Hoops Rumors Originals

2021 NBA Free Agents By Team

Hoops Rumors’ up-to-date list of 2021 free agents by team is below. These are players who are eligible for restricted or unrestricted free agency after the 2020/21 season.

Players with team or player options for the 2021/22 season are listed. Potential restricted free agents are marked with (RFA). Players whose 2021/22 salaries aren’t fully guaranteed are also listed below, since many will be candidates to be released.

This list will continue to be updated throughout the 2020/21 season, so be sure to use it and our list of 2021 free agents by position/type as points of reference.

Both lists can be found anytime under “Hoops Rumors Features” on the right-hand sidebar of our desktop site, or in the “Free Agent Lists” section of our mobile menu. If you have any corrections or omissions, please contact us.

Updated 1-18-21 (8:10am CT)

Atlanta Hawks

  1. Solomon Hill
  2. Tony Snell
  3. John Collins (RFA)
  4. Brandon Goodwin (RFA)
  5. Kris Dunn ($5,005,350 player option)
  6. Nathan Knight (two-way)
  7. Skylar Mays (two-way)

Boston Celtics

  1. Semi Ojeleye
  2. Jeff Teague
  3. Daniel Theis
  4. Javonte Green (RFA)
  5. Tacko Fall (two-way)
  6. Tremont Waters (two-way)

Brooklyn Nets

  1. Jeff Green
  2. Tyler Johnson
  3. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
  4. Bruce Brown (RFA)
  5. Spencer Dinwiddie ($12,302,496 player option)
  6. Chris Chiozza (two-way)
  7. Reggie Perry (two-way)

Charlotte Hornets

  1. Bismack Biyombo
  2. Cody Zeller
  3. Devonte’ Graham (RFA)
  4. Malik Monk (RFA)
  5. Caleb Martin ($1,782,621 non-guaranteed salary)
  6. Cody Martin ($1,782,621 non-guaranteed salary)
  7. Jaden McDaniels ($1,782,621 non-guaranteed salary)
  8. Nate Darling (two-way)
  9. Grant Riller (two-way)

Read more

2020/21 NBA Game Postponement Tracker

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the protocols the NBA and the NBPA have designed to address it, the league entered the 2020/21 season expecting to have to postpone or cancel a number of games over the course of the year.

The schedule was designed with this complication in mind. The NBA only released the first half of its schedule last fall, announcing at the time that the second half would be released at some point this winter. The goal was to make it simpler to incorporate makeup games for those first-half postponements into the late-season slate.

With the number of postponements beginning to add up, we’re creating a space to track them all. The full list of postponed 2020/21 games is below. Once the NBA announces plans to reschedule these contests, we’ll add those details to our breakdown.

This tracker will continue to be updated throughout the ’20/21 league year, and can be found anytime in the “Hoops Rumors Features” menu on the right-hand sidebar of our desktop site, or in the “Features” menu on our mobile site.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets

  • Original date: December 23, 2020
  • Reason for postponement: The Rockets didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics

  • Original date: January 10, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Heat didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Pelicans

  • Original date: January 11, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Mavericks didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls

  • Original date: January 12, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Celtics didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics

  • Original date: January 13, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Celtics didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Utah Jazz at Washington Wizards

  • Original date: January 13, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Wizards didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns

  • Original date: January 13, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Suns didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons

  • Original date: January 15, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Wizards didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns

  • Original date: January 15, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Suns didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Original date: January 15, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Timberwolves didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Indiana Pacers at Phoenix Suns

  • Original date: January 16, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Suns didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards

  • Original date: January 17, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Wizards didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Philadelphia 76ers at Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Original date: January 17, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Sixers didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards

  • Original date: January 18, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Wizards didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets

  • Original date: January 20, 2021
  • Reason for postponement: The Wizards didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available.
  • New date: TBD

NBA Players With Trade Kickers In 2020/21

A trade kicker is a contractual clause that pays an NBA player a bonus when he’s traded. They’re one of the tools teams have at their disposal to differentiate their free agent offers from the ones put on the table by competing clubs.

