We looked awhile back at the players who will make the highest salaries for their respective teams this season, but that post didn’t include the context of the money teams have committed beyond next summer. Large contracts that only cover one season are often highly coveted trade commodities in the NBA, but lucrative, long-term deals are often the most difficult to move.
A glance at each team’s largest salary commitment reveals a mix of franchise players and deals that have become albatrosses for front office executives. Derrick Rose is the face of the Bulls, and as long as he doesn’t suffer another devastating injury, the nearly $78MM he’ll make over the next four seasons won’t hurt the team. Amar’e Stoudemire is a role player for the Knicks these days, but no one on the team is due more money than he is.
There are plenty of oddities on this list. The Lakers have only four contracts that run past this season, so their largest commitment is Kobe Bryant‘s massive $30MM+ expiring contract. The Jazz have a few more deals that extend beyond this summer, but none of them add up to more than the $11,046,000 that Richard Jefferson will make in the final season of his contract this year. Chris Bosh and LeBron James have option clauses in their deals that will allow them to leave the Heat next summer, but in the meantime they share the designation as the Heat’s largest salary commitment, having signed identical contracts in 2010. Arron Afflalo of the Sixers and Goran Dragic of the Suns are due $22.5MM apiece from their respective teams, making them each club’s most sizable commitment.
The Pacers, Kings and Wizards handed out maximum-salary extensions this offseason, and because those maximums won’t be known until next summer, we don’t know exactly what Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall will be making. In the meantime, It’s safe to assume that each of them represents his team’s largest salary commitment, and the salary figures listed for them below are estimates based on this year’s maximum salary. The rookie scale extension deadline is less than three weeks away, so a few players whose names aren’t found here might wind up as their team’s most expensive commitment by opening night.
This list doesn’t include non-guaranteed money or team option years, since clubs aren’t truly committed to that salary. It does include player and early-termination options, and they’re noted where applicable.
- Atlanta Hawks: Al Horford, $36MM through 2015/16
- Boston Celtics: Gerald Wallace, $30,317,565 through 2015/16
- Brooklyn Nets: Deron Williams, $81,594,530 through 2016/17 (final season is ETO)
- Charlotte Bobcats: Al Jefferson, $40.5MM through 2015/16 (final season is player option)
- Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose, $77,911,880 through 2016/17
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Jack, $19.4MM through 2016/17 (doesn’t include $5.8MM in non-guaranteed money)
- Dallas Mavericks: Jose Calderon, $29MM through 2016/17
- Denver Nuggets: Ty Lawson, $48MM through 2016/17
- Detroit Pistons: Josh Smith, $54MM through 2016/17
- Golden State Warriors: Andre Iguodala, $48MM through 2016/17
- Houston Rockets: Dwight Howard, $87,591,270 through 2016/17 (final season is player option)
- Indiana Pacers: Roy Hibbert, $82,064,191 through 2018/19 (estimate; actual value of recently signed extension won’t be known until next summer)
- Los Angeles Clippers: Chris Paul, $107,343,475 through 2017/18 (final season is ETO)
- Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant, $30,453,805 through 2013/14
- Memphis Grizzlies: Zach Randolph, $35,176,666 through 2014/15 (final season is player option)
- Miami Heat: Chris Bosh and LeBron James (tie), $61,770,000 through 2015/16 (2014/15 is ETO, 2015/16 is player option)
- Milwaukee Bucks: Larry Sanders, $47,053,368 through 2017/18
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic, $60MM through 2017/18
- New Orleans Pelicans: Eric Gordon, $44,696,813 through 2015/16 (final season is player option)
- New York Knicks: Amar’e Stoudemire, $45,090,881 through 2014/15 (final season is ETO)
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook, $64,926,562 through 2016/17
- Orlando Magic: Arron Afflalo, $22.5MM through 2015/16 (final season is player option)
- Philadelphia 76ers: Thaddeus Young, $28,232,608 through 2015/16 (final season is ETO)
- Phoenix Suns, Goran Dragic, $22.5MM through 2015/16 (final season is player option)
- Portland Trail Blazers: Nicolas Batum, $35,296,500 through 2015/16
- Sacramento Kings: DeMarcus Cousins, $65,887,537 through 2017/18 (estimate; actual value of recently signed extension won’t be known until next summer)
- San Antonio Spurs: Tiago Splitter, $36MM through 2016/17
- Toronto Raptors: DeMar DeRozan, $38MM through 2016/17
- Utah Jazz: Richard Jefferson, $11,046,000 through 2013/14
- Washington Wizards: John Wall, $86,242,113 through 2018/19 (estimate; actual value of recently signed extension won’t be known until next summer)
ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.