TOP 20 HIGHEST PAID NBA PLAYERS


WORTH IT?

NOT WORTH IT?

This article we will be discussing the top 20 highest paid players in the NBA. A short summary of each player will be provided along with the individual players’ 2015-16 salary and statistics. At the end of the summary I will decide if the player is worth their salary for this season. Here is “Worth It? Not Worth It?

 

 

#20: ENES KANTER: C- OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

Beverley_Kanter

KANTER WHILE WITH UTAH JAZZ

2015-16 SALARY: $16, 407, 500

STATS: 113PTS, 7.5REB, O.6AST

SUMMARY: With the dearth of quality big men in the NBA it is easy for an organization to over-pay for Centers. While young and talented more should be expected of a player earning this type of money. Kanter will need to play well down the stretch to relieve some pressure off Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

WHAT I THINK: NOT WORTH IT

 

#19: KAWHI LEONARD: SF- SAN ANTONIO SPURS

2015-16 SALARY: $16, 407, 500

STATS: 20.2PTS, 7.1REB, 2.6AST

SUMMARY: Leonard has worked extremely hard to become one of the 10 best players in the NBA. A defensive wizard with an ever-improving offensive game, he is in line for multiple All-Star appearances in his future.

WHAT I THINK: WORTH IT

 

#18: KYRIE IRVING: PG- CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Kyrie_Irving_2015

KYRIE IRVING

2015-16 SALARY: $16, 407, 501

STATS: 17PTS, 2.8REB, 3.8AST

SUMMARY: Irving has just come back from injury. These stats will improve in time. Irving is one of the top 5 point guards in the NBA. If Irving is fully healthy come playoff time, the Cavaliers will win the Eastern Conference and compete for the NBA Championship.

WHAT I THINK: WORTH IT

 

#17: RUSSELL WESTBROOK PG- OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

2015-16 SALARY: $16,744,218

STATS: 24.4PTS, 7.1REB, 9.5AST

SUMMARY: Westbrook has been absolutely outstanding this season and is in the running for the NBA MVP Award. The 27-year old former UCLA Bruin has taken his game to another level and has even outplayed his star teammate Kevin Durant. These 2 provide the hope to bring OKC it’s first ever NBA World Championship.

WHAT I THINK: WORTH IT

 

#16: PAUL GEORGE:  SF- INDIANA PACERS

PaulGeorge

PAUL GEORGE

2015-16 SALARY: $17, 120, 106

STATS: 24PTS, 7.5REB, 3.9AST

SUMMARY: George has come back from a gruesome leg injury and is now better then ever. Click on the following link for a previous story regarding Paul George. https://inthegymrange.com/the-power-of-rehab

WHAT I THINK: WORTH IT

 

#15: PAUL MILLSAP:  PF- ATLANTA HAWKS

2015-16 SALARY: $18, 671, 659

STATS: 18.5PTS, 8.6REB, 3.5AST

SUMMARY: Millsap is finally getting the recognition he deserved. The former 2nd round pick out of Louisiana Tech has been a very solid player for years but has become a household name with the Atlanta Hawks. A tough well-rounded PF who is one of the elite players in the NBA.

WHAT I THINK: WORTH IT

 

#14: BLAKE GRIFFIN: PF- LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

164px-Blake_Griffin_dunk

BLAKE GRIFFIN

2015-16 SALARY: $18, 907, 726

STATS: 23.2PTS, 8.7REB, 5AST

SUMMARY: Blake Griffin has always put up stats. However, for what he has done I always believe he can do more. He is ultra-talented but I believe there is even more improvement that can be made. This is an important year for Griffin and the Clippers. Is time running out for CP3 and Blake to get to an NBA Final? The pressure will surely mount as the NBA Playoffs get closer.