Sometimes the kicker is worth a fixed amount, but usually it’s based on a percentage of the remaining value of the contract. So, a player who has a 10% trade kicker is eligible for a bonus worth 10% of the amount of money he has yet to collect on his deal.

Regardless of whether a trade kicker is set at a fixed amount or a percentage, the bonus can’t exceed 15% of the remaining value of the contract. Most trade kickers are worth 15%, the highest percentage allowed.

A trade bonus must be paid by the team that trades the player, rather than the team acquiring him. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement also allows a player to waive his trade kicker as part of a deal, if he so chooses.

If you want a more detailed explanation of how trade kickers work, check out the Hoops Rumors Glossary entry on the subject.

With the help of contract information from Basketball Insiders, here’s a list of the NBA players who have active trade kickers for 2020/21, listed alphabetically, along with the details of those trade bonuses:

The following players have trade bonuses on their contracts, but those bonuses would be voided if they were to be traded during the 2020/21 league year, since they’re already earning this season’s maximum salary:

The following players have signed contract extensions that will include trade kickers, but those extensions won’t go into effect until the 2021/22 season:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Community Shootaround: Should The NBA Go Back To A “Bubble”?

The NBA’s closed-campus experiment at Disney World was hailed as a huge success that enabled to league to complete its 2019/20 season and crown a champion without any interruptions from COVID-19. However, there was no desire to repeat the experience for an entire season as teams preferred to play in their home arenas, even if no fans were allowed.

But that decision carried risks, which are already beginning to overwhelm the new season. Only one game has been canceled so far — a season-opener between the Rockets and Thunder because Houston didn’t have enough eligible players — but several teams are operating with depleted rosters due to positive coronavirus tests and contact tracing mandated by the league’s health and safety protocols.

The Sixers had just eight eligible players this afternoon as they lost at home to Denver. Danny Green was the only Philadelphia starter to suit up for the game, while Dwight Howard and Tyrese Maxey were the only other members of the rotation who played.

The team’s predicament began Thursday when Seth Curry learned that he had tested positive for the virus. Tobias Harris, Shake MiltonMatisse Thybulle and Vincent Poirier shared a table with Curry at a team meeting that day, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, so they are required to quarantine for contact tracing. They will likely be unavailable for an entire week, which means three more missed games.

“We don’t know,” said coach Doc Rivers, whose season may be derailed after a 7-2 start. “We don’t know anything. We have to make that assumption, I guess. I mean, they were at a table. So it wasn’t like close contact. So maybe that will shorten their days. I don’t know that. But I guess even that’s too close. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t get that whole (thing).”

The 7-3 Celtics may be headed for the same situation. Star forward Jayson Tatum has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, joining Robert Williams, Grant Williams and Tristan Thompson in quarantine. Boston’s injury report for tomorrow’s game mentions all but eight players, which is the minimum needed for the game to be played.

Tatum’s test has also affected the Wizards because he talked after the game to Bradley Beal, who is now subject to health and safety protocols for contact tracing. The Nets, Nuggets, Spurs, Grizzlies and Mavericks are also short on players because of quarantine issues.

Kendra Andrews of The Athletic believes the NBA is making a mistake by forcing games like the one today in Philadelphia to be played. She notes that virus rates are higher now in many places than they were when the league suspended play in March, and basketball is an easy way for germs to spread because of close contact and shared equipment.

The league isn’t at a crisis situation yet, but it’s headed in that direction. Without the controlled environment that was in place at Disney World, the athletes face a lot more potential exposure to COVID-19, and just one case can change the course of a season.

We want to get your opinion. Do you believe the NBA can play an entire season under the current conditions or will it need to revert to a “bubble” alternative at some point? Please leave your responses in the comments section.

Freddie Gillespie Looking To Complete Unconventional Journey To NBA

With the NBA moving forward on its plan to play the G League season at a single “bubble” site in Florida, several players are hoping to find opportunity in unconventional circumstances in the midst of a pandemic. But one player who intends to participate is no stranger to said unconventional opportunities.

Freddie Gillespie grew up in Woodbury, Minnesota, residing less than 30 minutes away from the Timberwolves’ arena, Target Center. While many kids dream of making the NBA, the vast majority see their hopes fade over time. But that wasn’t the case for Gillespie, a 23-year-old who carries one of the most unique stories in basketball.

