It’s that time again when we’re mid-way through the NBA season, and players are working harder than ever to get their team to the top of the league. Of course, the world of the NBA is full of incredible athletes … with even more incredible salaries to match.
This ranges from big-name players like Steph Curry and LeBron James to some notable newcomers.
Yet out of these, only a total of 27 players will earn more than $33.1 million in the 2022-23 season.
But how many of these high-earning players are putting forth great results on the court? And which NBA players are really overachieving, according to our findings?
How We Calculated These Overachievers
We wanted to find out who the overachievers were in 2022 and what’s in store for their 2023 performance. Judging by their overall index scores and how these compared to other NBA stars who played more (or even fewer) minutes but earned significantly more — or achieved a higher number of field goals or 3-pointers — it was really interesting.
But what are the key findings?
Revealed: 2022-2023’s Top 5 NBA Overachievers
Essentially, the higher the index score for a player, according to our data, the harder working the NBA player is. Beyond fun stories like this one, USBettingReport.com has reviews of the best sports betting apps.
Kevin Durant Biggest Overachiever
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant is the NBA’s biggest overachiever, having the best index score for the 2022-2023 season, at 4.86. He’s hit 71 3-pointers so far, has 207 assists, and is earning $44,119,845 million — $34,043 per minute played.
The proof in the pudding? This lies with the whopping 1,403 minutes KD has played, which was the highest amount out of all the top 15 players reviewed! So, Durant is clearly killing it on the court, putting his blood, sweat, and tears into every minute spent.
Next up for overachieving status was Lakers superstar, LeBron James, coming in second place. Considered one of the greatest NBA players in history, it’s not surprising LeBron achieved an index score of 4.76, but KD still beat him. However, LeBron earned a higher salary per point at an impressive $52,883, over Durant’s $41,466.
LeBron played fewer minutes on the court than the first-place overachiever, playing 1,232 minutes compared to KD’s 1,403. Plus, the top two overachievers had a nearly matching salary. LeBron still earned a bit more ($44,474,988) but had an easier time, putting in fewer hours than Durant to achieve his extra $355,143.
Third-place overachiever, the Clippers’ Paul George, who had an index score of 4.75, beat the top two in this department, earning $59,932 per point scored. And fourth-place, overachieving baller — Damian Lillard — racked up an even higher amount, earning $64,578 per point scored. Lillard achieved a total index score of 4.71, making 100 3-pointers in this time period, which was actually higher than LeBron (59) and KD (71).
Steph Curry Takes Fifth Spot
NBA superstar and Warrior legend Steph Curry took the fifth spot for overachievers in 2022. And when it comes to his salary from 2021-2023 overall, he truly takes the crown!
Curry earns a huge $48 million in 2022-23. His salary is higher than any other NBA player on our list, even though the minutes he’s played are significantly less than other players who have higher overall index scores.
As you can see by our graphic, Curry’s index score of 4.711 came just behind Lillard’s 4.734.
The Biggest Underachiever
Since the NBA is home to a great deal of winning players and overachievers, we wanted to see who the biggest underachiever was. And we can reveal this; in 2022, the Bucks’ Khris Middleton had the lowest index score (0.24) but the highest salary overall at $37.948 million, particularly when considering his minutes played (171), field goals (25) and assists (31).
It’s really important to consider Middleton’s status in the season, too, after suffering a significant injury, which naturally impacted his ability to play and his overall score as result.
The Richest NBA Players in 2023…
As well as overachievers, we were able to determine who the richest players are in 2023, judging by their current salary agreements. The top five highest-paid players are:
- Steph Curry, Warriors — $48,070,014
- Russell Westbrook, Lakers — $47,064,478
- LeBron James, Lakers — $44,474,988
- Kevin Durant, Nets — $44,119,845
- Bradley Beal, Wizards — $43,279,250
The Biggest Earners Per Age
LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Kyle Lowry are the biggest earners for 2023 over the age of 35. However, Paolo Banchero, Anthony Edwards, and Cade Cunningham will earn the most in 2023 for the 21-and-under category.
And Cunningham beats the lot, earning $10.553 million — with an index score of 3.29, which is quite the surprise since this is much lower than the No. 1 overachiever in this category — Pacers star Benedict Mathurin (4.91). These players are the ones to look out for in the next couple of years as they progress in their careers.
USBettingReport.com produced an overall index by calculating the salary for each NBA player per each factor given (including minutes played, field goals, 3-pointers, assists, and points). Then, we indexed each to provide a score between 0 and 1 for the below:
- Salary per minute — A low value gives a high score, and a high value gives a low score.
- Salary per field goal — A low value gives a high score, and a high value gives a low score.
- Salary per 3-pointer — A low value gives a high score, and a high value gives a low score.
- Salary per assist — A low value gives a high score, and a high value gives a low score.
- Salary per point — A low value gives a high score, and a high value gives a low score.
We first collected data on the top 15 richest players in the NBA before looking at their 2021-2022 performance in their last full season to see who worked the hardest for their salaries.
Featured Image: U.S. Betting Report