2021: The 10 Top Paid NBA Players
Any basketball fan will know that the leading NBA players are paid a hefty sum. Pictures of lavish mansion homes and high-end cars flood social media every day. This isn’t about to change anytime soon, as the 2021 season has just got underway. With a return to more normal proceedings, it will be interesting to see what crazy compensations and pay Lebron James and the gang receive. With that in mind, let us take you on a tour of the most well-paid NBA players.
Before we bring in the big guns, we’ll start at the lower end of the pile with Jimmy Butler. Jimmy Butler is an active person both on the pitch with Miami Heat, and away from the court. From his NBA performance, he takes home around $36 million and sees a further $11 million on top in endorsements. Off the field, he brings in revenue from his coffee business Bigface alongside partnerships with Jaybird and Tag Heuer. Despite being at the lower end of the top 10 players, the pay rates are phenomenal.
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Since Kawhi Leonard was put aside because of surgery, Paul George is set to make a considerable sum of money with the Los Angeles Clippers. Alongside his basketball action, he has partnership deals with the likes of Gatorade, AT&T, and Nike. Collectively, he earns around $39.3 million. More recently, this Clipper has invested in Tonal, which is a home gym company.
Klay Thompson is making some serious money, considering he’s facing a spate of unfortunate injuries. With a salary of $38 million from his team, the Golden State Warriors, it’s incredible to say that he’s taking home $54 million. Alongside his salary, he has gone into the CBD business with Travis Pastrana, Alex Morgan, and Paul Rodriguez.
Collectively, Portland Trailblazer’s superstar Damian Lillard takes home $56.3 million, of which $17 million comes from endorsements. Thanks to new partnerships with Gatorade, he has jumped up the chart three spaces this year. As well as making serious cash, Lillard launched an internship for students at a disadvantage. There were six slots available across Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.
Brooklyn Nets player James Harden has managed to net himself one of the highest-paying contracts the NBA has ever seen. The iconic bearded man takes home $44.3 million as a salary, with a further
$18 million in endorsements. He is happily endorsed by BodyArmor, Art of Sport, and Stance. On top of this, he has invested in Pura for some fine-smelling cash.
Playing for the LA Lakers, Russell Westbrook has had a colorful few years. Unfortunately, his MVP-worthy play has been flaky, which has lowered the stock slightly. However, this doesn’t stop Westbrook from taking home an impressive $74.2 million combined salary. What’s more important about this figure is that $30 million is made up of various endorsements. Most notably, he has a fruitful partnership with Nike.
As we move up the list, there’s no surprise that Giannis Antetokounmpo sees a place on the list. The Milwaukee Bucks world champion player has a tasty deal that sees his contract extended to 2026. Over the course of the five years, he is expected to see $228 million, which makes his annual salary sit at around $40 million. From various endorsements, he almost doubles his salary and is set to make much more over the coming years. Film giants Disney are reportedly in the process of making a film surrounding his incredible journey to NBA stardom.
This Brooklyn Nets giant towers over most and has a contract worthy of matching his height. He takes home $40.9 million from his NBA contract. However, his real win comes off the court, considering that Uber has bought a tech start-up that he invested in several years ago. Thanks to the sale, his initial investment of $1 million has been rocketed up to $15 million. Collectively, through endorsements, the giant Durant sees $47 million.
Steph Curry, the Golden State Warrior’s hoop-shooting hero, lands the slot for the second-highest paid NBA player. Through his contract, he receives around $45.8 million, which isn’t a bad haul for this double-time MVP. However, Curry’s largest revenue source this year has come from his new Curry brand, which is supported by Under Armour. At the teething stages, this new brand should bring in around $20 million for the star. As well as his new brand, Curry has income flowing in from Unanimous Media, which he owns.
Finally, we come around to LeBron James. There’s no surprise that this LA Lakers legend has landed the top spot. If LeBron plays his cards right, he is on track to becoming only the second billionaire to rise from the NBA. When we look at his NBA salary of $41.2 million, he’s not the highest-paid on this list. However, when you factor in the $70 million that he earns from endorsements, he’s easily torpedoed into first place. He has partnerships with Epic Games, which pay to base characters off his likeness. Further, and most importantly, his SpringHill Company entertainment business has sold a minority stake. Also, from Nike alone, he brings in an annual partnership figure of $32 million.
These are 2021’s highest-paid NBA stars, and even at the lower end, the salaries are admirable. Interestingly, there is only around $15 between the players’ salaries – the primary difference comes from their work off the court. Between a changing economy, movie deals, and the potential for a Space Jam 2, it will be interesting to see how the chart will shuffle as we move into 2022. Remember to catch all the court action next year.