The story goes like this: Gillespie, now 6’9″, entered high school at 5’11”. During his growth spurt, he decided to play basketball in his sophomore year. He rapidly improved in his first few seasons, making progress at both ends of the court, but suffered a torn ACL late in his junior year.

He returned the following season, but had lost some of his athleticism and didn’t receive a single Division I or Division II offer. Due to starting basketball late – and in conjunction with his injury – Gillespie decided to focus on academics, something his parents had emphasized throughout his childhood.

Gillespie, who still wanted to play basketball, chose to attend Division III Carleton College. It allowed him to pursue a prestigious degree, but also to play competitively, and his love of the game started to grow stronger.

“It was tough,” Gillespie told Hoops Rumors in a phone interview, explaining that he wasn’t deterred despite encountering a few naysayers. “It wasn’t motivating in terms of proving people wrong, it was more like, ‘Let’s just take a less conventional route then.’ I knew it would be tough, but I believe my relentless work ethic and mustard seed faith would open doors.”

Gillespie grew to 6’9″ with a 7’6″ wingspan during his freshman year in college, as he committed to growing his game in a way he never had before. It was clear that his athleticism had not only returned — it had strengthened. Along with it came an improved skill set, a higher basketball IQ, and an increased competitive drive.

“It was just hours and hours in the gym, watching film and being relentless with it,” Gillespie said. “Every day that I woke up, I dedicated most — if not all — of my day toward reaching these goals and becoming a better basketball player.”

Gillespie knew that in order to reach the NBA from a Division III program, he’d have to beat long odds. A handful of other pros have done it, including current Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson (Williams College). But Robinson eventually transferred to a Division I program. Gillespie realized what needed to happen after his sophomore season ended — his path was about to change again.

Al Nuness – a former collegiate player and close friend of Gillespie’s mother – managed to put Gillespie in touch with Baylor coach Scott Drew through his son, Jared Nuness, the team’s Director of Player Development. Gillespie then made the decision to attend Baylor as a walk-on and sit out the season due to NCAA rules for transfers. He cracked the team’s rotation during his junior season.

“You have a kid that had to overcome an injury, plus overcome not having the chance to really get a lot of minutes and play throughout his high school career,” Jared Nuness said. “He had to walk on and earn his way at Baylor. He lived and stayed in the gym every day, worked on his craft and things he needed to develop and improve on. So, as far as a player goes, he has an extremely high IQ and his work ethic is second to none.”

As a junior, Gillespie averaged just 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game over the course of 26 contests, but he was determined to improve, motivated by his long journey to get there. Those around the program tell stories of him playing guards one-on-one before or after practice in order to improve his lateral quickness.

Simply put, Gillespie was determined to take his game to another level in preparation for his senior season.

“When I first went to Baylor as a walk-on, they have all the players who won Big 12 awards and conference awards, and I told everybody: I’m going to be someone that wins multiple conference awards,” he said. “That’s going to be me as a player. That was in my mind when I first got there. It was a personal goal of mine.”

Gillespie went on to become a force, using several hours of training and film-watching to establish himself as a full-time starter for his final season. He anchored the team’s defense, increasing his averages to 9.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game in the process.

“Baylor had a top-five defense in the nation and Freddie was the anchor,” Jared Nuness said. “He guarded 1-through-5, and at times, the opposing team’s best player. Not just the coaches, but the players looked for him to clean up any mistakes.”

Gillespie was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team and the All-Big 12 Second Team, helping the Bears finish 26-4 while delivering on the promise he made when he first arrived at Baylor. He was also the Big 12 Most Improved Player, as well as the Big 12 Conference Male Academic Athlete of the Year, showing his dedication both on and off the floor.

When the season ended, it was clear Gillespie would receive consideration from NBA teams, so he hired representation and began shifting his focus to draft preparation. He stayed ready by doing what he knows best: training vigorously. He participated in open runs when available, including some offseason games that circulated on social media featuring Bam Adebayo, John Wall, Michael Beasley, and others.

Gillespie, who took part in the NBA’s revamped combine, estimates that he interviewed with over two-thirds of the league’s 30 teams during the pre-draft process. While he generated a good deal of interest, his future remained unclear when the draft began on November 18.

