NBA players who were paid like stars (but were not)

By | September 26, 2023

Throughout league history, there are always players who are not at that top tier who get paid in the upper echelon.

We delved into instances where mere role players or high-quality starters received star-like paychecks, landing in the Top 20 in salaries for at least one season. Such situations might arise due to the market dynamics of the time or simply miscalculations by their front offices.

Here is a list that includes 22 players, including Chandler Parsons, Sam Bowie, and media personality Jalen Rose.

Harrison Barnes

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Highest rank: No. 15 in

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Nets expect Simmons to be full camp participant

Tim Bontemps, ESPNSep 26, 2023, 12:48 PM ET

When the Brooklyn Nets open training camp next week, Ben Simmons is expected to be a full participant.

That was the message from Nets coach Jacque Vaughn and general manager Sean Marks to reporters Tuesday morning in Brooklyn, where they said Simmons is fully participating in 5-on-5 workouts without any restrictions, and should be ready to go when the first practice of training camp gets underway in a week.

“Ben is playing 5-on-5 with no restrictions, so he should be ready for training camp,” Vaughn said. “Pretty simple that way which is good for me to say, and I think that fits into an exciting time for me to have this group together. No restrictions at the beginning of the year — get to form an identity together, get to form some relationships at the beginning of the year, a style of play, so really

Middleton not concerned about Giannis' future

Tim Bontemps, ESPNSep 21, 2023, 12:34 PM ET

Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton has heard the comments Giannis Antetokounmpo has made over the past several weeks. But unlike the rest of the NBA universe, which has been caught off guard by Antetokounmpo’s open acknowledgement of uncertainty about his future, Middleton said it was simply an extension of the things Antetokounmpo has consistently been saying for years.

“I think it’s kind of business as usual either way,” Middleton told ESPN in a phone interview. “It doesn’t affect me personally. I don’t think it affects us as a team. I think this is something he said almost every year he’s come up in contract extension talks.

“We always want him back for sure. Let’s be for sure and let everyone know that. We want this guy to come back because he’s one of the best players in the world. He’s one of the best players

Police told Cavs' Altman he nearly caused wreck

Associated Press

Sep 20, 2023, 03:51 PM ET

CLEVELAND — Body camera footage of Cavaliers executive Koby Altman undergoing field sobriety tests shows him being told by officers that he nearly caused an accident last week before he was arrested and charged with driving while impaired.

On Wednesday, the Cavaliers issued a new statement about their president of basketball operations, who was arrested Friday night near downtown Cleveland. Altman was first stopped by Ohio State Highway Patrol officers for a traffic violation before refusing a breath test and being taken into custody.

The team released a brief initial statement a day after Altman’s arrest. It followed up with more comment a day after the bodycam video emerged and Altman pleaded not guilty through his attorney in court.

“We hold our team members to a high standard of conduct and expect leaders at every level of our organization to represent the Cavaliers with integrity, professionalism and

Why the Commanders' $6 billion bidding war was one Josh Harris had to win

Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Senior WriterSep 26, 2023, 08:00 AM ET

CloseSenior writer for ESPN.comSpent seven years at the Los Angeles Daily News

IT’S 9:04 P.M. ON a steamy Monday in late August, and new Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris is standing in a booth he never imagined he’d occupy, in between two legends he never imagined he’d meet: broadcaster Joe Buck and Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman.

As Harris, all 5-foot-8 of him, prepares for a live interview, the producers have a dilemma: Buck is 6-1, Aikman is 6-4. They’re in town to work ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast of the Commanders’ preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. If Harris stands between them, the height difference will be noticeable.

How do you ask a man who just spent $6.05 billion — the highest price in history for any North American sports franchise — to … stand on a wooden box?

To anyone who used

NBA offseason survey: MVP picks, summer winners and Wemby's ceiling

Tim Bontemps, ESPNSep 26, 2023, 08:00 AM ET

The 2023-24 NBA season is fast approaching.

The league will reconvene for training camp Monday, kicking off a nearly nine-month odyssey to determine who will hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June.

The offseason was dominated by chatter surrounding two disgruntled superstar guards: the Portland Trail BlazersDamian Lillard and Philadelphia 76ersJames Harden, both of whom remain with their respective teams with four weeks until opening night.

But while nothing has happened yet in those sticky situations, plenty of changes have rocked the NBA over the past couple of months, as 29 teams attempt to catch Nikola Jokic and the reigning champion Denver Nuggets.

To assess what’s taken place this summer and what lies ahead this season, ESPN polled 15 scouts, coaches and executives from across the NBA on the battle for the mantle of league’s best player, offseason winners and losers and championship predictions.

1. Who

Buddy Hield trade rumors: Three possible destinations with Pacers sharpshooter on the block again

Getty Images

The news that the Indiana Pacers are looking into trades for Buddy Hield isn’t especially surprising. The Pacers have three ascending guards in Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard that all need more minutes and more shots. They just signed Bruce Brown to a hefty contract in free agency, and T.J. McConnell is still around for backcourt depth as well. Hield can help the Pacers, but he’s not exactly a necessity in Indiana.

The ironic component of this news is the timing. Buddy Hield has lost his safety school. Hield has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers for two years. Such a deal made plenty of sense. The Lakers have been among the NBA’s worst shooting teams for practically the entire LeBron James era. Hield has never played with a shot-creator

Damian Lillard trade request is 'unsettling' for Blazers, but Chauncey Billups says he'll always support him

The Portland Trail Blazers are in limbo. Franchise player Damian Lillard wants to be traded to the Miami Heat specifically, and, as general manager Joe Cronin said at a press conference in July, often more than one destination is required for a team to get a fair return for a superstar. There is no guarantee that this situation will be resolved before media day, which is only a week and a half away.

If nothing changes soon, then Portland coach Chauncey Billups’ job during training camp, which begins on Oct. 3, will be tricky. With the Lillard situation hanging over the team, other Blazers know that they could be included in a blockbuster trade or see their roles change afterward. They also know they’ll have to answer questions about all this, ideally without feeding into what could

What you need to know about Giannis Antetokounmpo's next contract

NBA Insiders

Sep 21, 2023, 08:00 AM ET

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo becomes eligible to sign a contract extension on Friday, his first chance to recommit to the franchise since he signed a supermax extension before the 2020-21 season.

Antetokounmpo still has two years remaining on his contract, plus a player option for a third year, but his timeline toward free agency is ticking quickly. For now, Antetokounmpo, 28, remains committed to the Bucks, but he has reiterated this offseason that his loyalty to the organization is contingent on the team remaining in championship contention.

Every season of Antetokounmpo’s career comes with heightened expectations. Already a two-time MVP, he averaged a career-high 31.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists during the 2022-23 season and finished third in MVP voting.

Yet, the Bucks are coming off a disappointing finish in last year’s postseason, going from the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs to losing