NBA’s top earners

On social media, NBA celebrities are no match for football’s biggest stars. But they can easily match and often surpass them in annual earnings. This season, the 15 highest-paid NBA basketball players will pocket a whopping USD 969 million. So who are the highest paid basketball players in the world?

The NBA stars will, as mentioned, pocket a total of $969 million (there are 15 on the list). The top 15 in football will earn $755 million, $675 million in American football and $541 million in baseball. It is important to say exactly how they will get their salaries.

15 highest paid basketball players

The top 15 NBA players will receive $628 million in salaries or bonuses, while the remaining $341 million will come from sponsorship deals. The list also includes Slovenian national team player Luka Dončić, who is the only European on the list along with Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The top spot once again goes to “The King” LeBron James, who is only fourth on the list in terms of salary, but has by far the most to show for it in terms of sponsorship deals. He accumulates $75 million of them. Behind him are Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, who are already below the 100 mark in annual earnings, which is exceeded only by the Los Angeles Lakers star. It is Curry, however, who also leads the way in salary without the addition of sponsorship, which includes his Under Armour line of basketball sneakers. He is closely followed in salary by Russell Westbrook, who is ranked fifth, just behind the Greek giant.

Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, James Harden and Paul George are next. What they all have in common is that they all have their own line of basketball sneakers, which are among the best-selling and the most popular in basketball. John Wall rounds off the top ten, but there is still a big question mark over his high salary, which was bought out to allow him to sign a new contract with the LA Clippers. Before we can get to the Slovenian ace, there is Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis.

Luka Doncic among the highest paid basketball players

Slovenian national team player Luka Dončić enters this NBA season as the front-runner to win the MVP title, the first season of his five-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks, which he signed in 2021. This year also saw the launch of the first basketball sneakers in collaboration with Jordan – Luka 1.

Ranking of the highest paid NBA basketball players

15. Luka Doncic – $45.6 million ($37.1 million salary)
14. Anthony Davis – $47 million ($38 million salary)
13. Kawhi Leonard – $47.5 million ($42.5 million salary)
12. Kyrie Irving – $47.5 million ($36.5 million salary)
11. Bradley Beal – $47.8 million ($43.4 million salary)
10. John Wall – $47.9 million ($47.4 million salary)
9. Paul George – $51 million ($42.5 million salary)
8. James Harden – $52 million ($33 million salary)
7. Damian Lillard – $59.5 million ($42.5 million salary)
6. Klay Thompson – $61.6 million ($40.6 million salary)
5. Russell Westbrook – $72.1 million ($47.1 million salary)
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo – $86.5 million ($42.5 million salary)
3. Kevin Durant – $91 million ($43 million salary)
2. Stephen Curry – $93.1 million ($48.1 million salary)
1. LeBron James – $119.5 million ($44.5 million salary)