Largest NBA Free Agent Contracts Of 2016

The NBA’s salary cap took an unprecedented leap this offseason, as the cap limit for the league’s 30 teams jumped from $70MM to $94MM+. As we saw earlier this month, that substantial cap increase predictably resulted in substantial spending in free agency. Six players landed deals worth more than $100MM+, and another 11 players signed contracts worth at least $70MM.Mike Conley vertical

While Kevin Durant was the focus of the most free agency rumors, speculation, and discussion, his contract won’t even rank among the NBA’s top 20 biggest deals of 2016 in terms of total value, since he signed for just two years. The title of largest contract of the offseason – and also in NBA history – goes to Mike Conley, who inked a five-year, $152,607,578 pact with the Grizzlies.

Conley’s deal isn’t yet fully guaranteed for the final season, but even if we were to remove the non-guaranteed portion of that fifth year, the veteran point guard would still rank atop the list of 2016’s largest overall free agent deals.

With the help of our 2016 Free Agent Tracker and the contract data at Basketball Insiders, here are the NBA’s top 20 biggest free agent contracts of 2016, by total value:

  1. Mike Conley (Grizzlies): Five years, $152,607,578
  2. DeMar DeRozan (Raptors): Five years, $137,500,000
  3. Bradley Beal (Wizards): Five years, $127,171,313
  4. Andre Drummond (Pistons): Five years, $127,171,313
  5. Nicolas Batum (Hornets): Five years, $120,000,000
  6. Al Horford (Celtics): Four years, $113,326,230
  7. Hassan Whiteside (Heat): Four years, $98,419,537
  8. Harrison Barnes (Mavericks): Four years, $94,438,524
  9. Chandler Parsons (Grizzlies): Four years, $94,438,524
  10. Evan Fournier (Magic): Five years, $85,000,000
  11. Ryan Anderson (Rockets): Four years, $80,000,000
  12. Allen Crabbe (Trail Blazers): Four years, $74,832,500
  13. Joakim Noah (Knicks): Four years, $72,590,000
  14. Luol Deng (Lakers): Four years, $72,000,000
  15. Dwight Howard (Hawks): Three years, $70,500,000
  16. Kent Bazemore (Hawks): Four years, $70,000,000
  17. Evan Turner (Trail Blazers): Four years, $70,000,000
  18. Bismack Biyombo (Magic): Four years, $68,000,000
  19. Ian Mahinmi (Wizards): Four years, $64,000,000
  20. Timofey Mozgov (Lakers): Four years, $64,000,000

LeBron James isn’t on that list, since he remains unsigned, but even if he had re-upped with the Cavaliers already, there’s a chance that LeBron’s deal wouldn’t be among the top 20 in terms of overall salary. Like Durant did with the Warriors, LeBron may end up signing a one- or two-year contract with the Cavs, allowing him to opt out and sign for more money a year from now.

While James and Durant are among the veterans who figure to be on big-money, short-term deals, they aren’t the only ones. Other longtime All-Stars, such as Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade, are also on shorter deals that will pay them significant annual salaries. So after examining the league’s top 20 free agent signings by total value, it’s worth taking a look at the top 20 by annual average value — that list looks a little different, though Conley still ranks first.

Here are the NBA’s top 20 free agent contracts of 2016 in terms of annual average salary:

  1. Mike Conley (Grizzlies): $30,521,516
  2. Al Horford (Celtics): $28,331,558
  3. DeMar DeRozan (Raptors): $27,500,000
  4. Kevin Durant (Warriors): $27,137,253
  5. Bradley Beal (Wizards): $25,434,263
  6. Andre Drummond (Pistons): $25,434,263
  7. Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks): $25,000,000
  8. Hassan Whiteside (Heat): $24,604,884
  9. Nicolas Batum (Hornets): $24,000,000
  10. Harrison Barnes (Mavericks): $23,609,631
  11. Chandler Parsons (Grizzlies): $23,609,631
  12. Dwight Howard (Hawks): $23,500,000
  13. Dwyane Wade (Bulls): $23,500,000
  14. Ryan Anderson (Rockets): $20,000,000
  15. Allen Crabbe (Trail Blazers): $18,708,125
  16. Joakim Noah (Knicks): $18,147,500
  17. Luol Deng (Lakers): $18,000,000
  18. Kent Bazemore (Hawks): $17,500,000
  19. Evan Turner (Trail Blazers): $17,500,000
  20. (tie) Evan Fournier (Magic) / Bismack Biyombo (Magic): $17,000,000

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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3 thoughts on “Largest NBA Free Agent Contracts Of 2016

  1. DarkGhost

    This league is seriously crazy when Mike Conley, Al Horford, and DeMar DeRozan are all getting paid more than KD

  2. Bluesman

    Wow, it doesn’t seem that long ago that a max contract was worth $20M/YR! I wish My salary would go up 50% every 5 yrs or so! When will the insanity end?!?

    • json-api

      When the league stops making money hand over fist


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