We see NBA players live lavish lifestyles, in multi-million dollars mansions, fast cars and private jets. Outside their basic pay, NBA players get paid bonuses for games played, games won, endorsements, appearances and so on. So there’s no real limit to what NBA players can make in a year or season. Even the NBA clubs were given a new opportunity recently, where they were given the permission to sign sponsors like an online casino in order to increase their profits. So how much money do NBA players make?
The NBA league has by far the highest minimum contracts of all American sports. The NBA pays every player almost $8 million per year on average. In fact, the NBA’s rookie pay (for first-time players) is much higher for players selected at the top of the NBA Draft. For example, the New Orleans Pelicans rookie, Zion Williamson, was selected with the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He went on to earn $9.7 million per season. Then, the minimum pay increases for veteran players according to how long they played in the league.
To put this into context, the MLB (Major League Baseball) and NHL (National Hockey league) have minimum contracts of $500,000. Meanwhile, the NFL (National Football League) pays its players just over $450,000. It may even seem like popularity increases with a player’s salary bump too. As we often see the most bets placed on the highest-ranked players in the league.
2020-2021 NBA Player Salaries
Although it’s clear that the top-league players of the NBA get paid significantly more than the rest, the NBA still pays an average salary of $7,818,572 and a median salary of $3,737,520. According to Basketball Reference, the 2020-21 Salary Cap is $109.1 million.
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is still the highest-paid NBA player this season, earning over $43 million. While Washington Wizard’s point guard Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul are joint second with $41 million. LeBron James from the Los Angeles Lakers is seventh on this year’s money list. However, he’s racked up over $300 million on the court, and hundreds of millions off the court.
So yes, NBA stars can make a hefty amount playing on basketball’s biggest stage before they retire. In fact, the top NBA stars in history are the highest-paid athletes of all time in any sport. The highest-paid player in NBA history was Kevin Garnett, who earned over $334 million lifetime before retiring in 2017.