NBA Assistant Coach Salary [2024]

There’s no denying the importance of head coaches, but so do assistant coaches. Have you ever wondered how much NBA assistant coaches make? If so, you are not alone!

The National Basketball Association is one of the world’s biggest sports leagues. They have been well-known for paying different kinds of positions a good amount of money. However, not a lot of people know how much money coaches make.

In this article, I will discuss the average NBA assistant coach salary for you to have a better understanding of how much they make. Check it out!

What Is The Job Of An NBA Assistant Coach?

Aside from the head coach, the NBA assistant coach is also responsible for conducting basketball practice, watching game replays, reminding players of their duties, and many more.

The life of an assistant coach isn’t easy as one would think; they are usually tasked with many responsibilities. Here are some of the duties of an assistant coach.

Game Preparation

While the head coach is responsible for the entire team, an assistant coach’s primary responsibility is the things that require time that most head coaches don’t have the luxury of.

Assistant coaches are often tasked with in-game basketball preparations, evaluating opposing teams, and executing offensive and defensive strategies during live games.

In addition, like most NBA teams, there are multiple assistant coaches in one NBA team. As a result, it makes an assistant coach’s life easier to prioritize some important details.

While these coaches help their NBA players do the necessary preparations, the head coach is still the primary decision-maker for the entire team.

Other miscellaneous responsibilities of an assistant coach also include preparing meals, making travel arrangements, and other responsibilities.

Constant Presence

Regardless of the time, the presence of an assistant coach will remind players of their duties towards the game.

It’s why one of their duties is to be constantly present, regardless of the occasion.

It can be during birthday celebrations, special events, or team practice, and it should showcase proper behavior to the entire team at all times.

As a result, NBA players have more access to their assistant coaches far more than their head coach.

Assistant coaches are also more likely to go the extra mile regarding player relations. It means they must constantly communicate with their players and monitor their activities.

Also, during the draft combine, assistant coaches have to communicate with the parents of their potential draftees during and after signing contracts.

Team Recruitment

One of the assistant and head coach’s most important duties is recruiting new talent when the NBA draft nears.

Almost all of their job descriptions entail them to scout for potential players and help in any way to recruit this young talent.

While the head coach is training the entire team, the assistant coach always looks for potential players joining the team and improving their chances of drafting this particular player during draft night.

Facilitating

They are also tasked to facilitate and build relationships with these players to bring them onto the team.

Head coaches often don’t have the time to build rapport with these new players, which is why this responsibility falls on the shoulders of the assistant coach.

Lastly, they make travel arrangements, paperwork, records, and many administrative duties when the draft time nears.

Reviewing of Previous Games Played and Replays

NBA assistant coaches are also responsible for reviewing replays of previous games, seeing what area of the team needs improvement, and identifying mistakes made during the game.

In addition, NBA assistant coaches are tasked to foresee an entire basketball game replay and check on areas of concern that a head coach doesn’t normally see from the outside.

This scenario isn’t only applicable during replays; most NBA assistant coaches are also responsible for seeing things from a better perspective during practice sessions.

During practice sessions, assistant coaches can advise their players on which areas they need to improve and what areas they are particularly good at.

Most assistant coaches are also the best resource for gathering information about the team and other opposing teams during games.

It’s one of the more obvious reasons there are multiple assistant coaches in one team.

Other assistants, such as the athletic skills assistant and a video coordinator, provide all the necessary details when reviewing team replays.

How Much On Average Do NBA Assistant Coaches Earn?

The average NBA assistant coach salary is deeply varied. Many organizations don’t disclose any information due to organization policies and secrecy.

However, they get a fair share of criticism for how well they earn just being an assistant coach. For context, a head coach can easily make an average salary of $3 million per year.

On the other hand, assistant coaches make around $100,000 to $1,000,000 per year. The average NBA assistant coach’s salary in 2022 was $250,000 per year.

However, it is rare for an NBA assistant coach to make more than $1,000,000 a year.

How Much Does The NBA’s Highest-Paid Assistant Coach Earn?

Jason Kidd, the current head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, a member of the Naismith basketball hall of fame, and considered one of the best point guards in history, is also the highest-paid assistant NBA coach in the National Basketball Association.

He signed a four-year $6.5 million contract for the Los Angeles Lakers, making him the highest-paid assistant basketball coach in NBA history.

