Free agency brings many things. The free agency period is one of the most exciting parts about the NBA off season. Your team likely has a chance to improve, either by addition or subtraction, and if lucky enough, a team might be able to land a high profile star to rank up in contender status. Contracts are handed out and some players are judged by whether they want to win, or if they just want the money.

That brings us to the idea of players signing for max money, but how about the ones that sign for less, or leave money on the table for one reason or another.

Just who has taken the largest pay cut in the NBA over the years. Whether it was not taking a new contract from a new team, or taking less than the max to help his team have more flexibility for more players? The player would has taken less than offered more than anyone else would be Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki was offered a max contract in 2014 by the Houston Rockets in free agency, which he turned down to stay in Dallas.

The salaries given are in the following order: what they were making the previous season, what they were offered in free agency, and what they actually signed for.

  1. ($14.747MM) Dirk Nowitzki, $22.721MM — $7.974MM: Re-signed with Mavericks
  2. ($14,488MM) Emeka Okafor, $14.488MM: Unsigned – herniated disc in neck
  3. ($12.158MM) Pau Gasol, $19.286MM — $7.128MM: Signed with Bulls
  4. ($11.944MM) Danny Granger, $14.021MM* — $2.077MM: Signed with Heat.
  5. ($10.028MM) Paul Pierce, $15.333MM — $5.305MM: Signed with Wizards
  6. ($9.598MM) Richard Jefferson, $11.046MM — $1.448MM: Signed with Mavericks
  7. ($9MM) Andris Biedrins, $9MM: Unsigned
  8. ($8.7MM) Ben Gordon, $13.2MM — $4.5MM: Signed with Magic
  9. ($7.869MM) Shawn Marion: $9.317MM — $1.448MM**: Agreed to sign with the Cavaliers
  10. ($7.75MM) Kris Humphries, $12MM — $4.25MM: Signed-and-traded to Wizards

[button width=”full” button size=”bigger” color=”custom” align=”center” textcolor=”#ffffff” texthcolor=”#ffffff” bgcolor=”#8b0000″ link=””]NEXT: Dirk Nowitzki to opt out of next contract, but wants to remain a Maverick[/button]