Multiple teams considered drafting Gillespie in the second round, he said, some of which expressed interest in using him as a draft-and-stash player. This would’ve required him to start his career overseas.

“I told them I respect the opportunity, but I want to bet on myself in the NBA,” he said. “I think I’d rather take my chances as an undrafted free agent. I think I’m an NBA talent.”

After going undrafted, Gillespie considered multiple offers and ultimately signed an Exhibit 10 (training camp) deal with the Mavericks. Like most Exhibit 10 recipients – who often join their team’s G League affiliate after spending the preseason on the NBA roster – Gillespie was waived when the Mavs finalized their regular-season roster ahead of last month’s deadline. However, Dallas will bypass the NBAGL bubble, as Hoops Rumors first reported, leaving Gillespie without a job for the immediate future.

“I try to get something out of every place I go to,” Gillespie said. “I know I want to go a certain way, but I just try to maximize my environment, maximize my resources and get the most out of every situation, no matter where that is. My mentality when things don’t go my way or I didn’t get the results I want, I’m like, okay — I know I put my best effort forward and tried to get something out of it.”

Agent Jerry Dianis, whom Gillespie recently hired when he changed representation, is confident in his client’s future, regardless of the short-term uncertainty.

“Freddie rebounds and plays defense with the exuberance of a child opening gifts on Christmas Day,” Dianis said. “He combines Hall-of-Fame character with relentless rebounding, defensive versatility, (and) the ability to set solid screens and finish ambidextrously at the rim. Just a tough glue guy that knows his role.”

His offensive game remains a work in progress, but Gillespie’s height (6’11” in sneakers), wingspan (7’6″), and 36.5-inch vertical give him the size and length necessary to play and defend multiple positions. Being named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team was no accident — Gillespie takes pride in his defense, studying the likes of Adebayo, Clint Capela and others.

“I remember when I was in high school, I would get upset when someone would even score on me at all,” he said, laughing. “My coach would always have to remind me that the game is literally designed for people to score. You just have to make them take tough shots. You can’t hold everybody to zero (points). But that was my mentality. At Baylor, my mindset was to be versatile on defense. So I was able to guard 1-through-5. Often times I was tasked with guarding the opposing team’s best frontcourt player, but being able to switch out onto all five positions is something that I focused on.

“This came by playing a lot of the guards one-on-one, working on my lateral quickness, my body, my base and my core to be able to guard the post. Working on reactivity so I can go block shots and play steals. All of the things like that. I knew I wanted to become a great defender. I wanted to be a guy that’s looked at as, ‘We could put him on the floor and he’s someone that could lock down the other team’s best player.’”

Despite his talent as a defender and rim protector, Gillespie understands he still has significant room to grow on both ends. Having graduated from college last year, he finds himself in a similar position to the one he faced on draft night: unsure of the journey that lies ahead.

The next step, he said, is working to earn a new opportunity that gets him closer to his goal of playing in the NBA. That may happen in the G League — he’s eligible to be selected in the NBAGL Draft on Monday, January 11.

“My focus is regrouping and going back out on the attack,” Gillespie said, explaining his mindset after being waived by Dallas. “As long as I’m still breathing, I think I got a chance at the NBA. Keep talking with my agent and develop a plan. Right now, the plan is to reach out to teams. I know they’re having a G League bubble. Right now, it’s train, train, train. Stay in shape. I’m ready for anything if the opportunity comes. I can say I’m in shape and I’ve been training. I can drop everything at the hat and be ready to play. So that’s one, always being ready.

“The second (focus) is strategizing, planning and seeing what happens in the G League bubble. I plan to participate in that and show teams I’m still the one to bet on. I think I’ve shown that at every place I’ve been at. I’m continuing to improve myself and get to a place where I can contribute to helping my team win.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Community Shootaround: Western Conference Early Impressions

On Wednesday, we asked you for your thoughts on what you’ve seen so far this season from the Eastern Conference teams, including whether certain hot and cold starts are for real or whether certain teams are due for course corrections. Today, we’re shifting our focus to the West.

