Sportarsh has compiled a list of 20 highest paid NBA players for the 2021-22 season. Basketball like any other sports is a very lucrative business. Be as it may, you need to be very good at it in other to have the large piece of the pie. When I say pie, I literally mean money.
Let’s take it from this angle, if you are good in basketball, the media shines light on you. And with this comes popularity which leads to bigger deals and endorsements.
The year 2019 saw LeBron James top the charts as the highest earning basketball player. But the popular star has been overshadowed in the past 2 years. Below is a list of the highest paid NBA players including the current top earner.
Highest Paid NBA Players
1. Stephen Curry ( $45,780,966)
First on the list of highest paid NBA players is Stephen Curry. He is an American professional basketball player who currently represents the Golden State Warriors. Curry is a master of three point shots and as such remains one of the greatest shooters the game has seen.
Since turning pro in 2009, he has played for the Golden State Warriors till date. His last contract renewal was in 2017, where he signed a five year deal worth more than $40 million a year. The figure is expected to rise to $45 million by 2022.
2. James Harden ( $44,310,840)
Second on the list is James Harden. Also an American, he turned professional in 2009 initially playing for Oklahoma City Thunder. From there he moved to Houston Rockets, where he played for 9 seasons.
Currently he represents the Brooklyn Nets. He signed a deal with them on January 14th 2021 worth $44.3 million per year, as per ESPN.
3. John Wall ($44,310,840)
Next on the list of highest paid NBA players is John Wall. Wall plays as a point guard and is a five-time NBA All-Star. Turning professional in 2010, John Wall played for the Washington Wizards for 10 seasons before moving to his current team Houston Rockets in 2020.
His move to Houston Rockets means he’s tied with James Harden in terms of money to be earned annually ( $44,310,840).
4. Russell Westbrook ($44,211,146)
The nine time NBA All Star is a point guard who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. The 6 ft 3 American turned professional in 2008 and initially played for Oklahoma City Thunder, where he spent 11 seasons. He left in 2019 to join the Houston Rockets for only one season.
Again, he moved from Houston Rockets to the Washington Wizards and from there to his current club Los Angeles Lakers. At the Los Angeles Lakers, he earns $44,211,146 per year.
5. Kevin Durant ( $42,018,900)
Kevin Durant or simply KD is an American pro basketball player who currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets. KD is an eleven time NBA All-Star and a three time Olympic gold medalist.
His first club he played for after turning professional in 2007 was the Seattle SuperSonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder). He played there for nine seasons before joining the Golden State Warriors in 2016. After three years playing for the Golden State Warriors, he signed for the Brooklyn Nets, where he earns $42,018,900 yearly.
6. LeBron James ($41,180,544)
LeBron James, the man often compared to Michael Jordan in debates as to who is the greatest player in basketball. He is a house hold name and it wouldn’t be a surprise if you actually think he’s the highest earner in NBA.
Well I hate to disappoint but as you can see, he is actually 6th in terms of highest earning basketball players. The four time NBA champion turned professional in 2003 and has since played for teams like Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. He signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 in a deal worth $41 million annually.
7. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($39,344,970)
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a Greek professional nba player. Due to his size and height, he is often referred to as the ”Greek Freak” by fans. His parents are from Nigeria but migrated to Greece.
Giannis is in the same league as Kareem Abdul Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players to win 2 MVP awards before turning 26. He turned pro in 2011 and represented Filathlitikos for two seasons. Currently he is at Milwaukee Bucks, he’s been playing for them since 2013.
8. Damian Lillard ($39,344,900)
Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard Sr by full name is a six time NBA All-star and a current player for the Portland Trail Blazers. He turned pro in 2012 and has played for Portland Trail Blazers ever since.
The NBA star recently signed a new four year deal with the blazers in 2021. This subsequently makes him a free agent in 2025. He is expected to earn $39 million annually till his contract expires.
9. Paul George ( $39,344,900 )
The American is a Seven time NBA All-star currently playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul George turned professional in 2010 playing for the Indiana Pacers. After 7 seasons with them, he moved to the Oklahoma City Thunders for two seasons before moving again to his current club ( Los Angeles Clippers ).
He signed a new 4 year deal with the club in 2020. This new deal with the Los Angeles clippers earns him approximately $39 million a year.
10. Klay Thompson ( $37,980,720 )
Klay Alexander Thompson is a three time NBA champion, a title he’s won on three separate occasions with the Golden State Warriors. Adding to his records, he is a five time NBA All-Star as well.
Klay Thompson turned professional in 2011, where he has played for the Golden State Warriors till date. He renewed his contract with the club in 2019, signing a five year deal. The deal earns him $37 million annually.
11. Jimmy Butler ( $36,016,200 )
Jimmy Butlerb is an American professional NBA play who currently represents the Miami Heat. The 33 year old has featured for the likes of Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers. He was re-signed to a reported four-year, $184 million contract by the Heat in 2021.
12. Tobias Harris ($35,995,950 )
Playing for the Philadelphia 76ers is American Tobias Harris. The small forward played one season of college basketball for the Tennessee Volunteers before turning pro in 2011.
So far in his career he’s played for teams like Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Clippers.
In terms of contract, he is on a five year, $180 m deal with the 76ers. A contract he signed in 2019.
Next on the list is James Khristian Middleton. He is an American professional NBA player currently playing for the Milwaukee Bucks. Khris Middleton naturally plays as a small forward and is also three-time NBA All-Star and an NBA Champion.
In his career so far, he’s played for the likes of Detroit Pistons and Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
Currently , he is on a five year ( $170 Million deal) signed in 2019.