A player whose career arc I once compared to Myspace, Gilbert Arenas will be the third-highest player in the NBA next season; even though there’s a 99 percent chance he won’t play a single minute on an NBA court.
Also known as ‘Agent Zero’ or ‘The Hibachi’, the total amount of salary Arenas will earn next season will be $22,346,536 according to Hoopshype. It’s the last year of a six-year contract he signed with the Washington Wizards before the 2008-09 season. Knee injuries—and coming back too soon from them—prevented Arenas from performing up to the lavish contract.
One of the most explosive scorers in the league when healthy, Arenas last played in the NBA in the 2011-12 season for the Memphis Grizzlies where he played 17 regular season games and averaged 4.2 points. He also played in six of seven playoff games for Memphis, but shot just 25 percent from the field, totaling only four points. That’s a far cry from the 29.3 points Arenas averaged during the 2005-06 season, only to follow it up with 34 per game in the playoffs.
After his stint with the Grizzlies, Arenas signed a contract to play basketball for the Shanghai Sharks of the China Basketball Association (CBA). During the 2012-13 season in the CBA, he averaged 20.7 points in 27.3 minutes per game. 20.7 is also the career points per game average for Arenas during his 11 seasons in the NBA.
Kobe Bryant ($30,453,805) and Dirk Nowitzki ($22,721,381) will be the highest and second-highest paid NBA players next season, though neither trump Michael Jordan’s 1997-98 salary of $33,140,000.
Edit: Though Arenas didn’t play a single game in the NBA last season, he was still paid the fifth year of the six-year contract he signed in 2008, which was $20,807,922. That means he could make as much as $43,154,458 without playing a lick in the NBA in two years. Must be nice.