As in the East, there are some early-season results in the Western Conference that don’t come as a real surprise. For instance, the fact that the Timberwolves and Grizzlies are tied for the West’s worst record at 2-5 isn’t a shock — especially since they’ve been missing their respective stars, Karl-Anthony Towns and Ja Morant.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Lakers (6-2) and Clippers (6-3) were considered the class of the conference entering the season, and nothing we’ve seen so far from them suggests that shouldn’t remain the case going forward.

However, both Los Angeles teams currently trail the impressive Suns, whose 6-2 record has made them the No. 1 seed in the conference. Perhaps it’s not a total surprise that Phoenix is off to a hot start after going 8-0 in the bubble, but even those who were bullish on the Suns may not have expected them to look so good so soon, led by new point guard Chris Paul and his backcourt partner Devin Booker.

Outside of those five teams and the 2-4 Rockets – who have been hard to get a handle on due to the James Harden drama and their early COVID-related absences – virtually every other club in the West can be classified as “middle of the pack.”

Four of those teams – the Pelicans, Jazz, Warriors, and Kings – have 4-4 records, while five others – the Nuggets, Mavericks, Spurs, Trail Blazers, and Thunder – are at 3-4.

Some of those clubs entered the season with much higher expectations than others. Denver and Dallas, for instance, likely aren’t thrilled to be tied with Oklahoma City in the standings. But after just seven or eight games, it’s hard to be too concerned or too excited about a record right around .500. The question now will be which of those teams can start pulling away from the pack and which ones begin falling off.

What do you think? What are your early impressions of the Western Conference race based on what you’ve seen so far?

Can the Suns maintain their hot start and vie for home court advantage in the playoffs, or is regression on the way? Do you expect some of those teams hovering around .500 to break away or fall off soon, or do you believe we’ll see many teams engaged in a tight, competitive race in that part of the standings all year long?

Head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

Community Shootaround: Eastern Conference Early Impressions

A handful of Eastern Conference teams are just about exactly where we’d expect them to be through the first two weeks of the 2020/21 season. I don’t imagine, for instance, that anyone is especially shocked by the records put up so far by teams like the Pacers (5-2), Celtics (5-3), Hawks (4-3), Hornets (2-5), or Pistons (1-6).

However, there are also plenty of surprises at both the top and the bottom of the conference standings. It is, of course, still very early in the season, so any trends from the last couple weeks could be easily reversed before the end of January, but now that every team has played between six and eight games, it’s worth checking in on the early results to see how sustainable they might be.

The Sixers (6-1), Magic (5-2), Knicks (4-3), and Cavaliers (4-3) are among the pleasant surprises so far. The 76ers have benefited from a relatively soft schedule and were viewed as a slam-dunk playoff team before the season, but the fact that they hold the NBA’s best record is still impressive.

Orlando, meanwhile, was considered a borderline playoff team, while New York and Cleveland were expected to be in the lottery. The Magic and Cavs have taken advantage of roster continuity to get off to a strong start, while new head coach Tom Thibodeau appears to have be having an impact for the Knicks.

In the middle of the pack, the Bucks (4-3), Nets (4-4), and Heat (3-3) have been up and down, but it seems likely that it’ll be just a matter of time before they hit their stride. Milwaukee and Brooklyn, in particular, each rank in the top five in the league in net rating, despite their middling records.

In the lottery, the biggest disappointment so far has been the 1-5 Raptors, who have had one of the NBA’s worst offenses through their first six games. While Toronto is too talented to remain in the 14th seed for much longer, the team’s early struggles suggest it may not be easy to adequately fill the holes that were created in the frontcourt when Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol departed in free agency.

Elsewhere in the lottery, the 4-4 Bulls have slightly outperformed expectations so far, while the 2-5 Wizards have looked a little better after a disastrous start.

We want to know what you think: What are your early impressions of the Eastern Conference race?

How many of those surprise teams in the playoff picture do you think will remain there? Is it just a matter of time before the likes of the Magic, Knicks, and Cavaliers drop way down the standings, or do any of them have legit staying power? Can the Sixers hold the top seed? Will the Raptors rebound and comfortably make the playoffs or will they spend the season vying for a spot in the play-in tournament?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your early thoughts on the East!

