How Much Do NBA Players Make On Average?

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We are used to NBA players living a luxurious life in multi-million dollar mansions and expensive cars and brands. The salary of an NBA player is unlimited as they also receive bonuses from wins and titles and the base salary. Recently, NBA clubs have also created additional income for players by signing contracts with sponsors such as online casinos.

How much do NBA players make? According to Basketball Reference, the average player salary for the 2020-2021 season is $7.5 million. The highest-paid NBA player is Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry when pocketing $45 million this year.

This average salary is very high compared to the standard level in all US sports leagues. To learn more about wages and the list of NBA players who get paid the highest and lowest, read on with Scott Fujita.

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The NBA average salary in 2020-2021 season 

How Much Do NBA Players Make A Year?

The NBA players get paid an average salary of around $7.5 million. The median salary, as known as middle salary, is about $3.8 million. The Basketball Reference says the salary cap for the 2020-2022 season is $109.1 million.

View more: How much do NBA refs make

The NBA’s minimum salary is always much higher than the rest of the sports leagues in North America. If first-time players are selected in the top NBA Draft list, wages are often much higher for NBA rookies (first-time players). New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson earns $9.7 million per season. He is the first pick overall of the 2019 NBA Draft.

Wages for veteran players will also increase depending on how long they are in the tournament.

To give a most objective comparison, the NFL only pays its players about $450k. The NHL and MLB set a minimum wage of $500k.

Highest Paid NBA Players In 2020-2022 Season

Unlike an average NBA player, the players on the list below receive incredible and admirable salaries. Let’s find out who they are and which team they currently play for.

#1. Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors

  • Annual Salary: $45,780,966

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Stephen Curry

Shooting machine Steph Curry received an outstanding base salary to become the highest-paid player this season. The Golden State star grossed $92.8 million during this time. The latest step in his career is the announcement of the Curry brand under the support of Under Armor.

The new venture is worth about $20 million a year, with a mix of clothing, shoes, and accessories for various sports. People predicted that this number would increase if it received public love.

Curry’s other ventures include a new endorsement deal with crypto platform FTX. He is also the owner of the production company Unanimous Media with the series Holey Moley.

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#2. John Wall – Houston Rockets

  • Salary: $44,310,840

Second on the list is John Wall, point guard of the Houston Rockets. He has an impressive average of 20.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 6.9 APG during the season. The salary he received was enough to understand how important Wall was to the club.

#3. Russell Westbrook – Los Angeles Lakers

  • Salary: $44,211,146

The past year has been an exciting journey for Russell Westbrook. While his slump in form and transfers between several teams may have affected his image, not his earnings.

With a $44 million starting salary, Westbrook added another $30 million thanks to an impressive partnership with Nike and ten auto dealerships in Southern California.

#4. James Harden – Brooklyn Nets

  • Annual Salary: $43,848,000

The Brooklyn Nets have closed one of the biggest deals in NBA history with the Beard, and it was the right decision. Harden’s arrival on the roster keeps the Nets’ record steady.

In December, Harden officially became the investor and creative director of Pura fragrances. The player also benefits from contracts with Art of Sport, BodyArmor, and Stance.

#5. Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers

  • Salary: $43,750,000

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Damian Lillard 

The longtime keeper of the All-NBA team and Portland Trailblazers star rose three spots on the list of highest NBA player salaries this year. Through partnerships and endorsement deals with Gatorade’s Bolt24 product line, Lillard earns a fortune.

Last year, the young man also launched an annual internship program for half a dozen disadvantaged students at New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago high schools.

#6. LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers

  • Salary: $41,180,544

It would be unbelievable if King James did not appear on the list. With just a $32 million-a-year Nike contract, LeBron James is well on his way to becoming the second billionaire to emerge from the league. That number, combined with a salary of $41.2 million, is enough to put James on the Forbes list of the highest-earning NBA players of 2021.

The SpringHill Company business, his entertainment, and media company, is also notable. They announced a minority stake sale at a valuation of $725 million.

James also joins fitness company Tonal as a brand ambassador and investor. He also allows Fortnite to use the image to create lovable characters.

#7. Kevin Durant – Brooklyn Nets

  • Annual Salary: $40,918,900

Kevin Durant’s base salary is admirable, but he’s also an investing genius. In December, technology company Uber bought the food delivery service Postmates for $2.65 billion. Durant invested back in this startup in 2016 with $1 million. The current figure is already $15 million.

Durant’s Thirty-Five Ventures is also expected to make a lot of money investing in many other companies. These include online banking Mercury, fantasy sports startup Sleeper, and investing apps Robinhood and Acorns.

#8. Paul George – LA Clippers

  • Salary: $39,344,970

Paul George will be making money this season for The Clippers without his teammate Kawhi Leonard for the foreseeable future. However, momentum will be high when the 31-year-old begins a four-year, $190 million contract extension

His partners include Nike, Gatorade, AT&T, and he recently became an investor in-home gym company Tonal.

#9. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks

  • Salary: $39,344,970

how much do nba players make

Giannis Antetokounmpo 

Defending champion Giannis Antetokounmpo deserves to be on the list of the highest-paid players of 2021. The huge five-year $228 million contract with Milwaukee is an impossibility.

Antetokounmpo still has a lot of growth potential at only 26 years old. More specifically, he seems to have discussed with Disney a documentary about the star’s journey from Greece to the NBA champion. Forbes says the film will be released in 2022.

#10. Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors

  • Salary: $37,980,720

The Golden State Warriors shooting guard suffered one of the most unfortunate injuries in sports history. Even so, he is still making a tremendous amount of money. The All-Star member joined Paul Rodriguez, Alex Morgan, and Travis Pastrana to launch Just Live, a CBD brand.

The star also has endorsement deals with Mercedes-Benz, Kaiser Permanente, and Tissot. A source said Thompson is in talks with Chinese shoe partner Anta.

Who Is The Lowest Paid NBA Player?

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NBA G-League players 

There isn’t a single player with the lowest salary, but players with two-way contracts with the G-League are the NBA players receiving the most inadequate compensation. They make an average of $77k per year and an additional minimum wage by the size of rookies from the NBA.

During the NBA preseasons and summer camps, NBA teams often invite G-League players to play for them. Players will receive 45 days of play for their favorite NBA teams. For players who hit the max, their annual salary falls around $400k.

Final Thoughts

The NBA players get paid an average salary of $7.5 million a year for the 2020-2021 season. This number is not minor, and it proves the popularity and love of the audience for the tournament. 

With the news that the salary cap for the new season will be more comprehensive, we will be ready to expect impressive performances and talented faces to shine on the court.

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