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The 20 Most Expensive NBA Players For The 2022-23 Season: Steph Curry Is The Highest Paid, Russell Westbrook And John Wall Are Top-4

The 20 Most Expensive NBA Players For The 2022-23 Season: Steph Curry Is The Highest Paid, Russell Westbrook And John Wall Are Top-4

The money that players are being paid nowadays can be considered unbelievably high because even role players can make 7 figure salaries and franchises no longer bat an eye. The league has become a global attraction and the money that funnels into franchise owners is at an all-time low. Therefore, teams can afford to pay players a ton of money.

But who are the highest-paid players entering the 2022-23 season? We are currently in the NBA playoffs and we will soon crown an NBA champion. But with the offseason looming, player contracts can become a major topic as some teams look to shuffle the roster and re-build for the sake of winning a championship. Without further ado, here are the 20 most expensive NBA players for the 2022-23 season.

20. Bradley Beal - $36,422,136 (Player Option)

Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal has a player option for the 2023 season, and his future in Washington is very uncertain. Beal has remained loyal to the franchise until now, but considering how poorly this season went, he could be looking elsewhere for a new challenge.

Beal essentially holds the keys to the Wizards franchise, because his staying forces the team to continue to add pieces to the roster. If Beal wants to leave, Washington would be best suited to blowing up the team and tanking for draft picks. Ultimately, the power is in Beal’s hands and the Wizards will have to accept that.

19. Kemba Walker - $36,596,549

Kemba Walker

Obviously, Kemba Walker is no longer an All-Star guard in the NBA. The point guard’s knees are completely shot, and he will be a grossly overpaid player all season long in 2023. But Kemba will be on an expiring contract since he will be off the books in 2024.

Therefore, it is expected that Walker will be an attractive asset for teams looking to rebuild next season because that could mean over $36 million is off the table by 2024. That is a huge amount of money, and Kemba can still get shots up on the court in a backup role.

18. Luka Doncic - $36,600,000

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Luka Doncic is worth every penny that the Dallas Mavericks will happily throw his way. The Slovenian superstar is getting better by the year and finally tasted the glory of getting past the first round of the playoffs. With Doncic gaining more experience and the Mavericks continuing to build around him, the league is on notice.

Doncic is doing magical things for Dallas, and that is why he is worth every penny of the $42+ million he will eventually earn in 2025 and beyond. At age 23, Luka is carrying a franchise on his back and deserves a ton of respect for doing so despite coming from overseas. Doncic will be the face of the NBA, and will soon be the highest-paid player in the world.

17. Kyrie Irving - $36,934,550 (Player Option)

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There isn’t a more frustrating player to follow than Kyrie Irving, arguably the greatest ball-handler to ever grace the court. The superstar offensive player is very capable of being a top-2 player on a championship team, as we saw when Irving was on the Cleveland Cavaliers. But there is always something going on with Kyrie on and off the court.

He will likely accept his player option this year, and also accept whatever max contract the Brooklyn Nets will throw at him. The Nets franchise have no option but to re-sign Kyrie to max money because they ensure Kevin Durant is on board for the long-term by doing that. Keeping KD happy is an absolute priority, and it seems that Irving’s long-term contract is directly linked to that.

16. Rudy Gobert - $37,631,520

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Rudy Gobert certainly has his critics around the NBA, but there is no denying he can defend the rim at a high level and is an excellent shot-blocker and rebounder. After all, the Frenchman is a 3-time Defensive Player of the Year and led the NBA in rebounds this year. But if there is one knock against Rudy, it is the fact that he has not developed an offensive game.

Gobert is very reliant on easy putbacks and lobs and struggles to make an impact on the offensive end if easy dunks are not there. Even though he is a massive figure with long arms, Rudy is not a very powerful force inside the paint similar to other 7-footers throughout NBA history. He will be owed over $40 million in 2024 and 2025, so it remains to be seen if the Utah Jazz end up building around Rudy or try to move him.

15. Tobias Harris - $37,633,050

Tobias Harris

Tobias Harris is overpaid, and everyone knows it. That is not because he isn’t a very good player, it is because he is best suited for a third or fourth option on a championship team. Tobias is a solid scorer and rebounder who is great at playing off superstar players, but Philadelphia wanted to retain his services to play beside Joel Embiid and (previously) Ben Simmons.