Highest-Paid NBA Players By Team

On Monday, we listed the top 50 highest-paid NBA players for the 2020/21 season. While that list presented a clear picture of the highest earners for the upcoming season, not every NBA team was represented.

Four of the league’s 30 franchises – the Hawks, Pacers, Grizzlies, and Knicks – didn’t have a single player in the top 50. Indiana was close, with Victor Oladipo and Malcolm Brogdon narrowly missing the cut, but none of the other three clubs have a player earning $20MM or more this season.

Our list of highest-paid players for 2020/21 also only provided a snapshot for the coming year. It featured veterans like Kyle Lowry, Otto Porter, and Andre Drummond, who will be well compensated for the coming season but are on expiring contracts.

Today, we’re shifting our focus to the highest-paid players by team. This will allow us to check in on the clubs that weren’t represented on our initial list, as well as exploring teams’ most lucrative multiyear commitments — we’ve included each club’s highest-paid player for the 2020/21 season and its highest-paid player in total.

Let’s dive in…

Atlanta Hawks

Boston Celtics

  • 2020/21: Kemba Walker ($34,379,100)
  • Total: Jayson Tatum (six years, $172,897,710)
    • Note: The value of Tatum’s contract would increase to $205,497,830 if he makes an All-NBA team in 2021. Its value is based on a projected 3% salary cap increase for 2021/22. Tatum’s final year is a player option.

Brooklyn Nets

  • 2020/21: Kevin Durant ($40,108,950)
  • Total: Kevin Durant (three years, $126,056,700)
    • Note: Durant’s final year is a player option.

Charlotte Hornets

  • 2020/21: Gordon Hayward ($28,500,000)
  • Total: Gordon Hayward (four years, $120,000,000)

Chicago Bulls

Cleveland Cavaliers

  • 2020/21: Kevin Love ($31,258,256)
  • Total: Kevin Love (three years, $91,459,342)

Dallas Mavericks

  • 2020/21: Kristaps Porzingis ($29,467,800)
  • Total: Kristaps Porzingis (four years, $130,968,000)
    • Note: Porzingis’ final year is a player option.

Denver Nuggets

Detroit Pistons

  • 2020/21: Blake Griffin ($36,810,996)
  • Total: Blake Griffin (two years, $75,768,024)
    • Note: Griffin’s final year is a player option.

Golden State Warriors

Read more

NBA’s Top 50 Highest-Paid Players For 2020/21

While many of the NBA’s highest-paid players are on contracts considered maximum-salary deals, the 2020/21 salaries for those players vary significantly depending on when the player signed his contract and how much NBA experience he has. That’s why a player like Stephen Curry will earn nearly $16MM more than Brandon Ingram in ’20/21 despite both stars technically being on max deals.

When a player signs a maximum-salary contract, he doesn’t necessarily earn the NBA max for each season of that contract — he earns the max in year one, then gets a series of identical annual raises. In Curry’s case, his 2020/21 salary actually exceeds this year’s maximum, since his deal started in the summer of 2017 and includes 8% annual raises. The annual cap increases haven’t kept up with those 8% raises.

Listed below, with the help of salary data from Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, are the top 50 highest-paid NBA players for the 2020/21 season. The players on this list don’t necessarily have the contracts with the largest overall value. The list below only considers salaries for ’20/21.

Additionally, we’ve noted players who could potentially increase their earnings via incentives or trade bonuses. We didn’t add those notes for players like Curry who have trade bonuses but are already earning the maximum — their salaries for this season can’t increase beyond their max.

The cutoff for a spot on this year’s top-50 list is a $21.25MM salary, so players like Pacers teammates Victor Oladipo ($21MM) and Malcolm Brogdon ($20.7MM) just missed out.

