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10 highest paid NBA players of all time

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Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Carmelo Anthony


NBA salaries are some of the most lucrative in all of sports, with the best players’ contracts amounting to more than $200 million. The salary cap has hit the roof to the point where teams are able to offer huge contracts to today’s players. It’s never been better to be an NBA player than today given how salaries have ballooned due to the surge in the league’s salary cap in recent years.

In a few months, many players will be free agents and demand max-contract salaries from teams seeking their valuable service. Today’s highest paid players may have the spotlight right now, but compared to players from yesteryear, they are only scratching the surface of what they can possibly earn in the long run.

According to data put together by Business Insider’s Cork Gaines using Spotrac and Basketball-Reference, here are the 10 highest paid NBA players of all time.

10. Dwight Howard: $210.2 million

dwight howard

Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports

Seasons: 14

Highest single-season salary: $23.5 million

Current contract: 3-year, $70,500,000 contract with the Atlanta Hawks (since traded to the Charlotte Hornets)

Career averages: 17.4 points, 12.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists

Dwight Howard was the last player to enter the league out of high school in the 2004 NBA Draft, and he has made a lot of money since then. His $210.2 million earnings will continue to increase the longer he plays in the league. At 32 years of age with no signs of slowing down, Howard will continue to climb up this list in the years to come.

The fun-loving center was the cornerstone of the Orlando Magic when they drafted him, culminating his time in the city with a Finals appearance in 2009. Since then, Howard has bounced around the NBA, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, and now with the Charlotte Hornets.

He led the league in rebounding five times and in blocks twice during his career. The 8-time All-Star is still one of the best centers in the league, capable of controlling a game from the defensive end while scoring more than a few buckets per game. Recently, Howard joined the 30-30 club when he recorded 32 points and 30 rebounds versus the Brooklyn Nets.

9. Chris Bosh: $212.2 million

Chris Bosh

Andrew Innerarity/Reuters

Seasons: 13

Highest single-season salary: $23.7 million

Current contract: None. Exercised Early Termination Option with Miami (MIA) to void remaining years of contract

Career averages: 19.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists

One of the best power forwards in the league during his heyday, Chris Bosh earned his biggest salary during the 2016-17 season when he didn’t play a single minute of NBA basketball.

Bosh was diagnosed with blood clots that threatened his life. According to USA Today, a medical review instituted by the NBA and the NBA Players’ Association “agreed with the Miami Heat’s stance that Chris Bosh has a career-ending illness, according to the Palm Beach Post and Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.”

Bosh is an 11-time All-Star and a two-time champion with the Miami Heat. He played well with his back to the basket or shooting from the outside with his range reaching all the way to the three-point line.

His best years individually were with the Toronto Raptors, where he was the team leader and a 20-10 threat night in and night out. He joined the Heat in 2010 with the hopes of winning championships, which they accomplished in back-to-back seasons (2011-12, 2012-13).

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