Highest-paid players in the NBA

You may know which NBA players make the most points, but who makes the most money? Stacker compiled a list of the 25 highest-paid NBA players using Nov. 8, 2022 data from Spotrac.

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Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball

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The days when most NBA stars played for the same team throughout their careers are so over. With players often signing short-term contracts or long-term deals that include an opt-out clause, the culture has become one of total player empowerment: The stars have a say in where, with whom, and for how much money they would like to play.

Stacker compiled a list of the highest-paid NBA players using Nov. 8, 2022 data from Spotrac. Interestingly, the top of the list is dominated by three California teams with the Warriors, Clippers, and Lakers each placing two stars in the top 10. The Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks are the only teams with three players in the top 25.

If you're wondering how the highest-earning players in the NBA stack up financially against their major-sport counterparts, #1 Stephen Curry's $48.1 million is similar to the NFL's #1 earner, quarterback Aaron Rodgers ($50.3 million) and the MLB's #1 earner, pitcher Max Scherzer ($43.3 million). NBA's riches reach a bit deeper, though, as the NFL's 25th-highest salary is $24 million and the MLB's is $25 million compared to the NBA's $33.7 million (Jrue Holiday). Bottom line: Teach your son to shoot hoops!

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#25. Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks looks to the bench

Stacy Revere // Getty Images


- Team: Milwaukee Bucks
- Position: Shooting guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $33,665,040

Holiday proved his worth to the Bucks just weeks after signing a four-year contract extension worth at least $134 million in 2021 by contributing heavily to their second-ever NBA title—the first in 50 years. The veteran point guard for the 76ers and Pelicans before joining the Bucks in 2020 managed to score 27 points in Game 5 of the Bucks-Suns NBA Finals. Through the first 13 games of the 2022-23 season, he has led the team in assists (7.9 per game) and trailed only superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo in points (19.6 per game).

#22. Kristaps Porzingis (tie)

Elsa // Getty Images


- Team: Washington Wizards
- Position: Power forward
- 2022-23 Salary: $33,833,400

This Latvian wizard signed a five-year, $158 million contract with the Mavericks in 2019, but his February 2022 trade to the Wizards seemed to put some extra spring in his huge (7-foot-3) step as he averaged 22.1 points per game for his new team the rest of the season. Often injured but impressive when he's healthy, the center has been nearly that impactful (21 points, 8.2 rebounds) over the first 14 games of the 2022-23 season.

#22. Devin Booker (tie)

Maddie Meyer // Getty Images


- Team: Phoenix Suns
- Position: Shooting guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $33,833,400

Since Phoenix drafted him in 2015, Booker has improved almost every year, averaging a career-high 26.8 points per game in 2021-22 and holding steady at 26.5 per game in the first 13 games of 2022-23. That's more than 10 points ahead of any of his teammates. The team rewarded the 6-foot-5 guard with a four-year, $224 million contract extension in July 2022—which he deserved after becoming only the seventh player to score 40 points in back-to-back games in a (2021) NBA Finals.

#22. Karl-Anthony Towns (tie)

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- Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
- Position: Center
- 2022-23 Salary: $33,833,400

Towns earned Rookie of the Year honors on the strength of 18.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game for the Timberwolves in 2015-16—and he's averaged better than 21 points and 9 rebounds every season since. In the first 15 games of the 2022-23 season, his 21.9-point average was tied with Anthony Edwards for the team lead, and his rebound numbers fell off (to 9) only because new teammate and fellow seven-footer Ruby Gobert has taken over that role. His four-year, $224 million contract extension in June 2022 ensures that Minnesota fans can keep watching him throughout his prime years.

#20. Ben Simmons (tie)

Elsa // Getty Images


- Team: Brooklyn Nets
- Position: Point guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $35,448,672

Ben Simmons' career began with a cascade of superlatives: first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Rookie of the Year honors, and three All-Star nods. Then came his grievances against the 76ers, which had agreed to a five-year, $170 million contract extension in 2019, and a holdout that prompted a multi-player trade in February 2022 to the Nets. Limited by injuries, he has played few games for them so far.