WHAT I THINK: WORTH IT

 

#13: MARC GASOL: C- MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

2015-16 SALARY: $19, 688, 000

STATS: 16.4PTS, 7.3REB, 3.7AST

SUMMARY: Gasol is an upper-echelon Center. The younger brother of Pau Gasol, Marc has slowed down a bit this season although he is still very productive. He has the capability for even bigger stats but Memphis is not a real uptempo team. Along with PF Zach Randolph and PG Mike Conley do not count out the Grizzlies in the Western Conference.

WHAT I THINK: WORTH IT

 

#12: KEVIN LOVE: PF- CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

2015-16 SALARY: $19, 689, 000

STATS: 15.9PTS, 10.8REB, 2.4AST

SUMMARY: Love has played better this year then his first season in Cleveland. He seems more comfortable in his role. However, for someone making almost $20 million dollars this season I would expect more. Love needs to get down low and provide a tough, physical presence if Cleveland is going to have any chance of winning an NBA title. He needs to stop shooting too many 3-pointers and provide an interior presence.

WHAT I THINK: NOT WORTH IT

 

282px-LaMarcus_Aldridge1

LaMARCUS ALDRIDGE WHILE WITH PORTLAND

#11:LaMARCUS ALDRIDGE: PF- SAN ANTONIO SPURS

2015-16 SALARY: $19, 689, 000

STATS: 15.9PTS, 9REB, 1.3AST

SUMMARY: After multiple excellent seasons in Portland, Aldridge signed a free agent contract with the Spurs in the off-season. His stats might not be as great as other players on this list but they don’t have to be. The Spurs have so many good players that everybody produces and plays there role. However, for the Spurs to overtake the Warriors in the Western Conference they will need Aldridge to perform at the high-level of play in which he is very capable of.

WHAT I THINK: WORTH IT

 

#10: DWYANE WADE: SG- MIAMI HEAT

2015-16 SALARY: $20, 000, 000

STATS: 18.4PTS, 4.2AST, 4.6AST

SUMMARY: Wade has battled injuries the last few seasons but has come back in a good way in 2015. The future Hall of Famer might not have the same burst as he once did but is still a very good player. Along with Chris Bosh, the duo have played well so far and have Miami contending in the weak Eastern Conference. However, I don’t believe he is worth $2o million dollars a year.

WHAT I THINK: NOT WORTH IT

 

180px-Derrick_Rose_2011

2011 NBA MVP DERRICK ROSE

#9: DERRICK ROSE: PG- CHICAGO BULLS

2015-16 SALARY: $20, 093, 064

STATS: 14.8PTS, 3.2REB, 4.8AST

SUMMARY: Once the NBA’s best point guard and 2011 MVP, injuries have stalled his career. Rose has played decent this year but is clearly not the same player that he was before all the unfortunate injuries. Once the leader and face of the Bulls franchise, shooting guard Jimmy Butler has taken over that role. Let’s hope for the betterment of the NBA Rose can come close to being the superstar he once was.

WHAT I THINK: NOT WORTH IT

 

#8: KEVIN DURANT: SF- OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

2015-16 SALARY: $20, 158, 622

STATS: 26.5PTS, 7.7REB, 4.4AST

SUMMARY: Durant is a bonafide superstar. One of the best talents in the world and a beloved figure in Oklahoma City. Durant and teammate Russell Westbrook are the NBA’s most talented duo. This might be the last chance for Durant to win a title in OKC. He is the biggest name in the 2016 free agency class and everybody will be vying for his services. Does he stay loyal to OKC? Or does he head to a bigger market and become even a bigger star somewhere else?

WHAT I THINK: WORTH IT

 

#7: CHRIS PAUL: PG- LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

Chris_Paul_dribble_20131118_Clippers_v_Grizzles

CHRIS PAUL

2015-16 SALARY: $21, 468, 695

STATS: 17.9PTS, 3.7REB, 9.5AST

SUMMARY: CP3 is having another outstanding season for the Clippers. However, for all his accolades it is time for Paul and teammate Blake Griffin to produce in the playoffs. We all know how good he is. Now would be a good time to finally breakthrough and get to an NBA Final so that even casual fans can get a glimpse of his greatness.

