Ranking: The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team
The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Introduction:

The All-Time Highest-Paid Players in NBA History: A Team-by-Team Breakdown

Did you know that 29 of the 30 NBA franchises have paid a player at least $100 million? Shotclockz has compiled the all-time highest-paid player on each NBA team, including prorated salaries for players who didn’t start or finish at least a season with that team, combining to earn over $5 billion, according to our database from 1990 and onward.

Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young

Earnings: $103,695,271
Runner-up: Joe Johnson ($101,804,960)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Since entering the NBA as a rookie during the 2018-19 season, Trae Young has led the NBA in assists (3,868). Young was the runner-up for Rookie of the Year, a three-time All-Star, led the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2020-21 season, and earned an All-NBA selection during the 2021-22 season. Joe Johnson, the runner-up, had the best years of his career as a Hawk, being a six-time consecutive All-Star and earning an All-NBA selection during the 2009-10 season.

Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant

Earnings: $148,400,043
Runner-up: Kyrie Irving ($125,763,454)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

An Achilles injury didn’t stop the Nets from giving Kevin Durant a hefty contract to come to Brooklyn. Despite missing one year due to the injury, Durant was worth every penny when he played, earning three All-Star selections and an All-NBA selection. Irving, the runner-up, was a one-time All-NBA selection and two-time All-Star, achieving a rare 50-40-90 shooting split during the 2020-21 season. Despite their talents, the most ambitious bet in Nets history to compete for championships resulted in only one playoff series win.

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Boston Celtics: Paul Pierce

Earnings: $169,486,218
Runner-up: Al Horford ($146,703,215)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Paul Pierce was one of the top small forwards of his era, earning four All-NBA selections, 10 All-Star nods in an 11-year span, and the 2008 Finals MVP as a Celtic. Pierce was also named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team. Al Horford, known for his time with Atlanta, earned big bucks with Boston, including an All-Star and All-Defensive Team selection during the 2017-18 season.

Charlotte Hornets: Gordon Hayward

Earnings: $108,710,983
Runner-up: Nicolas Batum ($104,730,316)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Gordon Hayward was a costly signing for Charlotte but didn’t live up to the hype, appearing in only 168 games in three and a half seasons without making the playoffs. Nicolas Batum had a career year with the Hornets, but his performance declined significantly in his final three years with the team.

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Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine

Earnings: $158,362,937
Runner-up: DeMar DeRozan ($81,900,000)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

This season was an injury-marred campaign for Zach LaVine, ending with foot surgery. LaVine averaged impressive stats over the past five seasons. DeMar DeRozan, the runner-up, has been a two-time All-Star, one-time All-NBA selection, and a finalist for the Clutch Player of the Year award twice during his time with the Bulls.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Kevin Love

Earnings: $222,237,285
Runner-up: LeBron James ($169,884,972)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Kevin Love helped Cleveland win a title in 2016 and was a two-time All-Star as a Cavalier. LeBron James, who spent 11 of his 21 NBA seasons with the Cavaliers, leads the franchise in numerous categories and was instrumental in their championship win.

Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki

Earnings: $255,371,800
Runner-up: Luka Doncic ($109,636,871)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki spent his entire 21-year career in Dallas, holding every meaningful franchise record and winning Finals MVP in 2011. Luka Doncic is coming off his first scoring title and will look to win his first championship, potentially becoming the greatest Maverick ever.

Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic

Earnings: $198,343,831
Runner-up: Jamal Murray ($136,747,506)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Nikola Jokic has been worth every penny for Denver, becoming a three-time MVP winner, 2023 Finals MVP, and six-time All-NBA and All-Star selection. Jamal Murray has been a clutch playoff performer and a dependable regular-season player.

Detroit Pistons: Blake Griffin

Earnings: $107,859,063
Runner-up: Andre Drummond ($98,457,011)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Blake Griffin had one of the best seasons of his career with the Pistons during the 2018-19 campaign but struggled with injuries afterward. Andre Drummond was a two-time All-Star and four-time rebounding champion in Detroit.

Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry

Earnings: $357,844,681
Runner-up: Klay Thompson ($269,552,761)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Stephen Curry lived up to his contracts, becoming the greatest shooter in NBA history, a two-time MVP, and a four-time NBA champion. Klay Thompson helped form the Splash Brothers, earning five All-Star and two All-NBA selections.

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Houston Rockets: James Harden

Earnings: $173,510,633
Runner-up: John Wall ($126,432,520)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

James Harden went from a Sixth Man of the Year to an MVP, three-time scoring champion, and an All-Star every year in Houston. John Wall started 40 games for the Rockets, averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 assists per game before sitting out the 2021-22 season.

