The larger-than-life talents and personalities of the NBA have long demanded big-time contracts that are some sports' largest. Seemingly every summer, league contract records get shattered as the price of landing (or just keeping) one of the game's stars steadily rises.
This select group of players also makes a killing off endorsing products both on the court and on a screen, and in many cases this 'side-income' rivals what they make from actually playing basketball. If you ever interested in getting involved, the sites numbers and availability is growing dramatically. However do make sure do you research on specific sports betting guides, as there are plenty of untrustworthy sites. With betting still dominating countries like USA, Canada & UK, online betting sites now have dedicated pages and sites to each sport or even event. From NBA sports betting pages to the Superbowl, everything is covered for any sports fan.
With the salary cap going up again for the 2017-18 season and with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver calling for the legalization of online sports betting in the US (which the Association will no doubt figure out a way to profit off of given NBA betting's rising popularity), it can be expected for these contracts to continue to skyrocket.
Based on how much their playing contract earns them per year, and also accounting for the stable of endorsement deals they might have, these are the current five wealthiest NBA players in 2017.
5. Al Horford
After his 2013-14 season was cut short due to injury, Horford bounced back big time in the final two years of his contract with Atlanta. Two more All-Star selections brought his career total to four, and in 2014-15 he was instrumental in helping the Hawks go on a 28-2 streak and make their first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. The following season (where he played in every regular season game) was equally as solid, setting Horford up for some big bucks ahead of the 2016-17 season.
As an unrestricted free agent, most expected Horford to sign a new deal with Atlanta. But the Hawks had little (in basketball terms) left to offer to Al after signing Dwight Howard, leading him to instead sign a massive four-year, $113 million contract with Boston (or $28.3 million per year). So far the move seems to have paid off as Horford has become the team's leader and made the Celts a serious contender for the Eastern Conference crown.
4. Russell Westbrook
Upon Kevin Durant's departure from Oklahoma City, rumors swirled about what would happen to Russell Westbrook and his soon-to-expire contract. Instead of being traded like many suspected, Westbrook and the Thunder agreed on a three-year, $85.7 million extension deal ($28.5 million per year). Westbrook has since rewarded OKC handsomely with what looks like will be a career year in terms of scoring.
At 28 years old, Russ is already fifth on the NBA's all-time triple-double list, behind only legends like Oscar, Magic, Kidd, and Chamberlain. Since 2012, the 6-time All-Star has repped Nike's Jordan Brand and also since signed on with a number of other apparel companies including Kings &Jaxs, Zenith watches, True Religion, as well as with Subway and Mountain Dew's Kickstart beverage. His annual endorsement earnings are estimated to be in excess of $9 million.
3. James Harden
Like every other player on our list, James Harden was also the benefactor of a major contract deal signed in 2016. In summer of that year (in which the cap limit went up by $24 million), the five-time All-Star signed a four-year contract extension worth $118.1 million with Houston (about $29.4 million per year through 2019). Harden's move to the Rockets from OKC has allowed him to break out as the star player most expected he would be if not having to fight over ball time with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
That's exactly what happened, and since the mega deal went through Harden has been the foundation for four-straight Houston playoff appearances, including a trip to the Western Conference Semi-Finals in 2015. Adding to his bankroll is a slew of lucrative endorsements that includes Trolli candy, Beats headphones, Foot Locker, and many more. Ahead of the 2015-16 season, Harden also signed a 13-year shoe and apparel deal with adidas worth $200 million. Everything about the 27-year old, from his wardrobe choices to his beard to his romantic partners (e.g. Khloe Kardashian) hsa the makeup of a super-marketable star, and we suspect Harden will remain near the top of this list for the duration of his career.
2. Mike Conley Jr.
It might surprise casual fans that Mike Conley is the owner of the largest contract (by total value) in NBA history. The Memphis point guard's five-year, $153 million deal ($30.5 million per year) is a product of leading the Grizzlies to the playoffs the past six seasons and being the franchise's all-time leader in scoring, three-pointers, assists, and steals. Conley's contract was greeted with the mixed reception, but his situation is a tough one: on a small-market team that doesn't have a roster full of other superstars, Conley's value might not be obvious to non-Memphis fans. But defense, grit, and leadership don't necessarily show up on the stat sheet, and the contract is a vote of confidence that Conley can help Memphis make a deep run in the playoffs.
Shortly after signing his new super contract, Money Mike also penned a deal to wear Jordan Brand shoes and gear for an undisclosed amount. Prior to that, Conley also had endorsement deals with adidas and Under Armour, allowing him to collect an estimated $12 million over the course of his career. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the defensive stalwart's career and financials is that he's yet to have been selected to an NBA All-Star Game.
1. LeBron James
No surprise here. The NBA's best-paid athlete is also the third-highest paid in the world according to Forbes (behind only Messi and Ronaldo). That figure takes into account his long rolodex of endorsements which totals over $54 million. Among many others, LBJ has or has had multi-million dollar contracts with Nike (who signed him straight out of high school on a $90 mil deal), State Farm, Dunkin' Donuts, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Samsung, and others.
LeBron's $216 million net worth and brand is also bolstered by the many appearances he makes in TV and film, such as HBO's Entourage and 2015's Trainwreck. Among many things, King James is famous for the short (yet no less lucrative) contracts he signs as a way to maximize his potential earnings and give him more career flexibility. To take advantage of the recent increases in the salary cap, the past few years James has opted out of his contract and signed a new one after each season. The deal he signed in the summer of 2016 was for three years and just under $100 million ($33.2 million per year), making him the NBA's highest paid player for the first time in his career.
Of course, if you ask any Cleveland fan, the true value of LeBron (and putting an end to the city's torturous title drought) is priceless.
The next five wealthiest, #6-10: Damian Lillard ($27.9 million per year); DeMar DeRozan ($27.8 million); Kevin Durant ($27.1 million); C.J. McCollum ($26.6 million); Rudy Gobert ($25.5 million)