Russell Westbrook, LeBron James Top The Highest-Paid NBA Players Of 2017

Why do some NBA players get paid higher than the others? What are the factors at play? Well, nobody knows for sure. Analysts have looked into relevant statistics—number of assists, rebounds, or field-goal percentage. But it appears the salary in the National Basketball Association is a mix of on-court performance and personal characteristics.

Some NBA players get paid a huge sum twice in a season while others get paid twice a month whole-year round. However, the new collective bargaining agreement, or CBA allows, provisions that a player be paid up to 25 percent of their contract’s annual worth, according to a report by ESPN.

On-court Earnings Name Team
$30,963,450 LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers
$26,540,100 Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder
$26,540,100 Al Horford Boston Celtics
$26,540,100 James Harden Houston Rockets
$26,540,100 Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors
$26,540,100 DeMar DeRozan Toronto Raptors
$26,540,100 Mike Conley Memphis Grizzlies
$25,000,000 Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks
$24,559,380 Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks
$24,328,425 Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers
$23,741,060 Chris Bosh Miami Heat
$23,200,000 Dwyane Wade Chicago Bulls
$23,180,275 Dwight Howard Atlanta Hawks
$22,868,827 Chris Paul Los Angeles Clippers
$22,116,750 Hassan Whiteside Miami Heat
$22,116,750 Chandler Parsons Memphis Grizzlies
$22,116,750 Andre Drummond Detroit Pistons
$22,116,750 Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans
$22,116,750 Bradley Beal Washington Wizards
$22,116,750 Harrison Barnes Dallas Mavericks
$21,323,252 Derrick Rose New York Knicks
$21,165,675 Kevin Love Cleveland Cavaliers
$21,165,675 Brook Lopez Brooklyn Nets
$21,165,675 DeAndre Jordan Los Angeles Clippers
$21,165,675 Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies

Sources: Fox Sports; ESPN

On an average, a typical NBA game runs about 48 minutes and lasts around two and one-half hours. This includes halftimes, timeouts, overtime, and commercial breaks. This means elite players are paid around six digits for a two-hour span per game.

While there’s a huge buzz about how Stephen Curry is being underpaid despite his playing prowess, his name doesn’t go unnoticed on the list of NBA players with the highest net worth.

See below how brand goliaths give your favorite players a huge assist in terms of income increase.

Name Team On-court earnings Off-court earnings Total income
LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers $31 million $55 million $86 million
Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors $26.5 million $36 million $36 million
Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors $12.1 million $35 million $47.1 million
James Harden Houston Rockets $26.5 million $20 million $46.5 million
Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder $26.5 million $15 million $41.5 million
Dwyane Wade Chicago Bulls $23.2 million $13 million $36.2 million
Derrick Rose New York Knicks $21.3 million $14 million $35.3 million
Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks $24.6 million $8 million $32.6 million
Chris Paul Los Angeles Clippers $22.9 million $8 million $30.9 million
Kyrie Irving Cleveland Cavaliers $17.6 million $13 million $30.6 million


Aside from the blooming basketball career of King James, his personal brand is also providing a sizeable contribution to his paycheck with various merch such as shirts, shoes, and other apparel.

Although Kevin Durant has shocked NBA fans when he left Oklahoma City to join the Golden State Warriors, his value didn’t dip as you’d have thought. Durant is backed by endorsement with Nike, Beats, American Family Insurance, BBVA, Sparkling Ice, Panini, and NBA 2K.

According to Forbes, Stephen Curry has been “one of the NBA’s biggest bargains since signing a four-year contract extension in 2012.”

The two-time MVP who scored a unanimous MVP vote in league history, has a base pay that ranks only 85th in NBA.

Aside from having the best-selling jersey for the past two seasons, Curry’s off-court revenue has almost tripled as he signed endorsements with JPMorgan Chase, Brita, Vivo, PressPlay, and UnderArmour, according to reports. He also just recently inked a $200-million deal with the Warriors for five years, said to be the richest in NBA history.

Harden’s on-court income spiked $10 million when the Rockets renegotiated his contract to cover four years with a staggering $118 million. Deemed as one of the NBA’s most marketable players, he’s also had a haul with Beats, Foot Locker, BodyArmor, NBA 2K, and recently, a $200-million deal with Adidas that spans 13 years.

From his renegotiated agreement, 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook got a $9 million increase for his 2016-2017 salary, plus an $85.6-million three-year deal. His recent second Jordan release also provided a lift on his paycheck; the model costs $140 a pair.

Twelve-time All-Star Dwyane Wade is a certified entrepreneur on the side. Under his belt is a flourishing line of neckties, socks, and underwear. His tie-up with high-end fashion brand Dsquared2 also gave his popularity a boost.

His body injuries might have affected his career in the court but D. Rose has been generating $10 million annually from his sealed deal with Adidas since 2012.

Aside from his signature shoe with Nike’s Jordan Brand, Carmelo Anthony is also boosting his income with endorsement for Haute Time, Draft Kings, eGoo, Foot Locker, Samsung, and Gillette.

According to Forbes, Chris Paul has the second highest career player efficiency ratio among active players, only behind only LeBron James. His Spalding endorsement is one the largest in his portfolio alongside Nike’s Jordan Brand, State Farm, Panini, FanDuel, Kaiser Permanente, and Tencent.

Kyrie Irving’s Kyrie 3 signature shoes being sold out in three minutes is solid proof that Uncle Drew is lucrative outside of his basketball career. Let’s see what happens once his Pepsi commercial finally makes it to the big screen.