NBA salaries have skyrocketed in recent years, but these days the biggest stars have earned more off the court than on it. Check out our list of the highest paid NBA players this year.
At $92 million(salary + endorsements), Lebron James is the NBA’s highest-paid player this year.
It is a record haul for an active basketball player.
Nike is his biggest supporter. They are behind the James brand so much so that the company is naming a research lab after him.
The four-time NBA MVP added a pair of endorsement deals in 2019 with Rimowa luggage and Walmart, which joined Coca-Cola, Beats By Dre, Blaze Pizza and NBA 2K in his sponsorship stable.
He also has a budding digital media company, Uninterrupted, and a production firm, SpringHill Entertainment, which will release a sequel to the 1996 Michael Jordan vehicle Space Jam in conjunction with Warner Bros. in 2021. All of the off-court work is worth an estimated $55 million for James this season.
Curry is expected to generate $85 million this season, including $45 million off the court.
Under Armour represents nearly half of his off-court income. Curry’s $40.2 million salary from the Golden State Warriors is the highest in the history of the NBA; he’s in the third season of the five-year, $201 million contract he signed in 2017.
Curry’s production company, Unanimous Media, has a development deal with Sony Pictures. Unanimous’ first movie, Breakthrough, was released in April, with Curry playing a role in marketing the Christian-oriented film, which grossed $50 million on a $14 million budget.
Durant is the third player on the list and has the NBA’s second-biggest annual shoe contract after James’ at an estimated $26 million this season.
His total earnings from his playing salary and endorsements is $73 million. Nike sells more KD shoes in China than in North America, according to Durant’s business partner Rich Kleiman.
Like James and Curry, Durant has his own production company, which is co-producing a new basketball-themed drama, Swagger, that is inspired by Durant’s youth basketball experience and will air on the Apple TV+ streaming service.
Damian Lillard signed a four-year, $196 million super max extension in July with the Portland Trail Blazers that kicks in for the 2021-2022 season.
The final year is worth $54.25 million for the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year and four-time All-Star. Lillard’s Adidas shoe deal is worth roughly $10 million annually.
Russell Westbrook’s five-year, $207 million contract is the largest deal in the NBA right now.
The eight-time All Star extended his deal with Nike’s Jordan brand in 2017 for another ten years and in 2018 received his first signature shoe, the Why Not Zer0. Westbrook has averaged a triple-double for three straight seasons.
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