Highest-paid NBA players of 2021 and all time
Find out the highest-paid NBA players, from the top earners in 2021 to those who have made the most money ever.
Who are the highest-paid NBA players in 2021?
Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry is currently the highest-paid player in the NBA.
Curry is making $43m for the 2020-21 season as part of a five year, $201m contract the two-time MVP signed back in 2017.
Widely recognised as the greatest shooter of all time, Curry has one year left on his deal after this season and will make $45.8m in 2021-22.
Two players are tied as the second and third highest-paid in the league.
First is Russell Westbrook of the Washington Wizards. The 2017 NBA MVP is earning $41.4m this season and has a further two years remaining on his contract.
Westbrook will earn $44m in 2021-22 and will make a further $47.1m if he takes up his player option for the 2022-23 season.
Tied with Westbrook is another point guard – Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns – who is also earning $41.4m this season.
Paul only has one year left on his contract after this season – a player option worth $44.2m, should he choose to accept it.
Rounding out the list are two players tied for fourth and fifth highest-paid in the NBA.
The first is John Wall of the Houston Rockets, who, coincidentally, was traded in exchange for Westbrook back in December.
Wall is, again, a point guard and is making $41.3m this season. He has a further two years remaining on his deal after that, the last of which is a player option.
Wall will earn $44.3m next season and $47.4m in 2022-23 if he takes up that option.
Level with him is James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets, who was teammates with Westbrook last season and Wall this year until he was traded to Brooklyn in January.
Harden’s contract is identical to Wall’s in both salary and length. He is making $41.3m this season and will earn $44.3m 2021-22 and $47.4m in 2022-23 with a player option.
Who are the highest-paid NBA players of all time?
The five players mentioned above are also the five highest-paid players in NBA history, in terms of base salary.
They are the first and only five NBA players ever to earn $40m in a season.
The first player to ever earn $30m in a season was Michael Jordan, who signed a one-year, $30.1m deal with the Chicago Bulls in 1996.
Jordan became the highest-paid player ever by a huge margin, as the second-highest paid player in the 1996-97 season was the Orlando Magic’s Horace Grant, earning $14.9m.
Jordan broke his own record with a $33m one-year extension for the 1997-98 season, which, when adjusting for inflation, would be worth approximately $53.5m in today’s NBA.
Which NBA players have earned the most money?
The highest-earning NBA player of all time is LeBron James. Now in his 18th season, the four-time MVP has earned $346.2m while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.
Chris Paul is second, having earned $299.9m across 16 seasons.
Kevin Durant is next on the list, having amassed $264.2m across 14 seasons so far.
Carmelo Anthony is in fourth place. In 18 seasons in the league he has earned $258.9m.
Rounding out the top five is Russell Westbrook, whose career earnings are currently at $244.4m after 13 seasons in the league.