After a wild offseason in the NBA, there are some fascinating contracts owed to some of the top players in the game across the league.
We ranked the players with the most guaranteed money owed to them on their deals. Narrow omissions include Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Nikola Jokic, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Kevin Love, Draymond Green and LeBron James.
The players who signed longer, new contracts or extensions this summer appear closer to the top of this list because their deals have not yet started.
1. Damian Lillard, PORTLAND: $257,429,273
Before the 2019 offseason free agency period officially began, the Portland Trail Blazers agreed to a supermax contract extension with four-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard. After the deal, he now has a higher guaranteed rate than any other player in the league. Perhaps most notable, though, is that he is set to make $54.3 million in the final year of his deal assuming he agrees to the player option built into his contract. Based on his expressed loyalty to the franchise and the city of Portland, as well as his stellar performance while on the floor, the organization has the definition of a keeper in its midst.
2. Klay Thompson, GOLDEN STATE: $189,903,600
It is no secret that the Golden State Warriors will look mighty different this season, which will be their first in the Chase Center. Kevin Durant is now on the Brooklyn Nets; veteran guard Shaun Livingston has retired; Jordan Bell is on the Minnesota Timberwolves; Andre Iguodala is, at least for now, on the Memphis Grizzlies. While there were also mild rumblings that Klay Thompson would leave the Warriors to join the Los Angeles Lakers, he showed his heart remains in Golden State. He will miss quite a bit of time with a torn ACL suffered in the NBA Finals but a new deal with the Warriors has him on their books for the foreseeable future.
3. Tobias Harris, PHILADELPHIA: $180,000,000
The Philadelphia 76ers swung for the fences in 2018-19 with the hopes of building a formidable roster around the stars they have drafted. Their front office gambled, twice, trading away key assets to land bigger names. Even though it ended in a disappointing loss in the Eastern Conference semifinals, they will have a chance to reset their focus with midseason addition Tobias Harris on the books with a new five-year contract. It might be a surprise to see him so high on this list considering that he has not yet made an All-Star team. But with the most lucrative deal in Sixers history, the combo forward can be a great culture-setter and scorer in Philly.
4. Khris MiddletoN, MILWAUKEE: $177,500,000
Milwaukee Bucks wing Khris Middleton made his first appearance on an All-Star team last season. He was a fantastic complementary piece to Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and helped his squad finish first place in the Eastern Conference. Even though Milwaukee eventually fell short to the Toronto Raptors in the conference finals, they project as favorites once again in their upcoming campaign if Middleton can continue his impressive play in their offensive scheme. Head coach Mike Budenholzer has gotten the best out of Middleton, who represented Team USA in the 2019 World Cup.
5. Ben Simmons, PHILADELPHIA: $176,313,930
After sitting out his first professional season due to injury, the unique size and skill of point forward Ben Simmons have quickly made him a franchise-defining player. Simmons won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2018 and made his first All-Star appearance in 2019. This helped him earn a max contract extension with Philadelphia. Simmons reportedly could earn even more than the rate listed above due to the Designated Rookie Exception if he makes an All-NBA team, Most Valuable Player or Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20. That would increase his contract total by twenty percent, potentially reaching up to approximately $204 million.
6. Jamal Murray, DENVER: $172,644,746
The Denver Nuggets have one of the most impressive young cores in the league. While the first name often mentioned when discussing their roster is their versatile big man Nikola Jokic, combo guard Jamal Murray plays just as integral of a role. The 22-year-old has the Rose Rule (named after 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose) in his deal, stating that he would be due for a 30.0 percent raise if he makes either All-NBA First-Team or MVP next season. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, he could also receive a 27.5 percent raise for All-NBA Second-Team and a 26 percent raise if he makes All-NBA Third-Team.
7. Russell WestbrooK, HOUSTON: $171,139,920
It will be strange to see Russell Westbrook play for a team outside of Oklahoma City for the first time in his professional career. Westbrook, who turns 31 years old in November, is set to make $38.5 million next season. As we noted back in July, just 15.7 percent of instances where a player received All-NBA honors this century have been 31 or older. Gary Payton and Steve Nash are the only point guards since 2000 with more than one All-NBA nod in their 30s. Yet in the final year of his contract, when he is 34 years old, the point guard will be due a whopping $44.2 million.