WHAT I THINK: WORTH IT

 

#6: CHRIS BOSH: PF- MIAMI HEAT

2015-16 SALARY: $22, 192, 730

STATS: 19PTS, 8REB, 2.5AST

SUMMARY: I haven’t always been the biggest Chris Bosh fan. For all his extreme physical abilities he has turned into a jump-shooting and 3-point shooting big man. While he is a very good shooter, with the dearth of quality big men in the NBA he should dominate on a game by game basis. Along with Kevin Love, I feel he shouldn’t be spending a lot of his time on the perimeter. He is a big man and needs to dominate around the basket.

WHAT I THINK: NOT WORTH IT

 

#5: DWIGHT HOWARD: C- HOUSTON ROCKETS

Dwight_Howard_March_2014

DWIGHT HOWARD

2015-16 SALARY: $22, 359, 364

STATS: 14.2PTS, 12PTS, 1.5AST

SUMMARY: Why is it that one of the most talented Centers to ever play in the NBA is always in the news for the wrong reasons? Coach-killer, cry-baby, doesn’t get along with teammates, subject of trade rumors. It was only a few seasons ago Howard was side by side with LeBron James as the 2 best players in the world. Now? He is trying to get out of Houston because he can’t come to terms that James Harden is the number 1 option. If Howard doesn’t come to grips that he isn’t the number one option, he will be out of Houston. For somebody who calls himself “Superman”, he needs to stop acting like a child.

WHAT I THINK: NOT WORTH IT

 

#4: CARMELO ANTHONY: SF- NEW YORK KNICKS

2015-16 SALARY: $22, 875, 000

STATS: 21PTS, 7.6REB, 3.8AST

SUMMARY: Anthony has rebounded from injuries and played very well this season. It seems that star rookie Kristaps Porzingis has lit a fire under Anthony as they make a very good 1-2 punch. However, I believe he is not a top 5 or 10 player in the NBA anymore. For someone making almost 23 million dollars I need to see him put the Knicks on his back and carry them to the Eastern Conference Finals. There is no chance of that happening.

WHAT I THINK: NOT WORTH IT

 

148px-LeBron_James_2

LeBRON JAMES

#3: LeBRON JAMES: SF- CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

2015-16 SALARY: $22, 970, 500

STATS: 25.5PTS, 7.4REB, 6.1AST

SUMMARY: The best player in the world. One of the best of all-time. Everything that can be said already has been about the “KING”. The only thing left to do is win more NBA Championships. There is LeBron and everyone else a level below. Hand the man a blank check.

WHAT I THINK: WORTH IT

 

#2: JOE JOHNSON: SF- BROOKLYN NETS

2015-16 SALARY: $24, 894, 863

STATS: 11.4PTS, 4.0REB, 3.6AST

SUMMARY: To Joe Johnson’s defense he has battled through injuries this season. However, when it comes to him being the 2nd highest paid player in the league is just laughable. He has always been a good player but making almost $25-million dollars this year shows what having a good agent can mean. His agent is smiling all the way to the bank.

WHAT I THINK: NOT WORTH IT

 

#1: KOBE BRYANT: SF- LOS ANGELES LAKERS

2015-16 SALARY: $25, 000, 000

STATS: 16.3PTS, 4.0REB, 3.5AST

KobeBryant1

KOBE BRYANT

SUMMARY: Kobe Bryant is a legendary player who people will be talking about for generations to come. However, his contract and injuries have made the once proud Los Angeles Lakers franchise a laughingstock of the NBA. There have been players who have taken less money to help there respective team acquire other players. (EX: Tim Duncan-Spurs) Bryant never did that and the Lakers record the last 3 seasons have shown for it. Bryant has seemed willing the last few seasons to play out the string and get his NBA Farewell Tour. While that may be deserved he shouldn’t be making $25-million dollars to do so.