He is no longer an NBA assistant coach for the said franchise, but most assistant coach contracts are fully guaranteed, which means he is still getting paid by the organization.

Jason Kidd, along with Frank Vogel, helped LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers team capture the 2019-20 NBA championship.

Who Are the Other Lowly-Paid Assistant Coaches in the NBA?

According to multiple sources, some of the lowest-paid assistant coaches earn around $32,000 a year; while this number is difficult to validate, if this is true, then they earn less than the average U.S. salary.

How Much On Average Do NBA Head Coaches Earn?

According to multiple sources, the average salary of most NBA head coaches ranges around the $2 to 4 million range.

However, head coaches such as Greg Popovich, Frank Vogel, Jason Kidd, and other coaches from the National Basketball Association are making more than that.

The highest-paid NBA coaches in the NBA make closer to $10 million, while NBA assistants are only making a fraction of what they are earning, and I feel like the average assistant coach’s salary should be increased.

How Much Do College Basketball Coaches Make?

When it comes to the annual salary of college coaches, there’s quite a disparity in how much every head coach is paid.

For example, Mike Krzyzewski is raking up $9,000,000 yearly for the Duke Blue Devils, whereas Johnny Jones, who coaches the Texas Southern, is only getting around $250,000 yearly.

The disparity between the coach salary of these coaches is based on what these college schools earn through their respective sports teams.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have further questions regarding the NBA assistant coach’s salary, you might find them below.

Who Is the Highest-Paid Coach in the NBA?

Gregg Popovich. No surprises here! He has coached the San Antonio Spurs since 1996 and has delivered five NBA championships.

Like Phil Jackson, you get paid as long as you deliver championship rings during your time as the head coach.

In fact, Phil Jackson was one of the highest-paid NBA coaches in the 90s during his time with the Bulls and early 2000s when he was still with the Lakers franchise.

On the other hand, Gregg Popovich has been the highest-paid NBA coach for quite some time now, and it shouldn’t change soon as he is still under contract until 2023.

How Many Assistant Coaches are on Each NBA Team?

The average wage of assistant basketball coaches varies depending on your state. If you refer to the list below, the Detroit Pistons have the most number of assistant coaches in 13.

NBA Teams:

  • Atlanta Hawks – 5
  • Boston Celtics – 6
  • Brooklyn Nets – 7
  • Charlotte Hornets – 8
  • Chicago Bulls – 6
  • Cleveland Cavaliers – 6
  • Dallas Mavericks – 6
  • Denver Nuggets – 8
  • Detroit Pistons – 13
  • Golden State Warriors – 6
  • Houston Rockets – 5
  • Indiana Pacers – 7
  • Los Angeles Clippers – 9
  • Los Angeles Lakers – 6
  • Memphis Grizzlies – 7
  • Miami Heat – 6
  • Milwaukee Bucks – 9
  • Minnesota Timberwolves – 6
  • New Orleans Pelicans – 6
  • New York Knicks – 5
  • Oklahoma City Thunder – 6
  • Orlando Magic – 6
  • Philadelphia 76ers – 7
  • Phoenix Suns – 8
  • Portland Trail Blazers – 5
  • Sacramento Kings – 7
  • San Antonio Spurs – 4
  • Toronto Raptors – 8
  • Utah Jazz – 7
  • Washington Wizards – 8

Michigan in Detroit is one of the lowest-ranking states in the United States when it comes to average assistant coach salary compared to other states.

It might be the reason why they have 13 assistant coaches because they have a significantly lower annual salary than most states, so they don’t have to pay more if they have more.

Although figures might be inaccurate, the franchise hasn’t shown plenty of optimism for several years and has been on a downward trend since the days of the Chauncy Billups and Ben Wallace Era.

Conclusion

While it’s quite a surprise that most NBA assistant coaches and the rest of the coaching staff aren’t making big bucks compared to their head coach counterparts, they still make quite a living, similar to WNBA players.

There’s quite a lot of undisclosed information on assistant coach salaries because most organizations aren’t willing to share any figures, making it hard to calculate the average salary of assistant NBA coaches.

Nevertheless, we have to look at the bigger economic picture. In that case, the average NBA assistant coach salary is more than enough for a decent living because they also get access to different perks within the association.

Feature Image credit: compujeramey, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons