It’s no secret that NBA players carry around some of the heftiest contracts in all of sports. Be that as it may, there are still a few players at the top of food chain bagging more money that other athletes can only dream of.
Here, we take a look and salivate over the 10 biggest contracts in NBA history, by total dollars. With all the superstars that we have seen over the years, who do you think made the list?
10. Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets): $164 million over four years
New team, new contract. While Durant has yet to play in a Nets uniform, he is set to make $164 million over the next four years. Whether he returns 100 percent or not, he will make the amount of money that some players make in their entire careers in just four years.
9. Blake Griffin (Detroit Pistons): $171 million over five years (signed with Los Angeles Clippers) and John Wall (Wizards): $171 million over five years
This was a straight up tie. Griffin and Wall are on pace to exactly earn $171 million over five years. Possibly nearing the tail end of their careers, it’s encouraging to see that teams are still willing to pay a premium for aging household names indicating that it’s not the end of the line yet. Barring any major injuries, look to these two to try and put their money where their mouth is in the years to come.
8. Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets): $174 million over six years
The biggest surprise of the list. Up-and-coming players usually don’t get to sport lofty salaries yet as they’re still busy grinding and proving their worth. However, that’s not the case for the Denver Nuggets as they have committed to Murray for the next six years with a whopping $174 million. Congratulations to him.
7. Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks): $178 million over five years
One would think that Giannis Antetokounmpo would place on the list rather than his sidekick. With the power of fact checking, Middleton is actually set to make more money as of today. Nevertheless, it should be noted that Giannis’ contract only lasts until 2021. Milwaukee rewards its players handsomely, as we know that Middleton’s $178 million would look minuscule when the Greak Freak is offered a supermax contract. Fun fact: according to multiple reports, $254 million is on the table.
6. Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers): $180 million over five years
Overpaid? Maybe, but if you’re a team vying for contention, then it’s better to overpay your players rather than giving a low ball. The 76ers are clearly in a win-now mindset as they are willing to pay any amount of money to attract talent that will help them in their championship push. Let’s just hope it doesn’t backfire on them later on and it all works out.
5. Klay Thompson (Warriors): $190 million over five years
The Bay Area can certainly pay their superstars. With Thompson on the list bagging $190 million, the other Splash Brother is here as well with another $201 million. This is a testament to the organization where they know how to value once-in-a-generation players.
4. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors): $201 million over five years
If we’re looking at strictly salaries per season, then Curry would actually top this list. He is the only player making north of $40 million this year by a wide margin. Only Chris Paul comes relatively close trailing behind at $38 million. With a player of Curry’s caliber, this is clearly justifiable.
3. Russell Westbrook (Rockets): $207 million over five years (signed with Oklahoma City Thunder)
If you think the Splash Brothers were making bank, then Houston’s backcourt has something to say. Not only do the Rockets love outdoing the Warriors over three pointers, but also in terms of salary with Westbrook and Harden leading the way.
2. James Harden (Houston Rockets): $228 million over six years
Well deserved. Harden has been running the show in Houston for eight years and counting now alongside putting up some of the most insane stat lines. Therefore, the hefty pay day is well deserved for the superstar.
1. Damian Lillard (Portland Trailblazers): $257 million over six years
The biggest cash cow of them all. Lillard recently signed his supermax extension with the Trail Blazers last year, which catapults him to the very top of the list. It’s not even funny how no one even comes relatively close to this amount of money.
You may be wondering why there aren’t big names from older eras. While players from the past made a lot of money as well, it should be noted that it was only until a few years ago that NBA salaries have really ballooned. Loyal fans would remember the time when Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley Jr. inked a five-year $153 million extension back in 2016 which was considered the richest deal in history at that time. Fast forward today, and he would slide back to the mid 20s on this list. That alone speaks volumes as to how lofty NBA salaries have become over the years.