NBA players make a lot of money. There’s no hiding it. In fact, according to an article by Sports Show, basketball was the highest paying sport in the world in 2019. With this NBA free agency period wrapping up, let’s take a look at the 20 players who are taking home the biggest checks during the 2019-2020 season according to Spotrac.
20. Paul Millsap
Starting off our list is Denver Nuggets’ power forward Paul Millsap. Millsap, who turns 35 this year, will be making $30,350,000 next season. Last season, Millsap averaged 12.6 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 2 APG while playing about 27 minutes per game.
19. Khris Middleton
Next on the list is Milwaukee Bucks’ small forward Khris Middleton. Middleton recently signed a 5 year, $178 million extension with the Bucks with a 5th-year player option. Middleton is set to make an estimated $30,689,655 this season with Milwaukee. Last season, Middleton averaged 18.3 PPG, 6 RPG, and 4.3 APG while shooting nearly 38% from 3 on 6 attempts per game.
18. Tobias Harris
One spot up, Tobias Harris ranks 18th. This offseason, Harris signed a 5 year, $180 million deal to return to the Philadelphia 76ers. Last season, Harris averaged 20 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 2.8 APG shooting almost 40% from 3 on 5 attempts per game. Harris will make an estimated $31,034,483 this season with the Sixers.
17. Kyrie Irving
At number 17, we find Nets’ new star point guard Kyrie Irving. Irving signed a 4 year, $141 million deal with the Nets in one of the first deals of this offseason. With Durant nursing his Achilles, Kyrie will be expected to lead the Nets’ young core while earning $31,742,000 this upcoming season. Last season, Irving averaged 23.8 PPG, 5 RPG, and 6.9 APG while also putting up a career-high PGA (points generated by assist) of 1093.
16. Mike Conley
Hitting the number 16 spot, Mike Conley will earn $32,511,623 this season with the Utah Jazz. Conley was recently dealt to the Jazz from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, and two picks. Conley, who will turn 32 this season, averaged 21.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 6.4 APG last season with the Grizzlies while playing in his most games for a season (70) since the 2013-14 season (73).
15. Gordon Hayward
At number 15, we have Boston Celtics’ forward Gordon Hayward. Hayward, who returned from a season-ending broken tibia and dislocated ankle two seasons ago, will be earning $32,700,690 with the Celtics this season. Hayward’s contract has a player option for next season, which he will likely opt-in to. Last season, Hayward averaged 11.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 3.4 APG playing about 26 minutes per night.
11. (Tie) Kemba Walker
Next, we have another Celtic player. Newly signed, Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics is number 11. Earlier this offseason, Walker was part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Charlotte Hornets. This season, Walker will make $32,742,000 as the new starting point guard of a young Celtics team. Last season with the Hornets, Walker averaged 25.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 5.9 APG.
11. (Tie) Klay Thompson
Tied with Walker at 11 is Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors. Klay is set to make an estimated $32,742,000 this season. This offseason, Klay agreed to resign with Golden State for 5 years and $190 million after taking 2nd in the NBA Finals last season. Thompson averaged 21.5 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 2.4 APG last season while also setting the record for most 3-pointers in a game, pictured above.
11. (Tie) Jimmy Butler
Also at number 11, Jimmy Butler is set to make $32,742,000 this season with the Miami Heat. Butler signed a 4 year, $142 million deal with the Heat this offseason after Miami was able to clear enough cap space to sign him. Last season, Butler averaged 18.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 4 APG for the Sixers and Minnesota Timberwolves.
11. (Tie) Kawhi Leonard
Next on our list: recent NBA Champion and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. Leonard recently signed with the Los Angeles Clippers after the Clippers were able to acquire Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder via trade. Check out my article covering that here. Leonard signed for 4 years, $142 million and is set to make $32,742,000 this season with the Clippers. Last season, Leonard averaged 26.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 3.3 APG with the Toronto Raptors.
