The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a very creative money-making organization, and deserving players can get paid the highest amount possible.
Aside from their salary in the league, superstars like Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and others also get brand deals. Sponsorships are also on the table.
In a previous blog post, we compared the National Football League (NFL) and the NBA who makes the most money, and when it comes to who has the highest-paid players, the latter won.
According to CNBC, there are three reasons why athletes in NBA get paid so much: “league structure, salary caps, and rules around “guaranteed money” for players.”
As per Bleacher Report’s article, one example is the case of NBA player Joe Johnson. Despite not being a player of the same caliber as Kobe Bryant or Dwayne Wade, he was worth $70 million during his prime years with Atlanta Hawk.
OKBET bettors may remember the 2009-10 season, where Johnson was described as one of the “most coveted free agents.” Despite his decline, analysts expected him to receive a maximum deal.
Bleacher was stunned by how a guard such as Johnson could receive almost the same salary as Bryant and Wade. But that’s how it is in the NBA; your salary will depend on how your team perceives your value and how companies evaluate your popularity.
This ‘22-23 season, here are the top five highest-paid NBA players:
#1 Stephen Curry – $48 million
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is cooking not only in the league but also in terms of salary. Currently, the NBA 2021-22 Finals MVP and four-time champion is the highest-paid player in the organization.
Based on ESPN, Curry is expected to earn a whopping $48 million by the end of this season. Last 2017, the greatest shooter of all time signed one of the biggest contract extensions in the history of the NBA—$201 million for five years with the Warriors. James Harden later broke the record by signing with the Philadelphia 76ers for $228 million.
#2 Russell Westbrook – $47 million
Westbrook of the Lost Angeles Lakers, despite not being one of the most explosive players in the league, is still earning more than Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. By the end of this season, Russell will receive $47 million in salary, unlike James ($44.4 million) and Davis ($37 million).
He is also playing fewer minutes than Austin Reaves. So why is he earning more?
It is because of a 208 million contract back when he was still with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Last season, the Lakers owed him $44.1 million, which jumps to $47 million for this new season.
But after this season, Westbrook will only be on a veteran’s minimum. It is expected to be around more than one million dollars.
#3 LeBron James – $44.4 million
Although now, at age 38, James is still considered to be one of the most dominant players in the league. His dominance reflects in his salary, which is $44.4 million.
The four-time NBA champion and the number two all-time scoring leader’s latest salary is from his two-year contract extension with the Lakers, amounting to 85.6 million.
#4 Kevin Durant – $44.1 million
Durant signed a four-year contract with the Brooklyn Nets for $194,219,320. By joining Kyrie Irving in the Nets, the two-time NBA champ is guaranteed to have $189,078,320.
This ‘22-’23 season, he used his dead cap value of $44,119,845 while having a cap hit of $44,124,845.
#5 Bradley Beal – $43.2 million
The Washington Wizard guard signed a five-year max contract valued at $251,019,650. His contract is also an absolute winner due to a 15 percent trade kicker clause. This agreement applies if Beal gets traded without his contract expiring.
Also, by the ‘23-’24 season, he will earn an annual salary of $46,741,590.
The highest-paid NBA players receive more than $40 million annually. These are the athletes that are considered superstars and can possibly bring their team a title.
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