Top 10 Most Expensive Benchwarmers in the NBA

t’s no secret that NBA players earn an eye-watering amount of money, but with each team having 15 players, this means that a lot of time can be spent warming the bench. 

With this in mind, a new study has revealed the most expensive benchwarmers in the NBA, and Chicago Bulls Patrick Williams features, earning $17,588 per minute of play. 

OLBG have revealed the NBA’s most expensive benchwarmers by looking at the number of minutes each athlete played in the 2021/22 season against their annual salary to calculate who earned the most money for the least amount of time played.

RankPlayerTeamSalaryMinutes PlayedEarnings per Minute
1Markelle FultzOrlando Magic$16.5m360$45,833
2Brook LopezMilwaukee Bucks$13.3m298$44,639
3Joe HarrisBrooklyn Nets$17.4m423$41,033
4Klay ThompsonGolden State Warriors$38.0m941$40,362
5Derrick RoseNew York Knicks$13.4m636$21,140
6Udonis HaslemMiami Heat$1.7m83$20,111
7Michael Porter Jr.Denver Nuggets$5.3m265$19,844
8Thomas BryantWashington Wizards$8.7m439$19,742
9Ricky RubioCleveland Cavaliers$17.8m970$18,351
10Patrick WilliamsChicago Bulls$7.4m422$17,588

The research revealed the following:

  • Orlando Magic’s Markelle Fultz has been named the most expensive bench warmer in the study – after appearing in 18 games during the 2021-22 season, Fultz is estimated to have played an average of only 20 minutes per game
  • Brook Lopez’s back injury on the opening night of the 2021-22 season meant the player didn’t return to the squad until March 2022 following his operation – this break from play didn’t stop the basketballer earning $44,639 per minute on the court that season. 
  • Joe Harris’s 423 minutes were capped after a recurring ankle injury which saw his involvement in the season cut short – this has led to him taking rank as the 3rd most expensive bench warmer after earning $40,362 per minute of play. 

You can view the full study here: https://www.olbg.com/us/blogs/earnings-on-the-bench