NBA highest salary – who are the best-paid NBA players?

The NBA is home to some of the world’s most talented and highly compensated athletes. The league has a history of offering lucrative contracts, making it one of the most financially rewarding sports in the world. NBA salaries are a reflection of a player’s skill, experience, marketability, and demand in the league.

NBA highest salary - who are the best-paid NBA players?
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NBA 2023-24 highest salaries

The NBA’s highest salaries are often commanded by franchise players who are the face of their respective teams and have a significant impact on the court and off. These players not only excel in basketball but also possess marketable personalities that attract sponsors and fans alike. They are proven winners who are idolized by millions of fans around the world. Going into the 2023-24 season, here are the highest-paid players at the moment.

1. Stephen Curry – $51,915,615

The four-time NBA champion and two-time MVP, Steph Curry, is the first player ever to sign two $200+ million contracts. He is entering his 15th season with the Warriors, which makes him the player with the longest active tenure with a single team in the NBA. In 2021, the NBA all-time leading three-point shooter signed a four-year, $215 million contract with Golden State. In his second year of the contract, Curry will earn almost $52 million, which makes him the highest-paid player in the 2023-24 season. In his last year of the contract, which will be the 2025-26 season, Curry will earn $59,606,817.

2. Kevin Durant – $47,649,433

Kevin Durant was traded from Brooklyn to the Phoenix in the middle of the last season, and the Suns have picked up his four-year, $191 million contract he signed with the Nets in 2021. The four-time NBA leading scorer will earn $47,649,433 in the 2023-24 season, hoping to win his third NBA championship. That will mark KD’s sixth consecutive season earning over $30 million. His current contract expires in the 2025-26 season when he will earn $54,708,609.

3. Nikola Jokic – $47,607,350

Nikola Jokic took the league by storm. The Serbian made it all the way from being a second-round pick labeled as unathletic to becoming the best player in the league. He won the MVP in back-to-back seasons in 2021 and 2022, and many think he got robbed for the third consecutive. However, Jokic led the Nuggets to their first-ever NBA championship and won the NBA Finals MVP. The Nuggets were aware of his talent and potential and helped Jokic grow. On that way, he signed a five-year, $270 million contract with the Nuggets in 2022, the largest contract in NBA history at that point. In the 2023-24 season, Jokic will earn $47,607,350, and in his final year of the deal, that number will rise up to $62,841,702.

3. LeBron James – $47,607,350

LeBron James is going into his 21st season in the league and is one of the highest-paid athletes in history. King James has earned over $434 million from salary money in his career and is the first athlete ever to become a billionaire while still active. In 2022, the four-time NBA champion signed a two-year, 97.1 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers. In the season in which he will turn 39 years old, James will earn $47,607,350, and next season $51,415,938.

3. Joel Embiid – $47,607,350

Joel Embiid is the reigning MVP after finally winning the award last season. The center is the one who survived the Sixers trusting the process in the last decade and is the cornerstone of the franchise. Even though he has yet to take them to the NBA Finals, Embiid led the NBA in scoring in the last two seasons and is the first center to do so after Shaquille O’Neal at the beginning of the century. In 2021, Embiid signed a four-year, $196 million contract with the Sixers. That will bring him $47,607,350 next season and $59,033,114 in the 2026-27 season, the last one from the contract.

6. Bradley Beal – $46,741,590

After 11 seasons with the Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal was traded to Phoenix, making the Suns one of the teams with two players in the top 10 highest-paid players in the 2023-24 season. Beal has been an elite scorer in the league for the past decade but has never made a significant Playoff run. He hopes that is about to change in Phoenix. In 2022, Beal signed a five-year, $251 million contract with the Wizards, who will bring him $46,741,590 this season and $57,128,610 in the last year of the contract.

7. Paul George – $45,640,084

Paul George has overcome many obstacles to be a superstar in the league and is one of the key players for the Los Angeles Clippers. The 8-time NBA All-Star and the 2019 NBA steals leader signed a four-year, $190 million contract in 2020. He has two years left on that deal which will earn him $45,640,084 this season and $48,787,676 in 2024-25.

7. Kawhi Leonard – $45,640,084

Leonard is the second Clippers player on this list, and just like George, he has been struggling with injuries in recent seasons. Still, that will not deny him of earning $45,640,084 in the 2023-24 season. The two-time NBA champion with the Spurs and the Raptors, signed a four-year, $176.3 million contract with the Clippers in 2021. That deal expires next year when he will earn $48,787,676.

7. Giannis Antetokounmpo – $45,640,084

The Greek Freak has done it all in the NBA despite still being only 28 years old. Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the NBA championship in 2021 and previously won the MVP award twice and won the Defensive Player of the Year award, becoming only the third player in NBA history to win both awards in the same season. The Bucks, who drafted Giannis out of a lower-level team in Greece in 2013, signed him to a $228,200,420 contract in 2020. Giannis will earn $45,640,084 in the following season and $51,935,268 in 2025-26, the last year of the contract.

7. Damian Lillard – $45,640,084

Lillard’s move from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Milwaukee Bucks was one of the top stories in the offseason. The seven-time NBA All-Star is leaving Portland in the hope of winning the championship with Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee. He is one of only eight players in league history to score over 70 points in a single game and he made sure he got paid for his abilities. In 2022, Lillard signed a four-year, $176,265,152 million contract that will earn him $45,640,084 this and $63,228,828 in the 2026-27 season.

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