WHAT I THINK: NOT WORTH IT

 

 

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THESE PLAYER’S CONTRACTS?

 

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS IN THE SECTION BELOW AND I WILL GLADLY RESPOND.

30 thoughts on “TOP 20 HIGHEST PAID NBA PLAYERS”

  1. James says:

    Like the topic. I’m always fascinated by NBA salaries and think it’s engaging. Why do some teams pay so much and others so little? It’s not just the #s though. Would recommend a little of your own point of view up top to engage the reader, even if it’s just a comment about how many golden basketballs their salary might buy or some sarcasm about how it’s only X millions of dollars after taxes and agent fees. If you’re looking to monetize your blog remember that you have to earn trust which is gained by offering your own perspective. Think Stephen A Smith if you need to channel someone in your writing. Also, the pics need to be aligned which can be hard in WP. If you can’t align them I’d recommend removing as they can be a distraction.

    1. admin says:

      Thank you for the suggestions. I appreciate it. However, I am not a Steven A. Smith fan although I understand what you are trying to say. He makes everything about himself which is not what a journalist should be. Although he starts controversy which is what he wants and is why he is on t.v. Best of luck.

  2. Tar says:

    Wow. It’s nice to disclose such posts, I mean it’s something that represents how sports have developed as a whole.

    What I’m saying is Rob is that money has conquered/dominate sports nowadays.

    An athlete can become a millionaire easily today compared to the basketball legends in the old days.

    Further, there’s an interconnection with entertainment industry as well, not just business. Like the movie ‘Like Mike’ where NBA players did cast for the film.

    1. admin says:

      Hello,

      I completely agree with you. What would the great players in the 1970’s and 80’s be paid now? Average players in the NBA make 6-7 million dollars. Thank you for the comments.

  3. Katia says:

    Hi Rob,

    Wow, I’m amazed with how much the highest paid NBA players actually make, makes me wish I was a professional athlete, but I’m sure plenty people think that! It is a game that takes a lot of commitment, and time, and training, and energy put into it so I can see why they’re so highly paid.

    This was a really interesting read so thanks for sharing!

    All the best,

    Katia

    1. admin says:

      Hello,

      Thank you for the comments. Yes, NBA players are compensated very well to say the least. Best of luck with everything.

  4. J-Money says:

    I really like this article and I really liked learning of the top paid NBA players and your opinion on if they are worth there salary.

    I enjoy watching sports and basketball a lot, I actually ref basketball. I also really liked your content and media and the way you have added your widgets.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      Thank you. I appreciate it. That is great that you are a referee. I was one about 7 years ago. Best of luck to you.

  5. Janet says:

    Well this was an eye-opening article! I had no idea the top earners were being paid so much. That’s more I think than premier league “soccer players” in the UK. Well, on a par really, if these are top earners.
    Really interesting topic.
    Are the big clubs owned largely by Americans or are you starting to see international influence?

    1. admin says:

      Hello,

      Thank you for commenting. Yes, Basketball players really do make a lot of money. There is one owner who is Russian and owns the Brooklyn Nets. Besides him everyone else is American. Best of luck to you.

  6. Dave says:

    Lol! Joe Johnston should not be number 2 by a long shot. He’s a great player, but no where near worth that price tag. Melo is completely overrated in my opinion as well, if he learnt to play with the team he might actually contribute to some more wins! The Lakers will also do well when Kobe moves on.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      I completely agree with you on everything that you said. Thanks for commenting.

  7. ariefw says:

    Now this is what I’m talking about. You should know your players’ salaries and judge them by it.

    You can not be one of the highest paying NBA players but don’t deliver a ring. That is all that matter now.

    But I have to protest with your decision on Kobe Bryant. He is one of the best. It is just retirement money for him now as he has given his best in the previous years.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Thank you for commenting. Best of luck.

  8. Funkydunc says:

    Are you seriously telling us that Steph Curry is not in the Top 20 highest paid players in the NBA? You’re kidding aren’t you, or you don’t like him. Do you have any GSW players on that list?

