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2015/16 Salary Rankings: Centers

Hoops Rumors is in the process of ranking the cap hit for each NBA player by position. I previously ran down the point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center salaries for the 2014/15 season. I’ve also begun looking ahead to the 2015/16 campaign with a rundown of the cap hits for the point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, and power forwards. Next on the agenda will be a look ahead at the salaries for centers already inked to deals for next season.

All told, NBA teams have committed a total of $297,475,359 in cap hits so far for next season to the men manning the block around the league. The average hit for the five spot so far for 2015/16 is an extremely robust $6,329,263 with Dwight Howard of the Rockets topping the list. Howard is due to take home an impressive $22,359,364 next season. It should be noted that the list and rankings will change greatly depending on how the free agent market develops next summer.

I also should add that teams won’t necessarily pay out every dollar listed here. There are quite a few players who have non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed contracts. Some of those players will be sweating it out until the January 2015 deadline. That’s when teams must waive players with no specific guarantee date written into their contracts to avoid having to guarantee their salaries for the rest of that season.

Most salaries align with cap hits, but that’s not the case for players like Jeremy Lin , who’s receiving close to $15MM from the Lakers during the 2014/15 season even though his cap hit was little more than half that amount, because of the contract he signed through the Gilbert Arenas Provision. In addition, incentive clauses that a player either triggers or fails to meet can leave a player with more or less money than his cap hit reflects. Still, the purpose of this list is to show the relative pay scale by position, which is why all contracts are included in this post.

The league’s centers are listed below, in descending order of cap hit for next season:

  1. Dwight Howard (Rockets) $22,359,364
  2. Brook Lopez (Nets) $16,744,218 [Player Option]
  3. DeMarcus Cousins (Kings) $15,851,950
  4. Roy Hibbert (Pacers) $15,514,931 [Player Option]
  5. Joakim Noah (Bulls) $13.9MM
  6. Al Jefferson (Hornets) $13.5MM [Player Option]
  7. Nikola Pekovic (Wolves) $12.1MM
  8. Andrew Bogut (Warriors) $12MM
  9. Al Horford (Hawks) $12MM
  10. JaVale McGee (Nuggets) $12MM
  11. Nikola Vucevic (Magic) $11,250,000
  12. Marcin Gortat (Wizards) $11,217,391
  13. Larry Sanders (Bucks) $11MM
  14. Brendan Haywood (Cavs) $10,522,500
  15. Anderson Varejao (Cavs) $9,638,554
  16. Jordan Hill (Lakers) $9MM [Team Option]
  17. J.J. Hickson (Nuggets) $5,613,500
  18. Spencer Hawes (Clippers) $5,543,725
  19. Zaza Pachulia (Bucks) $5.2MM
  20. Chris Kaman (Blazers) $5,016,000
  21. Chris Andersen (Heat) $5MM
  22. Timofey Mozgov (Nuggets) $4,950,000 [Team Option]
  23. Jonas Valanciunas (Raptors) $4,660,482
  24. Joel Embiid (Sixers) $4,626,960
  25. Cody Zeller (Hornets) $4,204,200
  26. Ian Mahinmi (Pacers) $4MM
  27. Alex Len (Suns) $3,807,120
  28. Andre Drummond (Pistons) $3,272,091
  29. Meyers Leonard (Blazers) $3,075,880
  30. Udonis Haslem (Heat) $2,854,940
  31. Tyler Zeller (Celtics) $2,616,975
  32. Steven Adams (Thunder) $2,279,040
  33. Vitor Faverani (Celtics) $2,180,000
  34. Kelly Olynyk (Celtics) $2,165,160
  35. Miles Plumlee (Suns) $2,109,294
  36. Festus Ezeli (Warriors) $2,008,748
  37. DeJuan Blair (Wizards) $2MM
  38. Lucas Nogueira (Raptors) $1,842,000
  39. Jusuf Nurkic (Nuggets) $1,842,000
  40. Gorgui Dieng (Wolves) $1,474,440
  41. Mason Plumlee (Nets) $1,415,520
  42. Clint Capela (Rockets) $1,242,720
  43. Rudy Gobert (Jazz) $1,175,880
  44. Robert Sacre (Lakers) $981,348
  45. Hassan Whiteside (Heat) $981,348
  46. Fab Melo (waived by Grizzlies) $437,080
  47. Miroslav Raduljica (Waived by Clippers) $300K

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

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