Top 10 Highest Paid NBA Players

Russell Westbrook

After the NBA Champions lift the trophy, the teams in the league look towards the new season. That means offering star players new deals to ward off the competition. However, even with large deals, that's not always enough to stop multi-team trades during the offseason.

To cut through all the complex contract terminology, we have the ten top earners in the NBA for the 2023-24 season. The players listed below all have the highest average salaries in the league right now. 

The highest-paid players over the past few years have included big names like Stephen Curry and LeBron James. However, there is a new name on top this year. Find out the players taking home the biggest paychecks this year.

10. Kawhi Leonard


Kawhi Leonard is a small forward for the Los Angeles Clippers. He signed a four-year contract in 2021. The deal is worth over $170 million, including an average salary of $44 million a year. Leonard will become a free agent in 2025, but he has a player option in the 2024-25 season. That means Leonard can extend his contract for another year if he wishes to remain with the Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard
PositionSmall Forward
Average Salary$44,066,288
Guaranteed at Signing$176,265,152
Career Earnings to date$230,926,127

9. Paul George


The ninth-best-paid NBA player this season is Paul George. He is a shooting guard for the LA Clippers with a contract lasting until 2025. George has a player option to continue his contract for an additional season. He signed an extension in 2020, a four-year deal worth over $176 million. His average salary is $44 million, but he has received several fines over the years for criticizing the officials. Even with discipline issues, George is one of the league’s top earners. 

PositionShooting Guard
Average Salary$44,066,367
Guaranteed at Signing$176,265,466
Career Earnings to date$258,692,002

8. Giannis Antetokounmpo


The eighth highest-paid NBA star in the league this year is Giannis Antetokounmpo. In 2020, Antetokounmpo signed a five-year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. His current deal expires in 2026 when he will become a free agent. However, like many other NBA players, he has an option to extend his deal in 2025. This year, Antetokounmpo will take home $45 million.

PositionPower Forward
Average Salary$45,640,084
Guaranteed at Signing$228,200,420
Career Earnings to date$188,837,362

7. Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is one of the best NBA players of all time. Part of being the best means he gets to take home the big bucks. In 2021, he signed a four-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets. The contract is worth just under $200 million and he has an average salary of $48 million for the season. In February 2023, the Nets traded the small forward to the Phoenix Suns. Durant will remain with the Suns until 2026 when he will become an unrestricted free agent.

PositionSmall Forward
Average Salary$48,554,830
Guaranteed at Signing$189,078,320
Career Earnings to date$306,172,746

6. Jimmy Butler


Next on our list is small forward Jimmy Butler. In 2019, Butler was part of a sign-and-trade deal with Philadelphia and Miami. The four-year contract was worth $140 million and expired in 2021. He then signed a three-year extension with the Heat in a deal that is worth $146 million. The veteran contract he signed has a player option for him to continue with the franchise in 2026. Otherwise, he will become an unrestricted free agent.

PositionSmall Forward
Average Salary$48,798,677
Guaranteed at Signing$146,396,031
Career Earnings to date$218,065,231

5. LeBron James 

One of the best NBA players of all time and the current fifth-highest-paid NBA player is LeBron James. Players like James need no introduction, so let's get into his current deal. The power forward signed a two-year maximum veteran contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal is worth just under 100 million dollars and also includes an option to extend into 2025. James' exact salary could change depending on the salary cap this season.

PositionSmall Forward
Average Salary$49,511,644
Guaranteed at Signing$99,023,288
Career Earnings to date$431,859,107

4. Bradley Beal

Next up is Bradley Beal, a shooting guard who plays for the Phoenix Suns. In 2022, Beal signed a humongous five-year deal with Washington, a contract worth over $250 million. However, in June 2023, Washington included Beal as part of a trade to the Suns. His deal has a no-trade clause and includes a player option in 2026. By 2027, Beal could be a free agent, unless he signs an extension.

PositionShooting Guard
Average Salary$50,203,930
Guaranteed at Signing$251,019,650
Career Earnings to date$221,133,962

3. Joel Embiid


The Philadelphia 76ers convinced star man Joel Embiid to sign a four-year contract in 2021. The deal is worth $213 million and includes an average salary of $53 million a year. Like many of the highest-paid NBA players, Embiid has a player option in 2026. If he does not extend his current contract, he will become an unrestricted free agent in 2027, like many other star players on our list.

Average Salary$53,320,232
Guaranteed at Signing$213,280,928
Career Earnings to date$166,822,037

2. Stephen Curry 

Steph Curry is the second highest-paid player in the NBA, with an average salary of $53.8 million a year. In August 2021, he signed a four-year maximum contract extension worth over $215 million. The 35-year-old does not have a player option to extend his deal beyond the season starting in 2025. When the 2026 season begins, Curry will be a free agent, unless he signs a new contract.

PositionPoint Guard
Average Salary$53,838,416
Guaranteed at Signing$215,353,664
Career Earnings to date$302,806,362

1. Nikola Jokic


The number one highest-paid athlete in the NBA this season is Nikola Jokic. The Denver Nuggets gave Jokic a five-year contract in 2022. Jokic signed a veteran player extension that includes a player option to take his deal beyond 2028. He is looking at an average salary of $55 million a year, rising to $62 million in his last season. While he is the highest-paid NBA player this season, given the size of his contract, Jokic could be at the top for years to come.

Average Salary$55,224,526
Guaranteed at Signing$276,122,630
Career Earnings to date$150,517,445


There you have the ten highest-paid NBA players this season. As with any list, the players and exactly how much they earn are subject to change. However, the top earners in 2023 will be Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry, and Joel Embiid. If they strike any new deals, you will be the first to know!

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