    Not sure I really understand the criteria you use to rate them. Maybe a list of what they should bring to a team and then measure each player accordingly.

    Spell check note: Opening paragraph, the word “worth there salary” should read “their salary.”

    Interesting article, though.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Thank you. I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

  9. Jeff says:

    great post, not only with the facts about each player but adding your own opinion. I’m not a big basketball fan, but do love many sports. High wages are such a vast subject. My personal opinion is these guys generate so much money for others its only fair they get what they are due.
    You take this further asking are they worth it. Such a hard answer to give, and a lot of your points are valid. As an owner the value of a salary reflects more than what happens on the court. its also what a player brings in off the court. Players image rights for example play a huge part in contracts now.
    What this article will do,i hope, is inspire the next generation to stick in with their practice to attain these wages. and i wish them the best of luck!

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Thank you. I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

  10. Wing says:

    Wow, even taking a paycut from he usually gets Kobe was still the highest paid player in his last year. I think most of the players are well-deserved to be on the list, especially Leonard. He worked his butt off during his rookie year and really showed out. Good for him, I don;t know if Dwight deserve to be on the list for much longer though…

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Thank you for your comments and best of luck too you.

  11. Shane says:

    Great article, I do agree with most of your comments. When I first read the title I thought for sure LeBron would be number 1 and Kevin Durant would be at least in the top 3, but how wrong was I. Derrick Rose is no way near the player he use to be and is grossly over paid

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      Than you for reviewing my article. I agree with you on Derrick Rose. It will be very interesting to see how he does with the Knicks this upcoming season. Best of luck to you.

      Thanks,

      Rob

  12. Boss Body UK says:

    it is amazing how much the NBA players get paid, the things that i would do to earn this amount of money. living in England we here a lot about how much the English footballers get paid, for example i remember hearing Wayne Rooney earns £300,000 i wish i stuck to a sport and became professional

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      hank you for commenting on my article. The NBA Free Agency period started yesterday and most of the contracts that the players signed are very outlandish. Mediocre players were getting $70-million dollar contracts. It is amazing to me how much some players are getting paid. Thank you again for your grat comment and best of luck to you.

      -Rob

  13. zach says:

    This article looks like it was a blast to write, and It was fun for me to read as well. I am a huge NBA fan, so It was really awesome finding this article. I had no idea that Enes Kanter was paid that well, well I guess you learn something new everyday 🙂 Awesome Article!

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      Thank you for commenting. When you read the article and realize that some average NBA players make more than some All-Stars, you wonder what their NBA general managers were thinking. Now that the 2016-17 salary cap is rising 20-million dollars more for the upcoming season, you will see contracts get even larger. Very good comment.

      -Rob

  14. Ashley says:

    Joe Johnson earns more than LeBron?? That’s crazy!

    1. Hello,
      It is really unbelievable when you think about it. Joe Johnson was a very good player when he signed his contract about 6-7 years ago. However, as he is much older now, his overall skills has greatly diminished. Nobody in the NBA deserves to be paid more than LeBron James. He is the best player in the world. Some of the contracts are just mind boggling, in my opinion.
      -Rob

  15. Matt's Mom says:

    It just amazes me how much professional athletes make. I started reading and couldn’t believe that at #20, Enes Kanter makes over 16 million for one season! I would have to agree with most of your assessments on whether they are worth it or not. I was really surprised to see some of the names, and then others just not on the list at all. I suppose there are a lot of professional basketball players.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      It is very true that NBA players make a lot of money, perhaps more than any other professional sport. There are many players who are overpaid and underpaid. Each NBA team carries 12-15 players on their roster. What is important to know is that most of players contracts are guaranteed money. This means if a player gets injured and missed an entire season, he still gets the money owed to him from his contract. The salary cap is actually going to rise in the next 1-2 years. You will now see higher salaries across the NBA.

      -Rob

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