10. Paul George
Kawhi Leonard’s newest teammate, Paul George, is number 10 on our list. George was traded over to the Los Angeles Clippers for a record-setting number of picks as well as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Galllinari. George is set to earn $33,005,556 this year after averaging 28 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 4.1 APG last season as well as placing 3rd in MVP voting.
9. Blake Griffin
At our number 9 spot, we have Blake Griffin from the Detroit Pistons. Griffin is going on his 3rd year of his 5-year extension with the Pistons and will make $34,449,964 this season. Griffin, who will turn 31 this season, averaged 24.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 5.4 APG last season while earning 3rd Team All-NBA honors.
8. Kyle Lowry
Moving on to number 8, we have Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors. Lowry, who recently won his first NBA Championship, is set to make $34,996,296 this year with Toronto in the last year of his contract. Last season, Lowry averaged 14.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 8.7 APG while also making his 5th consecutive All-Star team.
7. LeBron James
At number 7, we have the King himself, LeBron James. James is going on the 2nd year of his 4-year stay with the Lakers. He is set to earn $37,436,858 this season with Los Angeles. After successfully adding Anthony Davis to his roster this offseason, James will look to have a deep run in this season’s playoffs after not making the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 season. Last season, LeBron averaged 27.4 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 8.3 APG with the Lakers.
4. (Tie) John Wall
We have a 3-way tie for 4th on our list. The first of those players is John Wall of the Washington Wizards. Wall, who only played 32 games last season before having surgery, is set to make $38,199,000 with the Wizards. This is only the 2nd year of a 5-year extension that Wall received with the Wizards in 2017. Last season, Wall averaged 20.7 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 8.7 APG.
4. (Tie) Kevin Durant
Tied for 4th on our list is the Brooklyn Nets’ newest star forward Kevin Durant. Durant, who will not play this season after injuring his Achilles in the NBA Finals, will make $38,199,000 this season. This will be the first year in a 4 year, $164 million deal that was completed with the Nets this offseason. Last season, Durant averaged 26 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 5.9 APG with the Warriors.
4. (Tie) James Harden
The last person in this 3-way tie is James Harden of the Houston Rockets. In this second year of Harden’s 5-year extension with the Rockets, he will earn $38,199,000. His 5th year is a player option where he could earn $46,872,000. Last season, Harden averaged an outrageous 36.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 7.5 APG.
2. (Tie) Chris Paul
Tied for 2nd on our list is Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Paul, who just turned 34, will earn $38,506,482 this season with the Thunder. Paul is entering the 2nd year of his 4-year max extension he received in a sign-and-trade deal from the Clippers in 2017. In the final year of his contract, Paul will be nearly 37 years old and will make $44,211,146. Last season, Paul averaged 15.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 8.2 APG playing in 58 games.
2. (Tie) Russell Westbrook
Tied for 2nd highest-paid NBA player is Russell Westbrook, who is now part of the Houston Rockets. Westbrook, who was dealt to the Rockets by the Oklahoma City Thunder, will now be paired again with his old teammate, and #4 on the list, James Harden. This season, Westbrook is going to make $38,506,482. He is on the 2nd year of a 5-year extension that he signed back in 2017. In the final season of that contract, Westbrook will be making $46,662,000 if he chooses to opt-in to his player option. Last season, Westbrook averaged 22.9 PPG, 11.1 RPG, and 10.7 APG with the Thunder.
1. Stephen Curry
The number one highest-paid NBA player is Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. The two-time MVP will make $40,231,758 this season with Golden State. Curry is going on the 3rd year of a 5-year deal he signed back in 2017. On the final year of that deal, Curry will be 34 and make $45,780,966. Last season, Curry averaged 27.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 5.2 APG while shooting 43.7% from 3 on nearly 12 attempts per game.
There you have it. The 20 highest-paid NBA athletes. Do you think there are some players who are earning more than they’re worth? Do you think some players deserve more? Discuss it on our forums: https://overtimeheroics.net/forums/
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