The 20 Most Underpaid Players in the NBA Today

These 20 ballers still make pretty good money, but based on their numbers they probably deserve to make a lot more.

Montrezl Harrell Lou Williams Game 5 2019 NBA Playoffs
USA Today Sports

Apr 24, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; LA Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell (5) celebrates with guard Lou Williams (23) after a play against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter in game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Montrezl Harrell Lou Williams Game 5 2019 NBA Playoffs

How much do numbers matter in the NBA? That depends on whom you ask.

Some notable figures, like Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, believe numbers are everything. Others—like retired players Charles Barkley and Karl Malone—think the emphasis on quantifiable variables has gone way too far. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. 

No one would debate this, though: to put a championship-caliber team on the court, you have to manage the salary cap well. You can’t invest in bad assets. Sometimes teams get lucky and sign a player at exactly the right moment—like when the Dubs inked Steph Curry to a four-year, $44 million contract prior to the 2012-13 season despite his ankle issues. Decent move.

Other times, teams wreck their future by dishing out a monster deal at the exact wrong moment—like when the Knicks gave Eddy Curry $60 million in 2005...or Amar’e Stoudemire $100 million in 2010...or Joakim Noah $73 million in 2016. Not ideal.

If you want to compete with the best in the NBA, you need a few players who make a big impact at a bargain-bin price tag. Here are the 20 most underpaid players in the NBA for the 2018-19 season.

(We did not include players currently on their rookie contracts. Otherwise, a number of emerging standouts—like Domantas Sabonis, Buddy Hield, and D’Angelo Russell—would have a rightful place on this list.)

20. Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant Thunder Pistons Dunk 2019

19. Dewayne Dedmon

Dewayne Dedmon Hawks 2019

18. D.J. Augustin

DJ Augustin Raptors Magic 2019 Playoffs

17. Noah Vonleh

Noah Vonleh Knicks Cavs 2019

16. Nerlens Noel

Nerlens Noel Blake Griffin Thunder Pistons 2019

15. Seth Curry

Seth Curry Blazers Wolves 2019

14. Tomas Satoransky

Tomas Satoransky Wizards Celtics 2019

13. Jusuf Nurkic

Jusuf Nurkic Blazers Pistons 2019

12. Al-Farouq Aminu

Al Farouq Aminu Tunnel 2019 Playoffs

11. Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

10. Julius Randle

Julius Randle Pelicans Rockets 2019

9. Marcus Morris

Marcus Morris Pacers Celtics Game 4 2019 Playoffs

8. DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins

7. Nikola Vucevic

Nikola Vecevic Magic Hawks 2019

6. Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade Gabrielle Union Nets Heat 2019

5. Montrezl Harrell

Montrezl Harrell Clippers Warriors Game 2 2019 Playoffs

4. Khris Middleton

Khris Middleton Bucks Pistons 2019 Playoffs

3. Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker Hornets Raptors 2017

2. Spencer Dinwiddie

Spencer Dinwiddie Nets Sixers 2019 Playoffs

1. Lou Williams

Lou Williams Clippers Warriors 2019

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