At any time during the season, there are only 15 players on an NBA roster. With a smaller amount of players than in other leagues, there is a lot more money to go around. And the players at the top of the heap take in very impressive salaries.
Many of the players on this list got their big deals in the Summer of 2019. That off-season presented an unprecedented amount of cap space along with a number of mega-talented free agents. Below is a list of the biggest earning NBA players per game.
Paul Millsap – $371,951.22
Paul Millsap is far from the flashiest player on this list. His contributions to a team are mostly marked by hard-nosed defense, rugged rebounding, and efficient scoring. Fans may not value those skills at $30 million a year but the NBA certainly does.
The Denver Nuggets signed Millsap to his big deal in the summer of 2017 after he had stints with the Utah Jazz and Atlanta Hawks. The Power Forward is an NBA All-Star team regular and has made the team 4 times.
Khris Middleton – $373,212.78
The value of players in the NBA has dramatically changed over the years as teams have gotten deeper into analytics. That value change greatly benefited Bucks wing Khris Middleton, who shoots and plays defense at an elite level.
Shooting has become the most important commodity in the NBA and there are few better than Middleton. Rather than letting him walk away as a free agent, Milwaukee signed the wing to a 5 year $178 million deal after the 2019 season.
Tobias Harris – $378,469.30
Tobias Harris was born and raised in the basketball hotbed of New York. He spent one year with the Tennessee Volunteers before being drafted 19th overall by the Charlotte Bobcats. He bounced around the league for a few years before breaking out with the LA Clippers.
At the trade deadline in 2019, he was dealt to Philadelphia where he continued his ascent. He impressed the 76ers quite a bit and the team rewarded him with a max contract offer over the summer.
Kemba Walker – $419,257.31
Kemba Walker, who grew up in The Bronx, played his college basketball at high profile UConn. But since being drafted into the league in 2011, he’s been playing in the basketball purgatory that is Charlotte.
In his years with the Bobcats, Walker developed from a quality player into a max superstar and has made three All-Star games in a row. During the offseason, Kemba signed with the Celtics, where he will get significantly more exposure
John Wall – $460,975.61
The Washington Wizards had been sitting in the NBA cellar for a number of years. But then the team landed John Wall and Bradley Beal and things began to turn around.
Maybe the fastest player in the league, Wall became an All-Star game fixture making the team in five different years. After the Wizards rewarded him with a max contract, the point guard suffered a devastating Achilles injury. Wall is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season.
Kyrie Irving – $387,097.56
It is undeniable that Kyrie Irving is one of the most remarkably talented players in the NBA. That talent, however, comes along with a quirky personality that can rub teammates and fans the wrong way.
He began his career with the Cavaliers and won a championship alongside LeBron James. Shortly thereafter he forced a trade to the Boston Celtics. He left Boston for the Brooklyn Nets and will now be in control of the team’s future with help from Kevin Durant.
Mike Conley – $396,483.20
Going back to his days at Ohio State, Mike Conley has long been a model of quiet excellence. The point guard is far from flashy, but he is smart, can score and pass and he plays tenacious defense.
The team that drafted Conley in 2007, the Memphis Grizzlies, signed him to a max deal. Before that contract expired, though, Memphis decided to rebuild and the point guard was sent off to play with the Utah Jazz.
Gordon Hayward – $398,788.90
Gordon Hayward burst onto the basketball landscape with a superstar performance for Butler University during the 2010 NCAA Tournament. He was drafted in the lottery by the Utah Jazz and slowly became a star.
Hayward left the Jazz when he became a free agent in 2017 and signed with the Celtics. Unfortunately for the wing, a devastating leg injury wiped out his first season in Boston. In November of 2019, Hayward suffered another injury, this time a fractured hand.
Kawhi Leonard – $399,292.68
Somewhat inexplicably, Kawhi Leonard slipped to the 15th pick of the 2011 draft. He began his career as a Spur at the tail end of their dynasty and won his first NBA title with the team in 2014.
Leonard was traded away from the Spurs in 2018 and in his lone season with the Toronto Raptors, he captured another title in 2019. The star small forward signed with the Los Angeles Clippers in the offseason to team with Paul George.
Jimmy Butler – $399,292.68
Like many of the other players on this list, Butler received his mega-deal during the 2019 offseason. He had bounced around the last few years from the Bulls to the Timberwolves to the 76ers before finally signing with the Miami Heat.
