The 30 best-paid players in NBA history

The 30 best-paid players in NBA history


The 30 best-paid players in NBA history

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30. CHRIS BOSH: $144,049,153 in 12 seasons.

The nine-time All-Star is worth every dollar he's made in the NBA no matter what his haters say.

29. DWIGHT HOWARD: $144,726,223 in 11 seasons.

His contract with the Rockets calls for him to make $45 million after this season. Another max deal in 2017 at age 32?

28. CARLOS BOOZER: $146,109,736 in 13 seasons.

Signed his first big contract with the Jazz in 2004 following a big controversy with Cavaliers management and has been making eight figures a year ever since.

27. STEVE NASH: $146,936,620 in 18 seasons.

Has never been among the best-paid in the league, but his longevity puts him in elite company financially.

26. BARON DAVIS: $147,692,983 in 13 seasons.

Played his last NBA game when he was just 33, but had enough time to collect big checks and start pursuing his interests in showbusiness.

25. LEBRON JAMES: $149,800,313 in 12 seasons.

Would be a little higher in the list had he not left money on the table to join the Miami Heat. Don't be surprised if he ends up No. 1 by the time he retires, though.

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24. STEPHON MARBURY: $151,115,945 in 13 seasons.

Left the NBA with a bitter taste in his mouth (and deep pockets) to become a beloved star in China.

23. JUWAN HOWARD: $151,465,633 in 19 seasons.

Was a Top 7 player in the NBA salary-wise between 1996 and 2003 without once making the All-Star Game or an All-NBA Team in that period.

22. ALLEN IVERSON: $154,494,445 in 14 seasons.

Big scorer with lavish spending habits. May have burned more money than anybody else in this list.

21. ZACH RANDOLPH: $155,124,765 in 14 seasons.

A big man with scoring and rebounding skills like Z-Bo has is always going to get paid in the NBA.

20. RASHARD LEWIS: $155,332,815 in 16 seasons.

His six-year, $118 million deal with the Orlando Magic remains a head-scratcher to this day, but the guy could shoot like few others in recent NBA history.

19. RASHEED WALLACE: $158,110,581 in 16 seasons.

Played elite defense, made shots from everywhere, received a million techs and coined the expression “CTC” (Cut the Check). Will not easily be forgotten.

18. CARMELO ANTHONY: $158,323,676 in 12 seasons.

Will probably have the biggest salary in the NBA in 2016-17. Making almost $1.5 million per win this season.

17. TRACY MCGRADY: $162,978,278 in 15 seasons.

Landed a superstar contract when he was only a bench player, but ended up living up to expectations and then some. 

16. GILBERT ARENAS: $163,361,257 in 11 seasons.

Amnestied by the Orlando in December 2011, Arenas made the last $62 million of his NBA career without playing – except for a six-game stint with the Grizzlies.

15. PAU GASOL: $163,702,396 in 14 seasons.

Has been flirting with 20 and 10 ever since he came from Spain in 2001. Took a $12 million pay cut last summer, but is still going strong and playing at an All-Star level.

14. VINCE CARTER: $165,575,296 in 17 seasons.

Went from overpaid former star to underpaid bench contributor in 2012. Has $8 million remaining in his contract with the Grizzlies.

13. AMARE STOUDEMIRE: $165,698,709 in 13 seasons.

Left Phoenix for the bright lights and big bucks in New York, but has not been able to play like a star for four years now.

12. ELTON BRAND: $167,338,631 in 16 seasons.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling wasn't known for rewarding young talents (or anybody, for that matter) with big contracts back in the day, but he made one of his first exceptions with Elton Brand. Many moons later, Brand is still making a cool $2 million in the NBA.

11. JERMAINE O'NEAL: $168,794,021 in 18 seasons.

One of the eight prep-to-pros players in the Top 30. Averaged 3.9 ppg his fourth year in the NBA, but became a full-blown star in Indiana when given a chance to shine.

10. JOE JOHNSON: $173,752,627 in 14 seasons.

Second-best paid player in the NBA this season. Not bad for a player who got traded his rookie season.

9. CHRIS WEBBER: $178,230,697 in 15 seasons.

Was an underappreciated star on the court (selected to the All-Star only five times), but not financially.

8. RAY ALLEN: $184,356,410 in 18 seasons.

His talent, consistency and professionalism translated into big contracts. Still a coveted player at age 39.

7. JASON KIDD: $187,675,468 in 19 seasons.

You don't necessarily have to put up big scoring numbers to sign huge deals in the NBA. Jason Kidd is living proof of that.

6. PAUL PIERCE: $190,124,552 in 17 seasons.

Had 'star' written all over him from an early age. Got paid like one and delivered. Money in crunch time.

5. DIRK NOWITZKI: $212,038,467 in 17 seasons.

Aside from Pau Gasol, the only foreign player in the list. You can tell he didn't care about money as much as others. Passed on many endorsement deals and took pay cuts in Dallas that many wouldn't.

4. TIM DUNCAN: $235,070,601 in 18 seasons.

Superstar that gave his team a hometown discount so he could be surrounded by better talent. Not a sound business move, but really paid off on the court last season.

3. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: $292,198,327 in 19 seasons.

Although he was the most dominant player of the post-Jordan era, Shaq only led the NBA in salary three years: 1999-00, 2004-05 and 2005-06.

2. KOBE BRYANT: $303,238,062 in 19 seasons.

Will move to No. 1 here if Kevin Garnett retires at the end of the year. Has made more than $20 million every season since 2008-09.

1. KEVIN GARNETT: $327,372,398 in 20 seasons.

The labor tensions that followed his unprecedented $126 million contract in 1997 paved the way for the 1998 lockout. Became the league's highest-paid player at age 24 and has continued to cash in big well into his thirties.

Source: Basketball-Reference and HoopsHype Salaries / 2014-15 salaries included.

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