Here are the NBA’s 50 highest-paid players for the 2020/21 season:

  1. Stephen Curry, Warriors: $43,006,362
  2. Chris Paul, Suns: $41,358,814
    Russell Westbrook, Wizards: $41,358,814
  3. James Harden, Rockets: $41,254,920
    John Wall, Rockets: $41,254,920
  4. Kevin Durant, Nets: $40,108,950
  5. LeBron James, Lakers: $39,219,566
  6. Blake Griffin, Pistons: $36,810,996
  7. Paul George, Clippers: $35,450,412
  8. Klay Thompson, Warriors: $35,361,360
  9. Mike Conley, Jazz: $34,502,132
  10. Jimmy Butler, Heat: $34,379,100
    Kawhi Leonard, Clippers: $34,379,100
    Kemba Walker, Celtics: $34,379,100
  11. Tobias Harris, Sixers: $34,358,850
  12. Kyrie Irving, Nets: $33,460,350 (plus incentives; 15% trade kicker)
  13. Khris Middleton, Bucks: $33,051,724
  14. Anthony Davis, Lakers: $32,742,000
  15. Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers: $31,626,953
  16. Kevin Love, Cavaliers: $31,258,256
  17. Pascal Siakam, Raptors: $30,559,200
    Ben Simmons, Sixers: $30,559,200
  18. Kyle Lowry, Raptors: $30,500,000
  19. Steven Adams, Pelicans: $29,592,695
  20. Joel Embiid, Sixers: $29,542,010
    Nikola Jokic, Nuggets: $29,542,010
    Andrew Wiggins, Warriors: $29,542,010
  21. Devin Booker, Suns: $29,467,800
    Kristaps Porzingis, Mavericks: $29,467,800
    Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves: $29,467,800
  22. CJ McCollum, Trail Blazers: $29,354,152
  23. Bradley Beal, Wizards: $28,751,774
    Andre Drummond, Cavaliers: $28,751,774
  24. D’Angelo Russell, Timberwolves: $28,649,250
  25. Gordon Hayward, Hornets: $28,500,000
  26. Otto Porter Jr., Bulls: $28,489,239
  27. DeMar DeRozan, Spurs: $27,739,975
  28. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks: $27,528,088
  29. Rudy Gobert, Jazz: $27,525,281 (plus incentives)
  30. Al Horford, Thunder: $27,500,000
  31. Brandon Ingram, Pelicans: $27,285,000
    Jamal Murray, Nuggets: $27,285,000
  32. Nikola Vucevic, Magic: $26,000,000
  33. Jrue Holiday, Pelicans: $25,876,111 (plus incentives)
  34. Buddy Hield, Kings: $24,701,834 (plus incentives)
  35. LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs: $24,000,000 (15% trade kicker)
  36. Jaylen Brown, Celtics: $23,735,118 (plus incentives)
  37. Draymond Green, Warriors: $22,246,956 (15% trade kicker)
  38. Harrison Barnes, Kings: $22,215,909
  39. Fred VanVleet, Raptors: $21,250,000

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Community Shootaround: Are The Suns A Playoff Team?

Just as they did while going unbeaten at Disney World, the Suns are sporting the best record in the NBA. Phoenix is off to a 5-1 start that includes victories over three playoff teams from last season: the Mavericks, Jazz and Nuggets.

While the results are similar to what they did in Orlando, this is a different Suns team after the offseason trade that brought in Chris PaulIn addition to serving as a veteran presence to guide his younger teammates, Paul remains a high-level point guard at age 35, averaging 13.2 points and 8.7 assists through the season’s first six games.

Paul is surrounded by plenty of weapons, much like he was in Oklahoma City last year. Devin Booker has been one of the league’s most proficient scorers for the past four seasons, and former number one pick Deandre Ayton can be a dominating inside presence. Mikal Bridges looks like one of the league’s most improved players, averaging 15.3 PPG and 5.2 RPG so far.

It has been a long time since the Suns made a serious run at the playoffs. Last year’s 8-0 performance in the bubble only brought their record to 34-39, still short of the ninth-place finish needed to reach the qualifying game. Phoenix hasn’t posted a winning season since going 48-34 in 2013/14 and hasn’t been to the playoffs in 11 years.

Although there’s plenty of optimism in Phoenix, the players realize there’s a long road ahead, Paul told Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic.

“It’s early, it’s early. It’s a long season,” he said. “We always say this, we’re just trying to pile up wins. Just trying to pile up wins. It’s a new format as far as the playoffs and all that this season. So every game matters.” 

We want to get your early-season impression of the Suns. Do they have enough talent to reach the postseason in a Western Conference race that seems to be loaded with good teams? Please leave your answer in the comments section.