,120 – pay-per-game – $163,964.87
  • Kyle Kuzma – $13,000,000 – pay-per-game – $158,536.58
  • Luka Doncic – $10,174,391 – pay-per-game – $124,077.93
  • Trae Young – $8,326,471 – pay-per-game – $101,542.32
  • Joakim Noah – $6,431,666 – pay-per-game – $78,434.95
  • Rajon Rondo – $2,641,691 – pay-per-game –  $32,215.74

How Much do NBA Players Make Per Minute?

If we really want to dig deeper, we can look at how much NBA players make per minute.  Now, there are two ways we can go about this.  Firstly, we can look at amount paid per minute per game played, from an 82-game season, or we can look at it from a per-minute, per-year perspective.  We have opted to look at the amount an NBA player makes per-minute played per regular season play.

As there are 48-minutes in a regular NBA game, we will simply need to multiply 48-minutes by 82-games and divide that amount against the salaries of specific NBA players.  48×82 gives us 3,936.  So, in a regular season, an NBA player can play a maximum of 3,936 minutes, not including overtime play.  On a per-minute, per-season perspective, NBA players are paid accordingly:

  • Average NBA Salary – $7.5 million – per-minute-per-game – $1,905
  • Stephen Curry – $45,780,966 – per-minute-per-game – $11,631
  • Russel Westbrook – $44,211,146 – per-minute-per-game – $11,232
  • James Harden -$43,848,000 – per-minute-per-game – $11,140
  • LeBron James – $41,180,544 – per-minute-per-game – $10,462
  • Kevin Durant –  $40,918,900 – per-minute-per-game – $10,396
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo – $39,344,970 – per-minute-per-game – $9,996
  • Kawhi Leonard – $39,344,900 – per-minute-per-game – $9,996
  • Kyrie Irving – $34,916,200 – per-minute-per-game – $8,870
  • Devin Booker – $31,610,000 – per-minute-per-game – $8,030
  • Ben Simmons – $31,590,000 – per-minute-per-game – $8,025
  • Joel Embiid – $31,579,390 – per-minute-per-game – $8,023
  • Chris Paul – $30,800,000 – per-minute-per-game – $7,825
  • Nikola Jokic – $30,510,423 – per-minute-per-game – $7,751
  • Kyle Lowry – $26,984,128 – per-minute-per-game – $6,855
  • Draymond Green – $24,026,712 – per-minute-per-game – $6,104
  • Lonzo Ball – $19,767,442 – per-minute-per-game – $5,022
  • Thaddeus Young – $14,190,000 – per-minute-per-game – $3,605
  • Derrick Rose – $13,445,120 – per-minute-per-game – $3,415
  • Kyle Kuzma – $13,000,000 – per-minute-per-game – $3,302
  • Luka Doncic – $10,174,391 – per-minute-per-game – $2,584
  • Trae Young – $8,326,471 – per-minute-per-game – $2,115
  • Joakim Noah – $6,431,666 – per-minute-per-game – $1,634
  • Rajon Rondo – $2,641,691 – per-minute-per-game –  $671
How Much Do NBA Players Make Per Game?

How Much do NBA Players Make Per Second?

Looking even deeper, we can drill down how much an NBA player can expect to make per-second, per-game played.  Simple math calls for 60-seconds to be multiplied by 48 total minutes played per game, with the end result being multiplied by an 82-game season.  60-seconds multiplied by 48-minutes multiplied by 82-games gives us a total of 236,160 maximum seconds played in an NBA season without any overtime play.  Dividing this number by a player’s salary will give us the amount an individual player earns per second of an NBA season.

  • Average NBA Salary – $7.5 million – per-second-per-game – $31.75
  • Stephen Curry – $45,780,966 – per-second-per-game – $193.85
  • Russel Westbrook – $44,211,146 – per-second-per-game – $187.20
  • James Harden -$43,848,000 – per-second-per-game – $185.67
  • LeBron James – $41,180,544 – per-second-per-game – $174.37
  • Kevin Durant –  $40,918,900 – per-second-per-game – $173.26
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo – $39,344,970 – per-second-per-game – $166.60
  • Kawhi Leonard – $39,344,900 – per-second-per-game – $166.60
  • Kyrie Irving – $34,916,200 – per-second-per-game – $147.84
  • Devin Booker – $31,610,000 – per-second-per-game – $133.85
  • Ben Simmons – $31,590,000 – per-second-per-game – $133.76
  • Joel Embiid – $31,579,390 – per-second-per-game – $133.72
  • Chris Paul – $30,800,000 – per-second-per-game – $130.42
  • Nikola Jokic – $30,510,423 – per-second-per-game – $129.19
  • Kyle Lowry – $26,984,128 – per-second-per-game – $114.26
  • Draymond Green – $24,026,712 – per-second-per-game – $101.73
  • Lonzo Ball – $19,767,442 – per-second-per-game – $83.70
  • Thaddeus Young – $14,190,000 – per-second-per-game – $60.08
  • Derrick Rose – $13,445,120 – per-second-per-game – $56.93
  • Kyle Kuzma – $13,000,000 – per-second-per-game – $55.04
  • Luka Doncic – $10,174,391 – per-second-per-game – $43.08
  • Trae Young – $8,326,471 – per-second-per-game – $35.25
  • Joakim Noah – $6,431,666 – per-second-per-game – $27.23
  • Rajon Rondo – $2,641,691 – per-second-per-game –  $11.18

Conclusion

While it is a well-known fact that NBA players are generally well-paid, seeing these numbers broken down by game, by minute, and by second definitely puts their salaries into perspective.  Interestingly enough, these numbers do not include any endorsement deals or bonuses that these players may receive.  And while these numbers are truly staggering, it really brings up an interesting question of, just how much do NBA team owners profit off a team after paying these salaries?  What do you think, do you think that NBA players are overpaid or are they worth the salaries they receive?

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