Who Is Highest Paid Athlete In The NBA? |15 Best

The NBA is known for being the most inventive of the main professional North American sports organizations, generating revenue from a variety of sources including media rights, merchandising, and ticket sales.

Below, we take a look at the highest-paid athlete in the NBA and their current team. The players on this list aren’t necessarily the ones with the most lucrative contracts. We only considered their salary and endorsements.

Briefing About NBA

The NBA was started after the other sports leagues (in 1946), and it took decades to catch up to its more established competitors in baseball and football.

It was the first league to turn its all-star game into a three-day weekend jam-packed with activities, and the first to rely heavily on merchandising for revenue.

The NBA was also the first to actively cultivate its most appealing players into global media celebrities, boosting the league’s international popularity. They transmit to every continent with a population.

The NBA thrives in North America, but it is far from dominant.

The league’s revenue is roughly half that of the world’s highest-grossing sports league, the National Football League, albeit the two aren’t always in competition.

Still, the genesis of the NBA’s broad revenue stream, which includes television, merchandising, sponsorships, and tickets, is one of the most significant contrasts between the leagues.

The NBA has surged in popularity in the United States, passing Major League Baseball as the country’s second-most popular sport. Pro basketball, on the other hand, has plenty of space to expand domestically, with average TV ratings under 4.0.

Read: What is the Highest Paid Sport in The World? | 10 Best in 2023

Is Being an NBA Athlete Profitable?

Being an NBA athlete is more profitable than you can imagine. First, it comes with fame. Now, imagine hearing your name being screamed by over 50,000 people just to cheer you up. This is fame anyone will want to have as a legacy!

Aside from fame, NBA athletes get more fat salaries, additional compensation, and endorsements than others.

Also, becoming an NBA athlete is profitable because you will always be physically fit. Every NBA Team has state-of-the-art equipment for the players to use.

Furthermore, becoming a professional basketball player is an ego boost in itself. If that’s not enough, a professional basketball team has built-in adulation to play. Millions of people play NBA games on the courtyard and on TV as video games.

Below, we will discuss the Highest Paid Athlete In The NBA.

What Do NBA Athletes Do?

NBA athletes, who are among the world’s fittest and most gifted athletes spend a significant portion of their life preparing for games that last only 48 minutes.

Because of the high-pressure nature of their roles, this preparation, which includes reviewing game films, honing skills, and addressing persistent injuries, is critical.

The difference between success and failure for NBA basketball players is frequently measured in inches or seconds. The usual workday of an NBA basketball player varies depending on his team’s game schedule and the time of year.

Throughout the NBA season, players anticipate their team’s 41 home games. They assemble the morning before a game for a one-hour shoot-around and to examine film of the night’s opponent.

Some take nap and eat a pregame meal after lunch before tip-off. During the remaining time before the game, players receive injury treatment, put on their jerseys, debate strategies with coaches, and warm-up.

Normally, as a team, they play for 40 or more minutes during the game.

A competent NBA basketball player will score 20 points, grab at least a half-dozen rebounds, and play tough defense while sprinting up and down the floor at full speed on a good night.

Some athletes stay after the game to do weights before showering and heading home.

How Much Do NBA Athletes Make?

In all American sports, the NBA League has by far the biggest minimum contracts. The NBA pays each player about $8 million a year on average.

While it is obvious that the NBA’s top-line players will still receive a huge increase above the others, the NBA still pays $7,818,572 in average wages and 3,737,520 on average. According to the Basketball-Reference, the 2023-24 Salary Cap is $109.1 million.

How Can I Become an NBA Athlete?

One of the first things you want to consider is how much education you require when you are interested to become a professional basketball player.

The record shows that 78.8% of professional basketball players graduated with a bachelor’s. And about 2.6% of professional basketball players have master’s degrees at higher education levels.

Although most professional basketball players are university graduates, being a secondary or GED player is feasible.

Apart from education qualifications, some qualities are necessary if you must become an NBA athlete. They count the following;

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1. Athleticism

If you dream about becoming a pro, you need to have a body that embodies endurance, agility, and fantastic physical form. You require excellent core strength, flexibility, and skills to jump.

Athletes must be sufficiently agile to change positions rapidly, rebound properly, continually block shots, and last thus long.

This is a physical prerequisite that all basketball athletes are must-have so that the training and competition flow smoothly in matches.

2. Height

Although there are short basketball players, the height benefit can be very helpful. The reason is that the hoops are 10 feet high in professional games, thus it can be more difficult for a shorter person to shoot, especially when they want to darken the ball.

