A player in the NBA is guaranteed to make a lot of money. The average NBA player makes $1 million or more. There are players who barely play or play in limited amounts who still make good money (more than $500,000). That is still a pretty significant amount of money compared to other middle class jobs in North America. NBA rookies who were drafted can make more than $2 million during their rookie contracts. If the NBA rookies play well and improve, their team will offer more money. If a player hires a good agent with great negotiating skills, they can land a big contract which wouldn't be possible otherwise or even offered on any other team. NBA stars who are All-Stars can make $10-19 million in their prime. Those players that become NBA superstars can make more than $20 million depending on their contract.
Among all the players, there are several players who make considerably more money than their teammates. This includes rookies, 6th men, bench players, etc. There are 2-3 players who make more money than those players. These players include the starters, All-Stars, etc... This leads to the highest paid player which is in most cases, the team’s best player or one of the best players in the league. These players are superstars or MVP candidates (at least they should be)...
Every NBA team has a player whose salary makes other players' salaries look like chump change. To show each team's highest paid player, a list was made of all 30 NBA teams with a brief description of the player and their contract details.
30 Al Horford - Atlanta Hawks
Al Horford is one of the league’s best power forwards and as a result is the highest paid player on the Atlanta Hawks. He will make $12 million this season. In 2010, the Hawks resigned Al Horford to a 5-year, $60 million contract. He sure is earning his money this season, as the Hawks are first in the Eastern Conference and in the state that conference is in, Horford may very well be able to lead the Hawks on a long playoff run.
29 Gerald Wallace - Boston Celtics
Gerald Wallace hasn't played much this season, only suiting up for 15 games, and only averaging 6.7 minutes per game. Despite all that, he is the highest paid player on the Boston Celtics. Gerald Wallace will make $10.1 million this season. In 2013, the Celtics signed Gerald Wallace to a 4-year, $40 million contract. The trade that sent Rajon Rondo to Dallas earlier this season made Wallace Boston's highest paid player. The Celtics are probably regretting that contract, especially given the fact they're clearly in a rebuilding mode.
28 Joe Johnson - Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets have one of the league’s highest payrolls. Given that investment, they have to be utterly disappointed with where they are this season, hanging on to the East's final playoff spot, despite a losing record. The highest paid player on the Nets is Joe Johnson. He will make $23.1 million this season. In 2012, the Nets signed Joe Johnson to a 6-year, $123.6 million contract.
27 Al Jefferson - Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets best player Al Jefferson is the highest paid player on the team. Despite currently being out with an injury, he will make $13.6 million. In 2013, the Hornets signed Al Jefferson to a 3-year, $41 million contract. Jefferson's salary will look a lot more valuable if he's able to lead the Hornets back to the playoffs, and present more of a challenge to the opposition in the first round, unlike last year when they were quickly swept by the Heat.
26 Derrick Rose - Chicago Bulls
The former MVP Derrick Rose is one of the league’s best point guards and is the highest paid player on the Bulls. He will make $18.8 million this season. In 2012, the Bulls signed Derrick Rose to a 5-year, $94.3 million contract. His talent justifies the salary, now Chicago can only hope that Rose is able to overcome his injury woes over the course of the contract. They'll sure need Rose if they are to make a deep playoff run.
25 Lebron James - Cleveland Cavaliers
Lebron James is widely recognized as one of the top two best players in the league currently and is a global sports star so it’s no surprise that he is also the highest paid player on the team. He will make $20.6 million this season. In 2014, the Cavaliers signed Lebron James to a 2-year, $42.2 million contract. Lebron's contract will likely see an increase once the new NBA TV deals kick in.
24 Chandler Parsons - Dallas Mavericks
This is a surprise but the former MVP and the Mavericks longtime legend Dirk Nowitzki is currently not the highest paid player on the team. That distinction belongs to one of their young rising stars in Chandler Parsons. He is set to make $15.3 million this season. In 2014, the Mavericks signed Chandler Parsons to a 3-year, $46 million contract. The Mavericks have some pretty high salaries, so it's quite a feather in the cap of Parsons that he's paid the most in Dallas.
23 Ty Lawson - Denver Nuggets
Ty Lawson is one of the league’s best point guards and is the best player on the Nuggets. He is also the highest paid player on the team. He will make $11.5 million this season. In 2013, the Nuggets signed Ty Lawson to a 4-year, $48 million contract. What he does for the Nuggets is undervalued, as the team's lack of depth has them out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. We'll see if he can lead Denver to a late push for the playoffs.
