The NBA salary landscape could look very different in a few seasons. That’s not merely true of the salaries of individual players, but for the salary cap structure in its entirety. Both the players and the owners can opt out of the current CBA in 2017, and with a new $24 billion TV deal set to kick in for the 2016/17 campaign, this is all but assured. Not only is the salary cap expected to increase significantly, there has also been talk that the players will push to do away with maximum salary restrictions altogether, to which the owners may counter with the insistence that a hard cap go into effect. Neither side has explicitly stated these demands, but they’ll almost certainly discuss the ideas during the negotiations.
Yesterday I ran down the highest paid player on each franchise’s roster, with the mean highest salary sitting at $15,742,918 for the 2014/15 campaign. Today I’ll be taking a look at the 20 highest paid players in the entire league. There are a number of players with expiring contracts on this list, such as Amar’e Stoudemire, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Marc Gasol. Outside of a freakishly productive season, Stoudemire isn’t likely to make this list next year, but Aldridge and Gasol have a great shot at moving closer to the top after they sign their new contracts this summer. As you can see from the dollar figures below, it’s good to be an NBA star. Here are the top earners for the 2014/15 season:
Note: Players who are still being paid after being waived using the amnesty provision are not included on this list. Only salary that counts against the cap is reflected.
- Kobe Bryant (Lakers): $23.5MM
- Amar’e Stoudemire (Knicks): $23,410,988
- Joe Johnson (Nets): $23,180,790
- Carmelo Anthony (Knicks): $22,458,401
- Dwight Howard (Rockets): $21,436,271
- LeBron James (Cavs): $20,644,400
- Chris Bosh (Heat): $20,644,400
- Chris Paul (Clippers): $20,068,563
- Deron Williams (Nets): $19,754,465
- Rudy Gay (Kings): $19,317,326
- Kevin Durant (Thunder): $18,995,624
- Derrick Rose (Bulls): $18,995,624
- Blake Griffin (Clippers): $17,674,613
- Zach Randolph (Grizzlies): $16.5MM
- LaMarcus Aldridge (Blazers): $16,256,000
- Paul George (Pacers): $15,925,680
- Marc Gasol (Grizzlies): $15,829,688
- Russell Westbrook (Thunder): $15,719,062
- Brook Lopez (Nets): $15,719,062
- Kevin Love (Cavs): $15,719,062
The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.