Due to the National Basketball Association’s escalating global popularity over the past ten years, player wages have increased dramatically. In 2022–2023, the majority of the top stars in the league will make at least $40 million dollars annually. Each sport boasts of a star player that commands respect on the field and is their highest-paid athlete, and the NBA is no exception. Players in the NBA are generating more money than ever, and because of the burgeoning basketball market, this trend should not stop soon.
With the widespread acclaim of the NBA, there are more people watching the games played and supporting certain players. Naturally, the greater amount of exposure that is now experienced by the game, the more revenue the league and each franchise is able to make, thus then allowing them to pay the big bucks to ensure they get the best players playing for their team on the court.
In 1997, Michael Jordan agreed to a deal of more than $30 million dollars with the Bulls, which was the record for the highest wages in a season. This record went on for 20 years and was only broken in 2017 when Steph Curry became the highest-paid basketballer.
With many players earning top figures in the 2022-2023 season, here are the highest-paid:
Being one of the best guards and shooters in the NBA, Curry has achieved elite status, and he tops the list of the top earners in the NBA. Playing for the Golden State Warriors, Curry will earn up to $48 million in pay during the 2022–2023 season of the league, making him the highest-paid basketballer in the league.
Steph Curry is committed to the team through the end of the 2025–26 season and will have made over $200 million during that period. Curry will earn more than $50 million in one campaign, for the first time in National Basketball Association history in the 2023–2024 season.
The Los Angeles Lakers boast of some of the highest-paid players in the NBA, and Russell Westbrook is at the forefront. The top player of the Los Angeles Lakers will earn up to $47 million during the 2022–2023 season, making him one of the best earners.
While the Lakers search for trading partners, Westbrook is still attempting to establish himself in the starting lineup. He will probably leave the squad when the current campaign is over because he will become a free agent and can move to any new team.
Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James has a massive contract that will pay him up to $44 million over the course of the 2022–2023 season. Recently, the player who has lifted the NBA Championship four times agreed to play two more years for the Lakers, in a contract worth more than $97 million. This will keep him playing for the LA Lakers through the end of the 2024–25 season.
While he has managed to win as much as he has, though, LeBron does not appear likely to add a fifth championship to his collection this season. The team has had a poor start to the season and for those who may have been thinking of wagering on the iconic team, it does not appear as though the team has a real chance of obtaining the title. According to the latest NBA odds, the LA Lakers are currently +4000 to win the league outright, with 13 other teams ahead of them in the list as candidates to win.
Kevin Durant who is currently having difficulties with the Brooklyn Nets in his quest for an NBA championship is also among the list of the highest-paid basketballers in the NBA. Durant who has won the Championship twice, and has also won the best player at a final, will earn up to $44 million in the 2022-2023 season. Durant still has three years left on his contract with the Nets, worth more than $150 million. He will be allowed to leave the team in 2026 as a free agent.
The Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal, who will earn more than $43 million in the 2022–23 NBA season, also ranks among the top earners. Beal signed a huge five-year deal with the Wizards before the season began, and by the time his deal expires, he will have made more than $250 million. Additionally, a stipulation in his contract guarantees that he will remain with the Wizards through the duration of the deal.
Paul George, who is currently playing for the Los Angeles Clippers, has a huge contract and ranks among the greatest earners. He will make more than $42 million in the 2022–23 season. The NBA title is the LA Clippers’ top priority this season, and their star man, George, has that goal in mind. He has two years and more than $94 million left to make on a four-year contract he signed with the Clippers in 2021, which he is presently halfway through.
Kawhi Leonard, one of the best earners for the 2022–23 season along with fellow LA Clippers player Paul George, will make more than $42 million. After the current campaign has been concluded, Leonard will still have two more years and more than $94 million left on the long-term contract he penned down for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2021.