2015/16 Salary Rankings: Centers

Hoops Rumors is in the process of ranking the cap hit for each NBA player by position. The first spot on the hardwood that we’ll be looking at is the center position, a spot on the floor that has lessened in importance over the years, but one that still remains integral to a team’s success. All told, NBA teams have committed a total of $494,425,900 in cap hits this season to the men who patrol the paint around the league. The average salary for the five spot this season is a respectable $5,886,023, with Dwight Howard topping the list with a whopping $22,359,364 to account for on his year-end W-2 form.

It should be noted 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 January 7th. 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 the season. 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 salary:

  1. Dwight Howard (Rockets) — $22,359,364
  2. Marc Gasol (Grizzlies) — $19,689,000
  3. DeAndre Jordan (Clippers) — $19,689,000
  4. Brook Lopez (Nets) — $19,689,000
  5. Enes Kanter (Thunder) — $16,407,500
  6. Greg Monroe (Bucks) — $16,407,500
  7. DeMarcus Cousins (Kings) — $15,851,950
  8. Roy Hibbert (Lakers) — $15,592,216
  9. Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers) — $14,260,870
  10. Andrew Bogut (Warriors) — $13,800,000
  11. Al Jefferson (Hornets) — $13,500,000
  12. Joakim Noah (Bulls) — $13,400,000
  13. JaVale McGee (Mavericks) — $13,270,964 (Includes the $12MM owed from the Sixers, who waived him)
  14. Tyson Chandler (Suns) — $13,000,000
  15. Nene (Wizards) — $13,000,000
  16. Robin Lopez (Knicks) — $12,650,000
  17. Nikola Pekovic (Timberwolves) — $12,100,000
  18. Al Horford (Hawks) — $12,000,000
  19. Nikola Vucevic (Magic) — $11,250,000
  20. Marcin Gortat (Wizards) — $11,217,391
  21. Anderson Varejao (Cavaliers) — $9,638,554
  22. Omer Asik (Pelicans) — $9,213,483
  23. Tiago Splitter (Hawks) — $8,800,000
  24. Kosta Koufos (Kings) — $7,700,000
  25. Boris Diaw (Spurs) — $7,500,000
  26. Ed Davis (Trail Blazers) — $6,980,802
  27. Aron Baynes (Pistons) — $6,500,000
  28. Spencer Hawes (Hornets) — $6,110,034
  29. Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves) — $5,703,600
  30. J.J. Hickson (Nuggets) — $5,613,500
  31. Brandan Wright (Grizzlies) — $5,464,000
  32. Tim Duncan (Spurs) — $5,250,000
  33. Zaza Pachulia (Mavericks) — $5,200,000
  34. Chris Kaman (Trail Blazers) — $5,016,000
  35. Chris Andersen (Heat) — $5,000,000
  36. Timofey Mozgov (Cavaliers) — $4,950,000
  37. Jonas Valanciunas (Raptors) — $4,660,482
  38. Joel Embiid (Sixers) — $4,626,960
  39. Jahlil Okafor (Sixers) — $4,582,680
  40. Alexis Ajinca (Pelicans) — $4,389,607
  41. Cody Zeller (Hornets) — $4,204,200
  42. Ian Mahinmi (Pacers) — $4,000,000
  43. Alex Len (Suns) — $3,807,120
  44. Willie Cauley-Stein (Kings) — $3,398,280
  45. Drew Gooden (Wizards) — $3,300,000
  46. Andre Drummond (Pistons) — $3,272,091
  47. John Henson (Bucks) — $2,943,221
  48. Tibor Pleiss (Jazz) — $2,900,000
  49. Bismack Biyombo (Raptors) — $2,814,000
  50. Kevin Seraphin (Knicks) — $2,814,000
  51. Tyler Zeller (Celtics) — $2,616,975
  52. Joel Anthony (Pistons) — $2,500,000
  53. Steven Adams (Thunder) — $2,279,040
  54. Kelly Olynyk (Celtics) — $2,165,160
  55. Miles Plumlee (Bucks) — $2,109,294
  56. Festus Ezeli (Warriors) — $2,008,748
  57. Larry Sanders (Waived by Bucks via stretch provision) — $1,865,547
  58. Lucas Nogueira (Raptors) — $1,842,000
  59. Jusuf Nurkic (Nuggets) — $1,842,000
  60. Joffrey Lauvergne (Nuggets) — $1,709,719
  61. Kendrick Perkins (Pelicans) — $1,499,187
  62. Gorgui Dieng (Timberwolves) — $1,474,440
  63. Mason Plumlee (Trail Blazers) — $1,415,520
  64. Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) — $1,300,000
  65. Sasha Kaun (Cavaliers) — $1,276,000
  66. Boban Marjanovic (Spurs) — $1,200,000
  67. Rudy Gobert (Jazz) — $1,175,880
  68. Cole Aldrich (Clippers) — $1,100,602
  69. Edy Tavares (Hawks) — $1,000,000
  70. Robert Sacre (Lakers) — $981,348
  71. Hassan Whiteside (Heat) — $981,348
  72. Samuel Dalembert (Waived by Mavericks) — $947,276
  73. Dewayne Dedmon (Magic) — $947,276
  74. Mike Muscala (Hawks) — $947,276
  75. Jeff Withey (Jazz) — $947,276
  76. Tarik Black (Lakers) — $845,059
  77. Shayne Whittington (Pacers) — $845,059
  78. Salah Mejri (Mavericks) — $525,093
  79. Aaron Gray (Waived by Pistons via stretch provision) — $452,049
  80. Fab Melo (Waived by Grizzlies via stretch provision) — $437,080
  81. Miroslav Raduljica (Waived by the Clippers via stretch provision) — $252,042
  82. Robert Upshaw (Waived by Lakers) — $35,000
  83. Ryan Hollins (Waived by Grizzlies) — $16,034
  84. Jaleel Roberts (Waived by Wizards) — $10,000
  85. Jordan Railey (Waived by Sixers) — $6,178

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

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9 thoughts on “2015/16 Salary Rankings: Centers

  1. No way is Boris Diaw a C

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    • Eddie Scarito

      I used the teams’ official rosters and positions to make this and the subsequent position lists. I don’t necessarily agree with where a number of players ended up position-wise, but needed to make it uniform.

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  2. jaymcfly

    ZAZA?

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  3. Trog

    Has there been any better value center in the league this year, relative to his salary, than Zaza Pachulia? Man, that guy has been a beast in Dallas. Averaging a double-double, great defense, ball handling/court vision, excellent foul shooting. DeAndre Jordan jolting the Mavs has been the best thing that could have ever happened to them.

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    • Trog

      Second time the Mavs fleeced the Bucks in a trade in recent history. Got him for a 2nd round draft pick.

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    • Chris Crouse

      Zaza has been great for the Mavs, he’s given them most of what DeAndre could have, at least in season one.

      Mozgov coming in at 36 isn’t a bad deal either.

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  4. Chris Crouse

    Also, with Dwight expecting to opt out, I bet he’s near the top of this list next year with his new contract.

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  5. Steve in Chicago

    Pau Gasol has been playing mostly center this year

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    • Eddie Scarito

      Regardless, he’s been a power forward for the bulk of his career and the Bulls officially list him as a PF. That was how I determined which position list each player appears on.

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