Now, with James Harden on the team, Haris is once again relegated to a third option role. He fills it well, although it might not warrant a contract that will pay him over $37 million next year and $39 million the season after. If Philadelphia can somehow keep Embiid healthy and win a championship with Harris as the third option, every penny would be worth it. But that is looking more unlikely as each season passes.

14. Jimmy Butler - $37,653,300

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler has brought life back to Miami over the past few seasons because his hard-working nature and no-nonsense attitude fit perfectly with what the Heat are trying to do. Butler is not only an All-Star offensive player, but he is one of the best defensive wings in the NBA. After all, Jimmy relishes the challenges of defending the NBA’s best players.

Butler is owed almost $38 million next season but is also owed over $45 million per season until 2025. The swingman will hope he can repay the Heat for offering him a max contract by leading them to the NBA Finals once again. If Butler can win a championship as the leader of the Heat, it would be very probable that the swingman will be booking his spot in the Hall of Fame.

13. Anthony Davis - $37,980,720

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Say what you want about Anthony Davis, there is no question he is a max contract player. Davis is one of the most talented big men in NBA history considering what he can do on both ends of the floor at a high level. The big man can shoot, defend, rebound, and score in multiple ways. Of course, this season was not one to be proud of but that was mainly down to his health.

Anthony Davis has a player option in 2025 worth over $43 million, so the Los Angeles Lakers will hope that the big man will return to full health and get back on the court as soon as possible. Other than the 2020 championship season where Davis led the Lakers in scoring during the regular season, it has not been a very impressive stint for AD with the Lakers due to his seemingly never-ending list of injuries.

12. Khris Middleton - $37,984,276

Khris Middleton

Many were unsure about Milwaukee re-signing Khris Middleton to a max contract because he is clearly best suited to a secondary role and cannot lead a franchise on his own. But that move has proven to be exactly what the Bucks needed because Khris is the perfect sidekick to superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Middleton is owed almost $38 million next season and has a player option of over $40 million the following year. There is no doubt that Khris has repaid the franchise for trusting in him because the Bucks do not win the NBA championship without Middleton acting as a clutch shot-maker and elite defensive player on the wing.

11. Klay Thompson - $40,600,080

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson is one of the best shooters of all time, but he is also the second-best player on a Golden State Warriors team that is still continuing to be a force in the Western Conference. Klay is the perfect complement to Stephen Curry because he can not only shoot the three but also defend at an All-Star level.

Considering the Warriors have Klay as an untouchable, it is no surprise he is making over $40 million over the next two seasons. Shootin is at an absolute premium in the modern NBA, and very few players do it better than Klay if any. Therefore, the Warriors will continue to build around Klay and Steph as they look toward keeping Jordan Poole long-term.

10. Kawhi Leonard - $42,492,492

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard has proven he can lead a team to the NBA Finals and win a championship, and he is still one of the best two-way superstars of all time. When Leonard expectedly returns next year, he will make the Los Angeles Clippers a force in the Western Conference.

Kawhi is making over $40 million over the next three years regardless if he plays or not because he holds the key to the Clippers’ success. The franchise need to hope that Leonard can return to the court at full health because he has a legitimate contending squad around him.

9. Giannis Antetokounmpo - $42,492,492

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in the world, and he deserves to get paid like it. The Greek Freak is ranked 9th in the game in salary, and he should be on the books for at least the next 3 years. Giannis already has a championship with the Milwaukee Bucks, so there should be no reason to look elsewhere when his franchise has given him everything he needs to carry them to the promised land.

Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday are both in their prime, so Giannis has a ton of help around him at this moment of time. The Green Freak does freakish things every night, and the current relationship between Giannis and the Bucks is at its apex at this moment.

8. Damian Lillard - $42,492,492

Damian Lillard

The current face of the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard has sworn loyalty to his team. That is why Portland will continue to give their point guard anything he wants to remain with the squad. Dame has a player option in 2025, which he will likely take as it pays over $48 million.

