Top 10 Highest Paid NBA Players: Salary Details and Contracts

Jimmy Remland
By Jimmy Remland 11 Min Read
11 Min Read

The 2023-24 NBA season has seen record-breaking salaries, reflecting the league’s growing popularity and lucrative television deals. Here’s a comprehensive look at the top 10 highest paid NBA players this season, highlighting their salaries and the financial impact they have on their teams.

Introduction

The NBA continues to push financial boundaries, with player salaries reaching new heights. This article delves into the top 10 highest paid NBA players in 2024, analyzing their earnings, performance, and influence both on and off the court.

Top 10 Highest Paid NBA Players

1. Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors

  • Salary: $51.92 million
  • Details: Stephen Curry is the highest paid NBA player with a massive $51.92 million salary. The Warriors’ star continues to be a dominant force in the NBA, both in performance and earnings.

2. Kevin Durant – Phoenix Suns

  • Salary: $47.65 million
  • Details: Kevin Durant’s move to the Phoenix Suns has been financially rewarding, earning him $47.65 million this season. His impact on the court remains significant, making him a valuable asset.

3. Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets

  • Salary: $47.61 million
  • Details: The reigning MVP, Nikola Jokic, earns $47.61 million. His consistent performance and leadership have been crucial for the Denver Nuggets.

4. LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers

  • Salary: $47.61 million
  • Details: LeBron James continues to command top dollar, earning $47.61 million. His influence extends beyond the court, making him a global sports icon.

5. Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers

  • Salary: $47.61 million
  • Details: Joel Embiid ties with LeBron and Jokic at $47.61 million. The 76ers’ star center remains a key player in the league.

6. Bradley Beal – Phoenix Suns

  • Salary: $46.74 million
  • Details: Bradley Beal joins the Suns with a $46.74 million salary, making the Suns one of the highest-paying teams this season.

7. Paul George – Los Angeles Clippers

  • Salary: $45.64 million
  • Details: Paul George earns $45.64 million, contributing significantly to the Clippers’ aspirations.

8. Kawhi Leonard – Los Angeles Clippers

  • Salary: $45.64 million
  • Details: Kawhi Leonard also earns $45.64 million, matching his teammate Paul George in salary.

9. Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers

  • Salary: $45.64 million
  • Details: Damian Lillard continues to shine with a $45.64 million salary, remaining loyal to the Trail Blazers.

10. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks

  • Salary: $45.64 million
  • Details: Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks’ superstar, earns $45.64 million, reflecting his pivotal role in the team.

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Salary Breakdown and Contracts

Understanding the contracts and financial details of the highest paid NBA players offers insight into the league’s economic landscape. Here’s a closer look at the salaries and contracts of the top 10 players.

Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors

  • Total Salary: $51.92 million
  • Contract Details: Curry’s current contract is a four-year, $215.35 million deal, signed in 2021, making him the first player in NBA history to sign two $200 million contracts​​.
  • Performance: Curry continues to be a dominant force, leading the league in scoring and maintaining high efficiency in three-point shooting​.

Kevin Durant – Phoenix Suns

  • Total Salary: $47.65 million
  • Contract Details: Durant’s four-year, $194.22 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets was traded to the Suns. His salary reflects his elite status and significant contributions to the team​.
  • Performance: Despite injuries, Durant remains one of the top scorers in the league, showcasing his versatile offensive skills​​.

Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets

  • Total Salary: $47.61 million
  • Contract Details: Jokic signed a five-year, $272 million supermax extension, the richest contract in NBA history, reflecting his back-to-back MVP seasons​.
  • Performance: Jokic continues to lead the Nuggets with his exceptional passing, scoring, and rebounding​.

LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers

  • Total Salary: $47.61 million
  • Contract Details: LeBron’s two-year, $97.1 million extension includes a player option for the 2024-25 season. His longevity and impact are unparalleled in the league​​.
  • Performance: Even in his late 30s, LeBron remains a top performer, contributing significantly in points, assists, and rebounds​.

Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers

  • Total Salary: $47.61 million
  • Contract Details: Embiid’s four-year, $196 million supermax extension kicks in this season. His contract reflects his status as a dominant center and MVP candidate​​.
  • Performance: Embiid leads the 76ers in scoring and defense, making him a cornerstone of the team​​.

Bradley Beal – Phoenix Suns

  • Total Salary: $46.74 million
  • Contract Details: Beal’s five-year, $251 million supermax contract with the Wizards was traded to the Suns. His high salary underscores his scoring prowess and market value.
  • Performance: Beal consistently ranks among the top scorers, adding depth to the Suns’ roster​​.

Paul George – Los Angeles Clippers

  • Total Salary: $45.64 million
  • Contract Details: George’s four-year, $176 million extension keeps him as a key player for the Clippers. His salary highlights his two-way play and all-star status​​.
  • Performance: George contributes significantly in both offense and defense, maintaining high performance levels.

Kawhi Leonard – Los Angeles Clippers

  • Total Salary: $45.64 million
  • Contract Details: Leonard’s three-year, $103 million deal includes a player option. His contract reflects his value despite his injury history​.
  • Performance: Leonard remains an elite defender and efficient scorer when healthy​.

Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers

  • Total Salary: $45.64 million
  • Contract Details: Lillard signed a two-year, $122 million extension, making him one of the highest paid players due to his loyalty and performance​​.
  • Performance: Lillard continues to deliver clutch performances, ranking among the top point guards in scoring and leadership​.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks

  • Total Salary: $45.64 million
  • Contract Details: Giannis’ five-year, $228 million supermax extension reflects his MVP status and crucial role in the Bucks’ championship success​.
  • Performance: Giannis is a dominant force in both offense and defense, making him indispensable to the Bucks​.

Financial Impact on Teams

The high salaries of these players significantly impact their teams’ financial strategies. Teams must balance paying top talent while maintaining salary cap flexibility for other roster moves.

Salary Cap Considerations

  • Golden State Warriors: With Curry and Thompson, the Warriors have one of the highest payrolls, necessitating careful management of their salary cap​​.
  • Phoenix Suns: Paying top dollar for Durant, Beal, and other stars puts the Suns in a high-spending bracket, influencing their ability to sign additional talent​​.
  • Los Angeles Clippers: The combined salaries of George and Leonard require strategic financial planning to maintain a competitive roster.

Marketability and Endorsements

Beyond their NBA salaries, these players earn significant income through endorsements and business ventures. Their marketability enhances their overall earnings and influence.

  • Stephen Curry: Endorsements with Under Armour, Rakuten, and more, boosting his total earnings substantially.
  • LeBron James: Partnerships with Nike, Blaze Pizza, and his production company, SpringHill Entertainment, contribute to his financial empire​​.
  • Kevin Durant: Endorsements with Nike, Google, and investments in tech startups augment his earnings​​.

The Bottom Line

The salaries of the highest paid NBA players in 2024 reflect their exceptional talent and market value. These players not only excel on the court but also significantly impact their teams’ financial strategies and the league’s global marketability. As the NBA continues to grow, the financial rewards for its top stars are set to rise, solidifying their status as both athletic and commercial giants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the highest paid player in the NBA right now?

Stephen Curry is the highest paid player in the NBA, earning $51.92 million for the 2023-24 season.

Who are the four NBA billionaires?

The four NBA billionaires are:

  1. Michael Jordan
  2. LeBron James
  3. Magic Johnson
  4. Junior Bridgeman

Who is the most overpaid NBA player?

Determining the most overpaid NBA player can be subjective. However, some analysts and fans have considered Russell Westbrook to be overpaid relative to his performance and impact on the court​.

Who is the highest paid NBA player in history?

The highest paid NBA player in history, in terms of total career earnings, is LeBron James​.

Who was the first $100 million dollar NBA player?

The first $100 million dollar NBA player was Kevin Garnett, who signed a six-year, $126 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1997​​.

How many NBA players have a $200 million dollar contract?

As of the 2023-24 season, several NBA players have signed contracts worth $200 million or more. This includes stars like Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Dončić, and Nikola Jokic​.

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