Butler is an emotional and aggressive player. That style of play has earned him 4 All-Star nods to go along with four 2nd Team All-Defense appearances. In the foreseeable future, Butler will be leading the Heat alongside Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow.
Klay Thompson – $399,292.68
When the Warriors drafted Klay Thompson in 2011 he became both a Splash Brother alongside Stephen Curry and also an integral part of the team’s dynasty. The son of former Laker Mychal Thompson has already earned himself 3 NBA Titles.
The 5-time All-Star is most well known for his deadly shooting, but he has added other weapons to his arsenal over the last few years. Despite suffering an ACL injury in the 2019 playoffs, he was given a max contract by the Warriors over the summer.
Paul George – $402,506.78
Paul George began his career as an Indiana Pacer and acted as a bit of a one-man-band. After the 2017 season, he was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder where he would pair up with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.
While the Thunder team was a very good one, there were unable to get over the hump. The team then engaged in one of the most shocking 2019 offseasons as they dealt Westbrook to the Rockets and George to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kyle Lowry – $406,052.39
Few players have become more synonymous with their teams than Kyle Lowry is with the Toronto Raptors. The point guard was originally drafted by Memphis and spent some time in Houston before being dealt to Toronto in 2012.
With the Raptors, Lowry has become a star. He has made five straight All-Star games and won a World Championship with Toronto in 2019. In July of 2017, the point guard was rewarded for his hard work with a 3 year $100 million contract.
Blake Griffin – $417,499.56
As the first pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, expectations were high for Blake Griffin. Fans had to wait a year to see the forward in action, though, as he fractured his knee during the preseason.
Griffin was well worth the wait, though, and has made a total of six All-Star games. Following an injury-plagued middle portion of his career, Griffin was dealt to the Detroit Pistons in 2018. Last season, he rediscovered his star form and had one of the best seasons of his career.
Kevin Durant – $453,646.34
Kevin Durant has twice been the prize of the NBA off-season. The small forward’s recruitment tends to be more interesting as he has a different kind of personality and you never know what he’ll do next.
The recruitment was also made more interesting as Durant recently tore his Achilles tendon and is missing the 2019/20 season. In the end, the 10 time All-Star decided to team up with Kyrie Irving and sign with the Brooklyn Nets.
LeBron James – $456,547.04
Most fans would assume that the best player in the game receives the highest salary. And depending on who you talk to, LeBron James is the first or second greatest player in history.
But sometimes, when a player comes up in free agency determines their salaries. James, the 15-time All-Star, signed with the Lakers in the Summer of 2018. He now rates as the 5th highest-paid player in the sport, though he also has numerous endorsement deals.
James Harden – $460,975.61
When the Oklahoma City Thunder drafted James Harden in 2009, they also had the rights to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Amazingly, none of those three superstars remain with the team. Harden was dealt to the Rockets in 2012.
With Houston, he has become one of the very best players in the game. The shooting guard has appeared in the last seven All-Star games and was the 2018 NBA MVP. Thanks to a trade in the 2019 off-season, Harden will now share the backcourt with former teammate Russell Westbrook.
Russell Westbrook – $465,585.78
It can be a big concern for small market NBA teams to hold onto their best players. The Oklahoma City Thunder lost Kevin Durant to free agency and traded James Harden due to signability concerns.
The team hoped they were taking a step in the right direction by signing star Russell Westbrook to a massive deal. The eight-time All-Star made good on the deal by becoming the first player since 1962 to average a triple-double. This offseason, however, the Thunder decided to rebuild and dealt Westbrook to Houston.
Chris Paul – $469,591.22
When Chris Paul initially signed his max deal with the Houston Rockets, he was still a player at the top of his game. When the Rockets looked to trade Paul this summer, though, the contract was looked at as more of an albatross.
That’s not to say the legendary point guard can’t still play the game, it’s just that a contending team doesn’t think it’s a deal they could build around. The future Hall of Famer is currently plying his trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Stephen Curry – $490,631.19
It’s amazing to think that Stephen Curry lasted until the 7th pick of the 2009 NBA drafts. Teams thought he was a bit skinny and weren’t sure if he was more of a point guard or a shooting guard.
Now the varied skill set Curry offers is what every team is looking for in their backcourt. The highest-paid player in the league has earned his pay by winning three titles, two MVP’s and making six All-Star teams. Curry will be out for most of this year with a wrist injury.