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#20. Pascal Siakam (tie)

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- Team: Toronto Raptors
- Position: Power forward
- 2022-23 Salary: $35,448,672

Pascal Siakam's team-leading 26 points (tied with Kyle Lowry) in the deciding Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals made fans sit up and pay attention to the lad from Cameroon. Fans continue to be rapt. The 6-foot-8 star has averaged better than 21 points and 7 rebounds in each season since signing a four-year, $130 million contract extension in 2019. He remains a valuable asset to the Raptors, averaging 24.8 points in the first 16 games of the 2022-23 season.

#19. Kyrie Irving

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- Team: Brooklyn Nets
- Position: Point guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $36,934,550

Kyrie Irving's controversial comments and refusal to get the COVID vaccine have driven coaches and fans a little crazy, but he remains one of the game's best shooters—and remains with the Nets even with the recent departure of James Harden and rumors of a Kevin Durant trade. The star of the 2016 NBA Finals (along with then-Cavs teammate LeBron) began the final year of a four-year, $141 million contract with the Nets in 2022-23. He is still playing his best basketball, averaging in the vicinity of 27 points per game over the last three seasons—and in the early games of the 2022-23 season.

#16. Trae Young (tie)

Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks reacts against the Miami Heat

Michael Reaves // Getty Images


- Team: Atlanta Hawks
- Position: Point guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $37,096,500

After establishing himself as a star—averaging 19.1 points and 8.1 assists per game as a rookie in 2018-19 and 25 to 30 points and 9 to 10 assists per game in every season since—the Hawks gave Trae Young a lucrative five-year, $207 million contract extension in 2021. After just four seasons, he is already a two-time NBA All-Star Game starter and helped the Hawks advance in the 2022 playoffs with a stunning 32-point second half in April. In the first 14 games of the 2022-23 season, the 6-foot-1 point guard averaged 26.9 points and 9.3 assists per game.

#16. Zach LaVine (tie)

Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls controls the ball during a game

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- Team: Chicago Bulls
- Position: Shooting guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $37,096,500

Zach LaVine is no Michael Jordan, but he is carrying on the MJ tradition as a solid scorer and flashy dunker for the Bulls. He's also a two-time NBA All-Star and a two-time Slam Dunk Contest winner. Rewarded for his consistent scoring with a five-year, $215 million contract in July 2022, he averaged 22.2 points over the first 15 games in 2022-23.

#16. Luka Doncic (tie)

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks reacts to a play

Tom Pennington // Getty Images


- Team: Dallas Mavericks
- Position: Point guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $37,096,500

Each year has been a stepping stone to greatness for Slovenian Luka Doncic: Rookie of the Year in 2018-19, first All-Star appearance (at age 20), first playoffs appearances in 2020, and first West Conference Finals appearance in 2022. His all-around stellar play earned him the richest rookie contract extension in NBA history: $207 million for five years. He responded with his best start yet, averaging 34.4 points per game to lead the NBA for the first 14 games of the 2022-23 season, and his 7.8 assists ranked eighth.

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#15. Tobias Harris

Elsa // Getty Images


- Team: Philadelphia 76ers
- Position: Small forward
- 2022-23 Salary: $37,633,050

The 76ers are Tobias Harris' fifth team and the team he's been with the longest (four-plus seasons). Given a five-year, $180 million contract extension in 2019, the Sixers are hoping he can join forces with teammates James Harden, Joel Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey to lead them deep into the playoffs, though his 14.7-point average through 14 games trails that trio. The Sixers desperately want to shed their habit of playing well in the regular season but faltering in the postseason.

#14. Jimmy Butler

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- Team: Miami Heat
- Position: Small forward
- 2022-23 Salary: $37,653,300

Jimmy Butler averaged a solid 20.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 6.1 assists over the first 15 games of the 2022-23 season. The Heat handed him a four-year, $184 million contract extension in 2021 for all that versatility. He's also golden when it matters most, with five 40-point games in the postseason.