Indiana Pacers: Myles Turner

Earnings: $120,507,934
Runner-up: Jermaine O’Neal ($101,135,000)

Myles Turner is the longest-tenured Pacer, becoming a two-time blocks champion and a core piece of the team’s future. Jermaine O’Neal played his prime in Indiana, earning six consecutive All-Star selections and three All-NBA selections.

LA Clippers: Paul George

Earnings: $195,933,514
Runner-up: Kawhi Leonard ($194,598,576)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Paul George has been a three-time All-Star and earned All-NBA honors during the 2020-21 season with the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard has been a three-time All-Star, All-NBA selection, and two-time All-Defensive Team selection.

LA Lakers: Kobe Bryant

Earnings: $328,237,108
Runner-up: LeBron James ($245,573,456)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Kobe Bryant spent his entire 20-year career as a Laker, earning 18 All-Star selections, five championships, and the 2008 MVP award. LeBron James, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, could surpass Bryant if he re-signs and continues making max salaries.

Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol

Earnings: $146,436,672
Runner-up: Mike Conley ($141,527,841)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Marc Gasol was a Defensive Player of the Year, three-time All-Star, and had his jersey retired by the Grizzlies. Mike Conley was a core member of the “Grit and Grind” era, earning an All-Defensive Team selection.

Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler

Earnings: $185,974,560
Runner-up: Dwyane Wade ($160,749,205)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Jimmy Butler is the highest-paid player in Heat history, signed through the 2024-25 season. Dwyane Wade, the franchise leader in multiple categories, was a three-time champion and 13-time All-Star.

Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Earnings: $236,092,616
Runner-up: Khris Middleton ($225,164,551)

The highest-paid player ever on each NBA team

Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered a championship in 2021, becoming a two-time MVP and a five-time All-Defensive selection. Khris Middleton has been a clutch fourth-quarter player and three-time All-Star for the Bucks.

New Orleans Pelicans: Brandon Ingram

Earnings: $129,502,285
Runner-up: Jrue Holiday ($122,458,889)

Brandon Ingram has cemented his place as the highest-paid Pelican for now, winning the Most Improved Player award and being an All-Star in 2020. Jrue Holiday spent seven seasons in New Orleans, earning two All-Defensive Team selections.

New York Knicks: Carmelo Anthony

Earnings: $135,102,834
Runner-up: Julius Randle ($108,348,840)

Carmelo Anthony spent seven seasons with the Knicks, being an All-Star each season and a two-time All-NBA selection. Julius Randle has earned all his career accolades during his five seasons in New York, including three All-Star selections.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook

Earnings: $167,679,891
Runner-up: Kevin Durant ($113,303,792)

Russell Westbrook was named MVP in 2016-17, averaging a triple-double for three straight seasons with the Thunder. Kevin Durant, a four-time scoring champion, holds several franchise records.

Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker

Earnings: $168,166,165
Runner-up: Chris Paul ($100,558,814)

Devin Booker has become a leading scorer and clutch player, a three-time All-Star, and an All-NBA selection. Chris Paul was a two-time All-Star and All-NBA selection, helping the Suns reach the Finals in 2021.

Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard

Earnings: $261,924,515
Runner-up: LaMarcus Aldridge ($94,323,038)

Damian Lillard is the all-time leading scorer for the Trail Blazers, earning All-NBA honors and making seven All-Star appearances. LaMarcus Aldridge was a franchise cornerstone during his nine seasons with Portland, earning four All-Star selections.

Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox

Earnings: $117,505,281
Runner-up: Harrison Barnes ($102,238,818)

De’Aaron Fox led the Kings to their first playoff appearance in 17 years, earning All-Star and All-NBA honors. Harrison Barnes has been a solid contributor for the Kings since 2018.

San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker

Earnings: $137,058,700
Runner-up: Tim Duncan ($126,621,252)

Tony Parker, a six-time All-Star and four-time champion, ranks third in all-time Spurs points. Tim Duncan, a five-time champion and Hall of Famer, was the heart of the Spurs dynasty.

Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry

Earnings: $181,709,408
Runner-up: DeMar DeRozan ($139,944,540)

Kyle Lowry, a six-time All-Star and key player in the Raptors’ championship win in 2019, is the highest-paid Raptor. DeMar DeRozan, a four-time All-Star, was instrumental in Toronto’s success during his tenure.

Utah Jazz: Rudy Gobert

Earnings: $157,919,411
Runner-up: Karl Malone ($122,575,000)

Rudy Gobert, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, helped the Jazz maintain a strong defensive presence. Karl Malone, a two-time MVP and 14-time All-Star, is one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history.

Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal

Earnings: $206,286,307
Runner-up: Gilbert Arenas ($111,571,621)

Bradley Beal has been a consistent scoring leader for the Wizards, earning three All-Star selections and two All-NBA selections. Gilbert Arenas was known for his scoring prowess and clutch performances during his time with Washington.

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