A lot of short players made up for that quickness, but you would have the chance to score and dunk more, if you were physically talented and tall, to enable your team to score more.

It can also make springing easier because you can block it better.

3. Tenacity

This is an important condition that does not apply to physical touch. If you think of a career in this sport, you must be mentally tough too.

Although you still see physical contact when it comes to offensive and defense, it is against play rules to tackle another player.

You must work to take over your mental ability, boom confidently, and instantly take judgments. If you are going to shoot the leap or throw the ball to your teammate to make a score, you must be clearly informed.

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Requirements for Becoming an NBA Player

You must meet the following criteria to be automatically eligible:

  • Finished four years of college eligibility; or
  • Completed high school in the United States
  • Sign a contract with a non-NBA professional basketball team and have played under the terms of the contract.
  • As an international player, you must be at least 22 years old; or

Have signed a contract with a professional team outside of the NBA that is based in the United States and have played under that deal.

Below, we will write the Highest Paid Athlete In The NBA.

Who Are The 15 Highest-paid NBA athletes in 2023?

Here is a list of the top 15 highest paid NBA athletes in 2023:

1. Stephen Curry

Team: Golden State Warriors

Salary: $43,006,362

Endorsements: $40 million

First on our list of 15 highest-paid NBA athletes is Stephen Curry. 

Wardell Stephen Curry is also a professional American basketball player for National Basketball Association Golden State Warriors (NBA).

He plays the position of a point guard. Curry is a 7-fold NBA All-Star thrice and has won three NBA Championships with the Warriors as NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Currently, Curry earns around $43,006,362 annually as a salary. His total earnings is $74.4 million and $40 million worth of endorsements.

2. Chris Paul

Team: Washington Wizard

Salary: $41,358,814

Endorsements; $25 million

Chris Paul is next in the list of the world’s top 15 highest-paid NBA athletes.

The American professional basketball player Christopher Emmanuel Paul was called the “CP3” by the National Basketball Association’s Phoenix Suns (NBA).

He has been awarded the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, NBA’s NBA Rookie of the Year, two Olympic gold medals, and has led a four-time NBA assistant in which he is a six-time record holder.

He was also selected from 11 NBA All-Star, 10 All-NBA, and 9 NBA All-Defensive.

3. Russell Westbrook

Team: Washington Wizards

Salary: $41,358,814

Endorsement: $25 million

Russell Westbrook is another well-paid NBA athlete in the world. He is a professional American basketball player for the National Basketball Association Washington Wizards (NBA).

He’s a 9-time NBA All-Star and won the 2016-17 season NBA Most Valuable Player Award.

In addition, in 2014–15 and 2016–17, he was the leading all-NBA team member and was awarded the most valuable NBA All-Star Game Player awards in 2015 and 2016.

4. James Harden, Rockets:

Team: Rockets

Salary: $41,254,920

Endorsements: $25 million

James Edward Harden Jr is a professional American football player for the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets (NBA).

He is one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers and was named one of the top scorers in the League and also the NBA’s greatest shooting guard.

Considering his $41,254,920salary and $25 million endorsements, Edward is among the highest-paid NBA athletes in the world.

5. John Wall

Team: Rockets Houston

Salary: $41,254,920

Johnathan Hildred Wall is one of the NBA’s who achieves high as an athlete. He is an American basketball player for the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets (NBA).

After playing the Kentucky Wildcats one year of university basketball he was chosen with the first overall selection of the 2010 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards.

Wall has been appointed to the All-NBA team in 2017 and is a five-time NBA All-Star.

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6. Kevin Durant

Team: Brooklyn Nets

Salary: $40,108,950

Endorsements: $34 million

Kevin Wayne Durant is a professional American basketball player for the National Association’s Brooklyn Nets and is also simply known by his initials KD (NBA).

He played college basketball for one season at the University of Texas, and the Seattle SuperSonics selected him for the second overall selection in the 2007 NBA draft.

7. LeBron Raymone James

Team: Los Angeles Laker

Salary:  $39,219,566

Endorsements: $64 million

Next on our list of the 15 highest-paid NBA athletes is LeBron Raymone James.

LeBron Raymone James is a professional American basketball player from the Los Angeles Lakers National Basketball Association.

He is widely regarded as one of the best NBA players ever and among the highest-paid NBA Athlete in the world.

The record shows that James is the only player who has won three NBA titles (Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Lakers) with NBA Finals MVP, with ten NBA Finals, 8 consecutive 2011–2018 with the Heat, and Cavaliers.

Currently, his annual salary is $39,219,566. Note, his endorsements are worth $64 million.

