They say that time is money so, with that in mind, we calculated how much NBA players earned each time that they stepped on the court.
Our study only included players who appeared in at least 100 games in the NBA. We examined their total career earnings and divided it by their total game appearances. Based on these calculations, the player who earned the most money per game in league history is three-time NBA All-Star point guard Gilbert Arenas.
Despite appearing in just 13 games during the 2007-08 regular season, the former point guard signed a six-year deal with the Washington Wizards worth $111 million.
During the first year of the contract, he played only two games due to various injuries. Arenas played only 53 more regular-season games for the Wizards before he was eventually traded in December 2010. The point guard was waived in 2011 and played his final NBA game in 2013.
Much like Arenas, who played 552 games in his career, many of the players who topped this list had early success in the league and earned large contracts but whose careers were cut short due to injury. The most notable of this type are Brandon Roy, Greg Oden and Nikola Pekovic. None of those three had reached 350 games played before they were forced into early retirements.
Oden scored just 840 points before his final NBA game, earning $34,213 for each point he scored in his career. According to our research department, that figure ranks No. 12 overall among all who ever played at least 100 games.
Some less surprising players mentioned include Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Chris Webber and Alonzo Mourning. All four of those players were also among the highest-paid players in NBA history when adjusted to inflation.
There are eight players who are currently in the NBA that made this list and none rank higher than Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid. The big man is still owed $122.2 million on his contract, which ranks No. 21 among all the players in the league.
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