The 10 highest-paid NBA stars will each earn over $ 40 million each next season

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The frenzy of the free NBA agency is behind us and the teams are now starting to look to the coming season. Before starting, every team is buzzing with excitement; Even the worst squads in the league have hope if the games haven’t played yet.

Players will be thrilled to get back on the pitch and some are stronger than others. Because for the first time in the history of the NBA, the top stars of the league will all make huge dollars. Ten players will take home at least $ 39.3 million with their contracts. Coupled with potential incentives, advertising contracts, and other perks, they will all easily make $ 40 million.

Here’s a look at the league’s highest-paid players for the 2021-22 season, with salaries rounded to the nearest $ 100,000:

Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors – $ 45.8 million

If you think Steph Curry is making an absurdly high amount of money, you are not wrong – but the Warriors are likely looking at it as paying back for starting his career when he was grossly underpaid. Curry had a four-year $ 44 million deal that went into effect during the 2013-14 season. That means he made just $ 11 million a year during the Warriors’ first championship run, the season they won 73-9, and their second championship. He signed a four-year extension for $ 215 million this summer that will bring him close to $ 60 million in the contract’s final season.

John Wall, Houston Rockets – $ 44.3 million

Wall is the second highest paid player on this list and possibly the most vulnerable. He suffered an Achilles injury in the 2018-19 season that forced him to miss 50 games that year, the entire following season, and 42 games last season. But he’s looking to Houston for a second chance at fame that could earn him another lucrative deal after graduation (though it’s probably not worth nearly as much). Wall has a player option worth more than $ 47.3 million next season – it would be absolutely shocking if he turned it down.

James Harden, Brooklyn Nets – $ 44.3 million

James Harden started with the Rockets last season – where he signed a $ 228 million extension in 2017 – before trading to Brooklyn. Harden has a $ 46.8 million player option for the next season, though he may turn it down to sign a longer deal with the Nets. His first season with his new team wasn’t nearly as smooth as hoped. He missed games in both the regular season and the playoffs due to injury, and he’s still competing this year in search of his first-ever NBA title.

Steph Curry (L) and Kevin Durant (Sarah Stier / Getty Images)

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers – $ 44.2 million

When the Rockets took over Wall, they traded one man over $ 40 million for another. Westbrook signed a massive deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and since that renewal he has moved on to the Rockets, Washington Wizards and now the Los Angeles Lakers. It will be fascinating to see how he fits in with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But one thing is certain: the team will have a lot of people who are not afraid to take over a game.

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets – $ 42 million

Durant was a toe away from sending the Nets into the Eastern Conference finals, where they would likely have been favorites to win the NBA title. He’ll get another try this year, though he’s hoping he has a healthy cast including Harden and Kyrie Irving. In addition to earning $ 40.9 million next year, Durant can also make $ 1.1 million in likely incentives. He is perhaps the best player in the NBA right now and has just signed a long-term contract to stay in Brooklyn through the 2025-26 season.

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers – $ 41.2 million

James has had a roller coaster of his career in Los Angeles since joining the Lakers in 2018. He suffered a serious injury in his freshman year when the Lakers completely missed the playoffs, but bounced back to win his fourth NBA Championship and Finals MVP in the NBA Bubble. Last year, the Lakers made the play-in tournament, defeating the Golden State Warriors to get the seventh seed. They were eliminated from the Phoenix Suns in the first round, but are again among the favorites for the title this season. James is also perhaps the most popular player around the world; With the income and the number of fans he brings into the league, he is arguably wild underpaid.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks – $ 39.3 million

The reigning Finals MVP had a good life in Milwaukee. He helped end the championship’s 50-year drought in the city and returned to stay in the city for the long term. With an extremely personable personality off the pitch, Antetokounmpo will likely add some new sponsorship and advertising opportunities to next year’s salary.

Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers – $ 39.3 million

While George may not have completely shaken the nickname “Pandemic P” during this year’s playoffs, George helped lead the Clippers to the franchise’s inaugural Western Conference final while teammate Kawhi Leonard was out with a knee injury. George and Leonard joined the Clippers together in 2019. The former signed an extension before the start of last season, while the latter just agreed to a four-year contract this summer. Both players from Southern California are committed to one thing: to win a championship in front of their hometown fans.

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers – $ 39.3 million

Leonard is probably the best two-way player in the league, though he comes with the caveat that he will miss several games each year. Whether through load management or an injury, Leonard has played 73, 22, 15 and 20 games in the last four seasons. He’s likely to miss out on most or all of the coming season as he recovers from his latest knee injury, but he’s bidding enough if he’s healthy that the Clippers could sign him on a massive deal.

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers – $ 39.3 million

We know Damian Lillard is set to make $ 39.3 million this season. We don’t know if he’ll still be with the Blazers in the end. The team’s star player has voiced his frustration with the franchise when they made off-season staff changes, including hiring Chauncey Billups as their head coach. There have been rumors of a possible trade request, although it is unclear how much validity these rumors hold. Regardless of where Lillard plays, you can bet he’ll have at least one clutch shot this season, which we’ll all celebrate at some point.

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