8. Blake Griffin

Team: Detroit Pistons:

Salary: $36,810,996

Blake Austin Griffin is a professional American basketball player for the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets (NBA).

He is among the highest-paid NBA athletes in the world considering his salary and net worth.

When he was voted the Consensus National Player of the Year, he played college basketball for the Oklahoma Sooners.

In the 2009 NBA draft, Griffin was picked as the first general NBA all-star and a 5 time All-NBA selection in Los Angeles Clippers since then.

The Detroit Pistons were traded and played through 2021 for Griffin in January 2018.

9. Paul George

Team: Los Angeles Clippers

Salary: $35,450,412

Next on our list with an annual salary of $35,450,412 is Paul George.

Paul Anthony George is a professional American basketball player in the National Basketball Association Los Angeles Clippers (NBA).

A seventy-off NBA All-Star, six-off All-NBA team member, and 4 time N BA All-Defensive Team member, the nicknamed “PG13.” “PG13”.

10. Klay Thompson

Team: Golden State Warriors

Salary: $35,361,360

Klay Alexander Thompson is a professional American basketball player from the National Basketball Association for the Golden State Warriors (NBA).

He has been recognized as one of the NBA’s biggest shooters. He is an NBA All-Star 5-times champion and an all-NBA 3-time honorary team.

Klay is a three-time NBA Warriors champion. He was also appointed to the Second Team of the All-Defensive NBA.

11. Mike Conley

Team: Utah Jazz

Salary: $34,502,132

The NBM Utah Jazz professional player Michael Alex Conley is an American Basketball professional (NBA). It was drawn up by the Memphis Grizzlies as the fourth chapter of the 2007 NBA draft.

Before being dealt with the Utah Jazz in 2019, Conley would spend 12 seasons there and is a top team scoreboard.

12. Jimmy Butler

Team: Miami Heat

Salary:  $34,379,100

Next on the list is Jimmy Butler. Jimmy Butler is a National Basketball Association professional basketball player from the United States (NBA).

He went to Marquette University after playing college basketball for one year at Tyler Junior College.

Butler is an NBA All-Star five-time, an honorary all-NBA Team four-time, and an honored all-defense NBA five-time team.

13. Kawhi Leonard 

Team: Los Angeles Clippers

Salary: $34,379,100

The Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association’s Anthony Leonard is an American professionals basketball player who is among the highest-paid NBA in the world.

He played for the San Diego State Aztecs for two seasons of collegiate basketball and was chosen All-American sophomore by the consensus team.

Leonard chose to leave the 2011 NBA draft for his last two seasons in San Diego State.

In the night before being traded to the San Antonio Spurs, he was selected by Indiana Pacers with the 15th overall picker.

14. Kemba Walker

Team: Boston Celtics

Salary: $34,379,100

This is another highest-paid NBA athlete. Kemba Hudley is a US professional basketball player from the National Basketball Association’s Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA).

He was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats for the 2011 NBA draft at ninth overall. Before his career, he graduated from Rice High School in 2008 and played the Connecticut Huskies collegiate basketball.

Walker finished second in the nation’s highest-scoring team in its 2010–2010 season and was designated the first-ever American Consensus team, leading the Huskies to the NCAA championships in 2011, winning a Most Outstanding Player award for the tournament.

Read: 15 Highest Paid Olympic Athletes In 2023 | Best Reviews

15. Tobias Harris

Team:  Philadelphia 76ers

Salary: $34,358,850

Tobias Harris is an American basketball professional with the National Basketball Association of Philadelphia 76. (NBA).

For the Tennessee Volunteers, he played one year in collegiate basketball prior to declaring that he was picked by the Charlotte Bobcats in the NBO draft in 2011 and subsequently moved to Milwaukee Bucks in the 19th place.

Harris played for Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, and Detroit Pistons.

FAQs on Highest Paid Athlete In The NBA

How much does Stephen Curry make in endorsements?

Stephen Curry endorsements are worth $40 million

Who is the highest-paid NBA player for 2023?

The highest-paid NBA player with a salary of $43,006,362 is Stephen Curry.

What is Jimmy Butler’s Salary?

Jimmy Butler’s salary is $34,379,100

Can I become an NBA player without a degree?

You at least need a high school degree.

How do NBA players get paid?

NBA players do not get paid on a per-game basis. Instead, they are paid two times a month. Players are paid their salaries based on 82 games in the regular season. Though players are typically not paid per game, their contracts encompass the number of games that the regular season includes.


With the above list, it’s clear that NBA players earn a lot of money before they retire from the game’s largest stage. In truth, the top NBA players have always been the highest-paid athletes in any sport.



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