Lillard has been out for a while so people have forgotten how great he can be when healthy. But make no mistake, Lillard is hoping to return to the court with a vengeance as he hopes the Trail Blazers can find a way to build around him for a shot at making the NBA Finals one day.

7. Paul George - $42,492,568

Paul George

Paul George has a player option in 2025, and the Los Angeles Clippers could be a legitimate title contender for the foreseeable future with PG and Kawhi Leonard on the roster. Los Angeles have a ton of money tied up into their two stars, and they should have enough to win at least one championship as currently constructed.

George is absolutely deserving of max money when he is healthy, and he should be next year. In terms of two-way play, it is hard to find better players than George in the league. He has an excellent all-around game and will form one of the best duos in the league with Kawhi Leonard next year.

6. Kevin Durant - $44,119,845

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is arguably a top-two player in the world, regardless of his postseason failures with the Brooklyn Nets so far. Durant has been the only bright spot for the Nets all year, because Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Ben Simmons have brought nothing but headaches.

There is no doubt that Durant is still in his prime and is the most skilled scorer in the game today, meaning he will be a key player in the NBA at least for the next few years. KD is getting paid over $47 million until the 2025 season, so hopefully, Brooklyn fans get to see their man for the long-term.

5. LeBron James - $44,474,988

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LeBron James deserves to get paid like a top-5 player in the world because he is still a top-5 talent. LeBron will be off the books after next year, and with evidence of James’ past decisions to move teams in free agency, the Lakers could be in trouble. But James might continue playing at a superstar level and the Lakers could once again offer max money to keep their King.

But remember, this is LeBron’s world and we are all living in it. James will base his decision on wherever his son, Bronny, ends up getting drafted. LeBron wants to play with Bronny, and that could end up being bad news for the Lakers if they can’t find the means to take the young player in the draft.

4. Russell Westbrook - $47,063,478 (Player Option)

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook used to be an MVP and used to be worthy of supermax money. Nowadays, Russ has slightly lost some athleticism and has not added an efficient three-point jumper to his arsenal. An inefficient, turnover-prone point guard won’t succeed for title contenders in the modern NBA, which means Russ will likely never get another max contract again.

But that shouldn’t bother Russ that much, because he has already gone through a couple of max contracts over his career. Westbrook probably won’t be needing a lot of money anytime soon, but his priority should be finding a new team where he can make a significant impact.

3. John Wall - $47,366,760 (Player Option)

via Getty Images

via Getty Images

John Wall has played a total of 40 games in three seasons, yet continues to get paid like a top-10 player in the game. That is why many have been claiming that Wall’s contract is one of the worst in NBA history. It is not because Wall isn’t a great player but because he has not been able to stay healthy.

Next year, Wall is making over $47 million and will finally be off the books after that. It is expected the rebuilding Houston Rockets will continue to sit Wall until they find a suitable trade destination for the point guard or let him walk in free agency. Either way, Wall will get paid a hefty sum of money.

2. James Harden - $47,366,760 (Player Option)

James Harden

James Harden, when he was in his prime, was worth well over $40 million and there is no doubt about that. But currently, Harden’s stock has slightly fallen which is why his salary is much too large for his current abilities. But Philadelphia might not have a choice but to offer Harden a new max contract after next year, because they traded Ben Simmons away for the former MVP shooting guard.

The 76ers have a superstar big man in his prime in Joel Embiid, and they cannot afford to let another All-Star leave the team after Simmons and even Jimmy Butler left. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, The Beard has aged before our eyes, and with a big player option, Harden is ranked 2nd in the league in salary next season which could be a negative at this point.

1. Stephen Curry - $48,070,014

Stephen Curry

As the undisputed greatest point guard alive and the face of the Golden State Warriors, superstar Stephen Curry is making over $48 million next year and that should not be a problem to anybody. Steph will remain a Warrior for life, which means he will earn over $50 million per season in 2024 and 2025 as well.

As a top-10 player in the game and arguably the babyface of the league, Golden State will be happy to pay their money-maker as much as he wants. In terms of value and impact, there is no doubt that Steph is getting paid what he deserves. Curry has already helped the Warriors win 3 championships, so he has more than made up for what he is getting paid. 


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