#13. Khris Middleton

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- Team: Milwaukee Bucks
- Position: Small forward
- 2022-23 Salary: $37,948,276

Khris Middleton isn't the kind of player who grabs a lot of headlines, but that's fine with the Bucks because they have Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday for that. But a five-year, $177.5 million contract signed in 2019 kept Middleton part of the Bucks' triumvirate, a wise investment for the team that would win the 2021 NBA title. He's averaged more than 20 points per game for three straight seasons and had an average of 20.1 per game in the 2021-22 season.

#12. Anthony Davis

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- Team: Los Angeles Lakers
- Position: Center
- 2022-23 Salary: $37,980,720

New Orleans received three players and three first-round picks from the Lakers for Anthony Davis in a 2019 trade, and they're still waiting to see if he's worth the five-year, $190 million contract they gave him in 2020. His scoring and rebounding have fallen off compared to his seven years with the Pelicans, but he got off to a solid start in the first 12 games of 2022-23 by averaging 24.3 points and 11.2 rebounds, both better than his career averages. Whether his synergy with LeBron James and Russell Westbrook will turn the season around after the Lakers' dismal 3-10 start remains to be seen.

#11. Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz reacts after getting called for a foul

Kevork Djansezian // Getty Images


- Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
- Position: Center
- 2022-23 Salary: $38,172,414

Gobert spent nine years using his 7-foot-1 height to snag rebounds for the Jazz and led the league in 2021-22 with a 14.7-rebound average—and he hasn't missed a beat (or many rebounds) since debuting for the Timberwolves. Minnesota picked up the five-year, $205 million contract extension he signed with the Jazz in 2020, and days after Minnesota's October 2022 opener, he paired 21 rebounds with 22 points in a win over the Lakers. Gobert may be best known as the first NBA player to contract COVID after making light of the virus in a press conference, for which he apologized.

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#10. Klay Thompson

Ezra Shaw // Getty Images


- Team: Golden State Warriors
- Position: Shooting guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $40,600,080

Stephen Curry, who tops this list, maybe the better-known "Splash Brother," but his longtime teammate has a splashier comeback story. When Klay Thompson signed a five-year, $190 million contract in 2019 to stay with the Warriors, they knew his ACL surgery would likely sideline him for a full season but, combined with a later injury, cost him two seasons. The good news: He helped lead them to the 2022 NBA title and has avoided injuries since then, though his 33% three-point shooting through 15 games in 2022-23 suggests he's still searching for his shot.

#7. Damian Lillard (tie)

Jonathan Ferrey // Getty Images


- Team: Portland Trail Blazers
- Position: Point guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $42,492,492

Damian Lillard has continued to dazzle for the Trail Blazers even though the team hasn't been able to surround him with enough talent to reach the NBA Finals yet. Over the first 15 games of his 11th season for Portland in 2022-23, he averaged a solid 27.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, both better than his career average. In July 2022, he signed a jaw-dropping two-year, $225 million contract extension that was tagged onto the end of his four-year, $176.3 million gig. He's consistently drained more three-pointers in attempts from far beyond the arc than Stephen Curry and had three 60-point games in 2020.

#7. Kawhi Leonard (tie)

Lachlan Cunningham // Getty Images


- Team: Los Angeles Clippers
- Position: Small forward
- 2022-23 Salary: $42,492,492

A knee injury kept Kawhi Leonard out of most early-season games in 2022-23, but his return is eagerly awaited. The Clippers miss his scoring prowess—24.8 points per game in 2020-21 before he signed a four-year, $176.3 million contract—and then he missed the entire 2021-22 season after ACL surgery. The two-time NBA Finals MVP (Spurs, Raptors) is hoping, with Paul George's help, to lead the Clippers to the Finals, where he could tie LeBron as the only other player to win NBA Finals MVP honors for three different teams.

