Who Are The Poorest NBA Players? Current and All-Time

Poor and NBA player doesn’t seem to go together, right?

After all, pro basketball players are the best-paid athletes in the world. How would they even become poor?

Unfortunately, most NBA players go broke after leaving the league. With that said, who are these poor players?

The poorest NBA players of all time based on their net worths are Delonte West ($1,000), Darius Miles ($100,000), Lattrell Sprewell ($150,000), and Antoine Walker ($250,000).

So, how exactly did these players become poor? What decides an NBA player’s salary, and how else can they make money? Let’s find out.

Who are the Poorest NBA Players?

When players get a chance to play in the NBA, it’s generally thought they’d be set for life.

But, even if they earn a ton of money, they would still find a way to blow them all out.

Although the guys listed here are still considerably wealthy compared to the average citizen, they’re poor compared to their peers. So, let’s look at which players lead the list of current and all-time poorest players.

Current NBA Season (2022-23)

To provide context, the players in this current list are rookies or guys who have only been around for a few years.

As such, they’re not really poor, but they haven’t made enough money, unlike players on the all-time list below. Plus, the players listed here are all on minimum contracts.

It’s important to note that the league has a minimum salary based on the number of years of experience a player has. So, veteran players will understandably make more money than rookies even when they’re all on a minimum contract.  

NBA PlayerSalary for 2022-23
1. Charles Bassey$74,742
2. Demetrius Jackson$92,857
3. Troy Williams$122,741
4. Sam Merrill$150,000
5. Wendell Moore Jr.$230,620
6. D.J. Wilson$250,000
7. Didi Louzada$268,032
8. Trevelin Queen$330,000
9. D.J. Augustin$333,333
10. Malik Fitts$555,217


When it comes to the poorest NBA player, we’ve found that most of them are guys that played in the 90s and early 2000s.

The most recent players to retire in this list are Delonte West and Allen Iverson. So, without further ado, let’s look at this list.

NBA PlayerNet Worth
1. Delonte West$1,000
2. Darius Miles$100,000
3. Latrell Sprewell$150,000
4. Antoine Walker$250,000
5. Vin Baker$500,000
6. Dennis Rodman$500,000
7. Kenny Anderson$800,000
8. Allen Iverson$1,000,000
9. Derrick Coleman$2,000,000
10. Eddy Curry$3,000,000

Looking at this list, most of these NBA players are still richer than the average American. Only Delonte West has hit rock bottom with nothing to his name after career earnings of $16 million.

Why do NBA Players go Broke?

Now that we know who the poorest NBA players are, what made them poor in the first place?

The truth is, there’s not a single factor that determines this. It’s a result of years of bad financial decisions. But we’ve narrowed down the five main reasons in this post – Why Do NBA Players Go Broke?

Ultimately, no matter how rich a player gets, he’ll be poor if he doesn’t know how to manage it.

What Influences an NBA Player’s Salary?

If you’re wondering why players have different salaries, numerous factors affect this.

Here are they:

1. His stats

Have you ever wondered why almost all NBA superstars are at the top of the best-paid players?

That’s because the league directly rewards the players with the most contributions. This means their salaries are based on their points, shooting percentage, rebounds, steals, turnovers, and other stats.

This makes sense since you get paid for what you contribute to the team. But it can also sometimes backfire since a player can regress just as much in a short time.

2. His experience

After his stats, a player’s salary is also determined by his experience. To make things fair, as mentioned above, players on minimum contracts are also paid based on their experience.

To illustrate further, the NBA updates the minimum salaries each season. For 2022, here are they:

Years of ExperienceSalary

For players not on a minimum contract, their years of experience are also considered. Basically, the longer you’ve been in the league, the higher your salary will be compared to rookies.

3. Other factors/intangibles

Aside from the tangibles, their stats, and experience, a player’s salary may also be determined by other intangible factors.

These aspects may or may not be seen on paper, but they tell a player’s overall value. These include:

  • Attitude
  • Leadership
  • Susceptibility to injuries
  • All-Star appearances
  • Individual accolades
  • Championships
  • Playoffs appearances

Overall, a player’s salary will be directly tied to his value to the team. This is why Steph Curry, the highest-paid player in 2022-23, is paid $48 million.

How Else Do NBA Players Earn Money?

Most NBA players make their money from their salaries. But aside from that, they can also make money from various sources.

If a player doesn’t want to get broke even after he’s retired, he can utilize these numerous ways to make money:

  • Endorsements and deals
  • Bonuses
  • Businesses
  • Investments in the stock market, crypto, NFT

The differences between the wealthiest NBA players and the poorest are their financial management strategies and their sources of income.

If most players focused on these two things, they wouldn’t go broke after they retire.

Final Thoughts

NBA players are some of the best-paid athletes in the world. But many still found ways to blow through all of their riches.

Ultimately, they can only blame themselves and their bad financial decisions. But thankfully, these new players have learned from the mistakes of their predecessors.

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