Much has been made of the limited playing time Larry Sanders has seen to start the season. A thumb injury he suffered in a fight at a nightclub a week ago has kept him out of action since, but he’s yet to play a single fourth-quarter minute in the three games in which he’s appeared so far. It’s not what anyone expected after the Bucks signed him to a four-year, $44MM extension in the summer, and Sanders has been frustrated with his reduced role, as he told Steve Aschburner of NBA.com.
Of course, it’s early, and it would be an even greater surprise if Sanders’ minutes-per-game average continues to hang around 17.3, where it stands for the time being. He’s not the only player seeing more bench time than court time among those who signed eight-figure deals in the offseason.
Here are the half-dozen players who have at appeared in at least one game this season but have failed to log 20 minutes per contest on new deals worth at least $10MM.
- Larry Sanders, Bucks (four years, $44MM) — 17.3 MPG
- Andrew Bynum, Cavaliers (two years, $24.79MM) — 13.8 MPG
- Keith Bogans, Celtics (three years, $15.847MM) — 3.0 MPG
- Timofey Mozgov, Nuggets (three years, $14MM) — 17.0 MPG
- Quincy Pondexter, Grizzlies (four years, $14MM) — 15.7 MPG
- Marreese Speights, Warriors (three years, $10.973MM) — 14.1 MPG
Four others who’ve signed deals of $10MM or more have injuries that have kept them from playing at all this season:
- Al Jefferson, Bobcats (three years, $40.5MM)
- Carl Landry, Kings (four years, $26.047MM)
- Chase Budinger, Timberwolves (three years, $15MM)
- Brandan Wright, Mavericks — (two years, $10MM)
J.R. Smith re-signed with the Knicks on a three-year, $17.947MM contract this summer, but he’s just now making his season debut this afternoon against the Spurs because of a five-game drug-related suspension.
The Hoops Rumors 2013 Free Agent Tracker was used in the creation of this post.