#7. Giannis Antetokounmpo (tie)

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts during a game

Adam Glanzman // Getty Images


- Team: Milwaukee Bucks
- Position: Power forward
- 2022-23 Salary: $42,492,492

Antetokounmpo is as hard to stop as his name is to pronounce. The "Greek Freak" was the NBA's MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, meriting a five-year, $228 million contract extension—the heftiest in NBA history. He then earned every penny by leading the Bucks to their first championship in 50 years, the 2020-21 NBA Finals MVP title. He had his best scoring season (29.9 per game) during that season and notched his 30th career triple-double (26 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists) in his eighth game of the 2022-23 season.

#6. Paul George

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- Team: Los Angeles Clippers
- Position: Shooting guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $42,492,568

If a player named John Ringo joined the Clippers, he and Paul George would surely be called the Beatles Brothers. As it is, George and Kawhi Leonard are the Dynamic Duo. Both are solid on both offense and defense. George's four-year, $190 million contract extension signed in 2020 has proven to be a bargain as he led the Clippers to their first Western Conference Finals in franchise history in 2021, and his averages of 23.8 points and 6.3 rebounds early in the 2022-23 season show he hasn't lost much of his mojo.

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#5. Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards handles the ball

Christian Petersen // Getty Images


- Team: Washington Wizards
- Position: Shooting guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $43,279,250

Bradley Beal ranked in the top 10 in both points (21.9) and assists (5.7) per game early in the 2022-23 season, justifying the Wizards' five-year, $251 million gamble on him in July 2022. That contract should make him one of the game's few superstars to play for only one team since he'll be 34 by the time the gig is up. Beal's sparkling 2020-21 season—averaging a career-high 31.3 points with a 48.5% shooting percentage and one 60-point game against the 76ers—convinced the Wizards that Beal is one magician they can't afford to lose.

#4. Kevin Durant

Ronald Martinez // Getty Images


- Team: Brooklyn Nets
- Position: Small forward
- 2022-23 Salary: $44,124,845

Kevin Durant was part of the Nets' grand but ultimately failed experiment in putting three superstars on the team—along with Kyrie Irving and James Harden—but he and Irving are still Nets despite grumblings about leaving. He remains a force at 34 as the first player to score at least 25 points in the first 12 games of a season (2022-23) since Michael Jordan. A four-year, $198 million contract extension in 2021 put the 12-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA Finals MVP (for the Warriors) fourth on this list—while his averages of 30.6 points and 5.2 assists early in 2022-23 led the team.

#3. LeBron James

Harry How // Getty Images


- Team: Los Angeles Lakers
- Position: Small forward
- 2022-23 Salary: $44,474,988

Because basketball stars are considered to be past their prime after 30, it would seem that a player who turns 38 in December 2022 shouldn't rank so high on this list. But "King James" is a man as ageless and critical to a team's success as fellow "senior" Tom Brady in the NFL. While the Lakers struggled early in the 2022-23 season, you can't blame LeBron, who led the Lakers in points (24.9) and assists (6.9) through Game 13, justifying his two-year, $97.1 million contract extension.

#2. Russell Westbrook

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- Team: Los Angeles Lakers
- Position: Point guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $47,063,478

Russell Westbrook is Mr. Versatile, as his 194 triple-doubles are the most in the history of the NBA. Teammate LeBron, in comparison, is a distant fifth with 105 among active players. Whatever criticism he might deserve over his exuberant, mistake-prone style of play (he's led the league in turnovers four times), the 34-year-old nine-time NBA All-Star remains a force when he's healthy, justifying the decision by the Lakers to honor the final year of his five-year, $205 million contract extension executed by the Oklahoma City Thunder. He got off to a slow 2022-23 start, though his 7.2 assists per game is solid.

#1. Stephen Curry

Ezra Shaw // Getty Images


- Team: Golden State Warriors
- Position: Point guard
- 2022-23 Salary: $48,070,014

While other active players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant have enjoyed similarly decorated careers, Stephen Curry truly changed the game. His magic from beyond the arc is literally game-changing and legendary, but he's also the glue holding the Warriors together as they claimed four NBA titles between 2015 and 2022. At 34, the two-time NBA MVP continues to justify his four-year, $215-million contract, signed in 2021. His early-season 2022-23 average was 32.8 points per game ranked second in the NBA.

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