22 Brandon Jennings - Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons have been on a roll recently and have been led by their point guard Brandon Jennings. He is also the highest paid player on the team. He will make $8 million this season. In 2013, the Pistons signed Brandon Jennings to a 3-year, $24 million contract. With so many lackluster teams in the Eastern Conference, it looks like the Pistons may actually reach the playoffs, and it would be thanks to Jennings.
21 David Lee - Golden State Warriors
The Warriors' best player and 2015 MVP candidate Stephen Curry is among the highest paid players on his team, but not the highest paid. The highest paid player on the team is center David Lee. He will make $15 million this season. In 2010, the Warriors signed David Lee to a 6-year, $79.5 contract. Their investment is paying off as the Warriors have been the NBA's best team this season.
20 Dwight Howard - Houston Rockets
Dwight Howard is considered among the best centers in the world and therefore is the highest paid player on the team. He will make $21.4 million this season. In 2013, the Rockets signed Dwight Howard to a 4-year, $87.5 million contract. Despite what his peers may think of him, Howard is a star and is justifiably the highest paid player on the Houston Rockets' roster.
19 Paul George - Indiana Pacers
Paul George is currently out for the season with an ACL injury, but when healthy is the Pacers' best player. He is also the highest paid player and will make $15.9 million this season. In 2014, the Pacers resigned Paul George to a 5-year, $91.5 million contract. The team clearly hasn't gone in the right direction since their playoff disappointments against Miami, but there's still plenty of time to turn their season around in a weak Eastern Conference.
18 Chris Paul - Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul was a huge acquisition for the Clippers a few years ago, and they clearly feel the same way. His current salary sits just over $20 million, as he's signed to a contract paying him $107 million over five years. He elected to stay in L.A following the 2012-13 season and signed his max contract with the Clippers rather than test the open market in free agency. The Clippers hope that Paul will be the one to lead them to their first NBA Championship.
17 Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant is one of the world’s most famous and well known basketball superstars. He is also by far highest paid player on the team. He will make $23.5 million this season. In 2014, the Lakers resigned Kobe Bryant to a 2-year, $48.5 million contract. Many are questioning whether Kobe Bryant is still worth that kind of money, but the bottom line is, he's still a star, and stars get paid.
16 Zach Randolph - Memphis Grizzlies
Zach Randolph is one of the three best players on the Memphis Grizzlies. He is also the highest paid player at the moment. He will make $16.5 million this season. In 2011, the Grizzlies signed Zach Randolph to a 4-year, $66 million contract. The Grizzlies recently resigned Zach Randolph to a 2-year, $20 million contract. Their hope is that Randolph will help lead them to an NBA championship in the near future.
15 Chris Bosh - Miami Heat
Chris Bosh is one of the top two players on the Miami Heat. He is the highest paid player on the team and will make $20.6 million this season. In 2014, the Miami Heat signed Chris Bosh to a 5-year, $118.7 million contract. His value to the Heat was increased when Lebron decided to go back to Cleveland, prompting the Heat to keep some chemistry together from their recent success.
14 Larry Sanders - Milwaukee Bucks
Larry Sanders is one of the best defensive players on the up and coming Bucks team. He is the highest paid player on his team and will make $11 million this season. In 2014, the Milwaukee Bucks signed Larry Sanders to a 4-year, $44 million contract. The Bucks have surprised many this season, having currently overtaken preseason favorites such as Brooklyn, Cleveland and Indiana in the standings.
13 Nikola Pekovic - Minnesota Timberwolves
Nikola Pekovic is the highest paid player on his team this season. He will make $12.1 million this season. In 2013, the Minnesota Timberwolves resigned Nikola Pekovic to a 5-year, $60 million contract. Moving Kevin Love out of Minnesota also cleared the way for Pekovic to be the team's highest paid player. His $15 million is out of the Timberwolves' hands so Pekovic is now leading the young core in Minnesota.
12 Eric Gordon - New Orlean Pelicans
Eric Gordon is one of the top four players on the Pelicans team. He is the also the highest paid player and will make $14.8 million this season. In 2012, the Pelicans signed Eric Gordon to a 4-year, $58.3 million contract. Anthony Davis will likely be the team's highest paid player when it's time for his new contract, but for the time being, Eric Gordon enjoys the distinction of being his team's highest paid player.