8. James HardeN, HOUSTOn: $171,131,520
NBA superstar James Harden agreed to an extension worth $160 million back in 2017, though he already had two years on his deal at the time. The total deal was worth $228 million, which was the most in the history of the league. After sharing the backcourt with Chris Paul for the past two years, the 2018 NBA MVP will be reunited with Westbrook.
9. John WalL, WASHINGTON: $171,131,520
Five-time All-Star John Wall has been the face of the franchise for the Washington Wizards since he was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. After signing the designated veteran player exception in the summer of 2017, his career has been more recently defined by injuries than his performance on the court. The extension, which is set to kick in this year, is worth around an additional annual sum of $1.8 million more than initially expected. He will be owed $47.3 million during the final year of his deal in 2022-23.
10. Kristaps PorzinGis, DALLAS: $158,253,000
While there were rumors that Kristaps Porzingis would have opted for his qualifying offer during the offseason so that he could become a free agent in 2020, the Dallas Mavericks were able to re-sign the Latvian-born star to the most lucrative deal in franchise history. The 7-foot-3 big man has not yet played for the team while recovering from an injury suffered while on the New York Knicks. But now healthy and ready to play alongside 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic, the Mavericks will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
10. Devin Booker, PHOENIX: $158,253,000
Last summer, the Phoenix Suns agreed to a long-term contract extension with 2015 first-round pick Devin Booker. The deal, which begins this season, will be the largest in franchise history thus far. Perhaps the most exciting note for Booker’s game is that he is likely still developing. Despite four years of pro experience, the 22-year-old is younger than his rookie teammate Cameron Johnson. Now under the leadership of head coach Monty Williams and with Deandre Ayton ready to provide support in the frontcourt, Booker is primed for years of success moving forward.
10. Karl-Anthony Towns, MINNESOTA: $158,253,000
After winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2016 and then making All-Star appearances in 2018 and in 2019, former No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns is undeniably one of the better young players in the league. If he would have made an All-NBA selection last season, the big man would have had his contract adjusted to $189.7 million – more guaranteed money than all but two players in the league. While he lost out on $31.6 million, he has a new head coach in Ryan Saunders and has more of the offensive share with Jimmy Butler no longer on the squad.
13. CJ McCollum, PORTLAND: $156,911,111
Portland has valued continuity in the backcourt, which helped them earn a spot in the Western Conference Finals last season. The Trail Blazers gave long-term extensions to both Lillard and CJ McCollum this offseason. The two players will be under contract together for five more seasons. He would have otherwise become a free agent in 2021. While he won NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2016, he has not yet been selected to an All-NBA or All-Star team.
14. Kevin Durant, BROOKLYN: $152,796,000
The Brooklyn Nets had an interesting question to answer during free agency. Would it be worth signing KD to the rate he would require knowing that he would not play a minute of NBA basketball during the 2019-20 season? The answer was obvious for Brooklyn even though their crosstown rivals were reportedly “not prepared” to offer him a full max due to his Achilles injury. Durant’s contractual agreement with the Nets is actually approximately $11 million short of the full max to accommodate fellow free-agency signees Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan.
15. Kemba Walker, BOSTON: $140,790,600
Perhaps no one had a more confusing end of their tenure with a franchise than Kemba Walker did with the Charlotte Hornets. The point guard was eligible for the supermax extension, which would have paid him $221.3 million over five years. He stated that he was willing to take less than that to stay with the franchise that drafted him in 2011. Yet the Hornets reportedly offered $160 million over five years. Instead, he will get a more lucrative annual deal for the Boston Celtics while also playing for a more competitive franchise.
15. Jimmy Butler, MIAMI: $140,790,600
Butler, who is on his fourth team in less than thirty months, may finally have a home that fits like a glove. The Miami Heat organization and training staff are known to value fitness, hard work and grit. Those are values that are very important to the four-time All-Star, who has a lot to prove now that the team identity rests in his hands. Miami will likely only go as far as Butler can take them, though with his two-way skillset on both offense and defense could be quite far in the Eastern Conference.
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