11 Amar'e Stoudemire - New York Knicks
Amar’e Stoudemire is the highest paid player on the Knicks team. He will make $23.4 million this season. In 2010, the Knicks signed Amar’e Stoudemire to a 5-year, $99.7 million contract. He will become an unrestricted free agent after the end of this season. Given the catastrophe that has been the Knicks' season, they will likely part with Stoudemire and retool their roster. While Carmelo Anthony is on a richer contract, $126 million over five years, Stoudemire's current annual salary is higher than Melo, who is making $22.4 million this season.
10 Kevin Durant - Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant the reigning MVP and one of the famous basketball superstars is the highest paid player on his team. He will make $18.9 this season. In 2011, the Thunder resigned Kevin Durant to a 5-year, $89.1 million contract. The Thunder's slide in his absence this season has demonstrated just how important Durant is to his team. With him now back in the lineup, the Thunder will hope for a renewed push to a playoff berth.
9 Channing Frye - Orlando Magic
Channing Frye is this season the highest paid player on the Magic team. He will make $8.5 million this season. In 2014, the Magic signed Channing Frye to a 4-year, $32 million contract. While Orlando is over 10 games below .500, they're only a few games out of a playoff spot and can make a push late in the season. Frye would have to be the man leading the way for that to happen.
8 Jason Richardson - Philadelphia 76ers
Jason Richardson hasn’t played a minute this season for the rebuilding 76ers team. This season, he is the highest paid player. He will make $6.6 million this season. In 2011, the Orlando Magic signed Jason Richardson to a 4 year, $24 million contract. He was then traded to the Philadelphia 76ers shortly after. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. He hasn't played since the 2012-13 season, battling several injuries.
7 Eric Bledsoe - Phoenix Suns
Eric Bledsoe is one of the top players on the Suns team. He is the highest paid player and will make $12.1 million this season. In 2014, the Phoenix Suns signed Eric Bledsoe to a 5-year, $70 million contract. The Suns are hanging on to the Western Conference's last playoff spot and will look to keep it, after barely missing out on the playoffs last year. Bledsoe will look to lead the way for a playoff run.
6 LaMarcus Aldridge - Portland Trail Blazers
LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the best power forwards in the league. He is the highest paid player on his team. He will make $16 million this season. In 2010, the Trail Blazers resigned LaMarcus Aldridge to a 5-year, $65 million contract. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. Portland will want to keep him in town, especially with the promise the team has shown the last few seasons.
5 Rudy Gay - Sacramento Kings
Rudy Gay is this season’s highest paid player on the Kings team. He will make $19.3 million this season. In 2010, the Memphis Grizzlies signed Rudy Gay to a 5 year, $82.3 million contract. He was traded to Toronto and then eventually to Sacramento. The Sacramento Kings recently resigned Rudy Gay to a 3-year, $40 million contract. It has yet to pay dividends in terms of the team's success, but hopefully that will kick in during Gay's contract.
4 Tony Parker - San Antonio Spurs
Tony Parker is one of the league’s best point guards and he is the highest paid player on the Spurs team. He will make $12.5 million this season. In 2010, the San Antonio Spurs signed Tony Parker to a 4-year, $50 million contract. The San Antonio Spurs recently resigned Tony Parker to a 3-year, $43.3 million contract. He clearly is worth it, as the Spurs constantly remain in title contention.
3 Kyle Lowry - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry is emerging as one of the top point guards in the league and he is the highest paid player on the Raptors team. He will make $12 million this season. In 2014, the Raptors resigned Kyle Lowry to a 4-year, $48 million contract. That was a huge re-signing for the Raptors chances of contending. They lead their division by a landslide and Kyle Lowry will be an enormous part of Toronto's playoff run.
2 Gordon Hayward - Utah Jazz
Gordon Hayward is an emerging young star and the best player on the Jazz team. He is also the highest paid player on his team. He will make $14.7 million this season. In 2014, the Jazz resigned Gordon Hayward to a 4-year, $62.9 million deal. Hayward will need some help if Utah is to get back to the postseason, but re-signing him was very important to Utah's future.
1 John Wall - Washington Wizards
John Wall is one of the top point guards in the league and the best player on the Wizards. He is also the highest paid player. He will make $14.7 million this season. In 2014, the Wizards resigned John Wall to a 5-year, $84.7 million contract. Washington has emerged as a possible championship contender in the Eastern Conference, and Wall would have to be a huge part if they are to go deep into the postseason.
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