Forbes just released their list of the 10 highest paid players in the NBA and the list is likely not going to shock you as it’s almost the same entrants as last year’s list. This time, though, the numbers are getting bigger.

Descending order then, shall we? (All figures are in USD)

10. Jimmy Butler – $47 million

Credit: All-Pro Reels via flickr

Jimmy Butler is a new entry onto the list and it’s for a few reasons. One is that he signed an endorsement with Chinese shoe brand Li-Ning but he also has a sizable endorsement portfolio which includes the likes of TAG Heuer and Jaybird. He has also started a coffee business, Bigface, that just recently joined the Shopify creator program.

It’s also interesting to note that the number 10 in last year’s list (Damion Lillard) earned $43.5, that’s $3.5 million less than this year’s number 10!

Salary – $36 million

Endorsements – $11 million

9. Paul George - $47.8 million

Inching (if you count $800,000 as an inch) just ahead of Butler is Paul George with $47.8 million. This is another new entry into the list and he’s making most of his money from his salary for which he just got an $190 million contract extension. Along with a large salary he has endorsements with Gatorade, Nike, and AT&T as well as being a partner and investor in a home gym company, Tonal.

Salary – $39.3 million

Endorsements – $8.5 million

8. Klay Thompson - $54 million

Klay Thompson, despite earning more money than last year ($47.7 million), actually dropped from number seven to eight this year. The bulk of his wealth is from his salary of $38 million, but he has earned $16 million from endorsements. He and his partners just launched a CBD brand, Just Live, that is likely contributing the increase from last year. He has endorsement deals with the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Tissot.

Salary – $38 million

Endorsements – $16 million

7. Damian Lillard - $56.3 million

Jumping up from tenth place last year, we have Damian Lillard in seventh. His salary is $39.3 million, and his endorsements make up $17 million of his wealth. He recently added two new endorsements to his portfolio with Oakley and Tissot. He also is the co-owner of a Toyota dealership outside of Portland.

Salary – $39.3 million

Endorsements – $17 million

6. James Harden - $62.3 million

James Harden has dropped a single place this year and this is in spite of the fact that he earned $7.2 million more than last year. His earnings have increased mostly due to him having one of the biggest contracts in the NBA. On top of this, he just announced that he joined fragrance brand Pura as an investor and creative director. Endorsements come from the likes of Art of Sport, BodyArmor, and Stance.

Salary – $44.3 million

Endorsements – $18 million

5. Russell Westbrook - $74.2 million

Again, despite earning $17.7 million more than last year, it’s only good enough for fifth place this year. It’s a drop for Westbrook who tool fourth last year. His endorsements make up a large part of his earnings, with an extensive Nike partnership and over 10 Southern Californian car dealerships.

Salary – $44.2 million

Endorsements – $30 million

4. Giannis Antekounmpo - $80.3 million

Now this is a big jump for Antekounmpo, who ranked ninth last year with $45.8 million! He’s secured a ridiculous five-year contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks worth a staggering $228 million. The big reason for the jump is the Disney film in the works about his life, trailing his journey from Greece to the NBA.

Salary – $39.3 million

Endorsements – $41 million

3. Kevin Durant - $87.9 million

Kevin Durant retains his position for 2020-21 but again he has earned quite a bit more this time around – about $14.7 million more! This big jump is a result of Uber purchasing Postmates for $2.65 billion. Durant invested in the star-up way back in 2016 and now it seems to be paying off. He turned his initial $1 million into $15 million. He’s also invested into more than 80 companies through his firm Thirty-Five Ventures.

Salary – $40.9 million

Endorsements – $47 million

2. Steph Curry - $92.8 million

Again, Steph Curry holds second place earning $7.6 million more than last year. He’s the second person on this list who’s off-court deals have earned him more than on-court. The biggest new deal this time is the announcement of his new Under Armor backed Curry brand. It focuses on mostly on sportswear and currently is worth about $20 million a year but that could go up if the brand takes off.

Salary – $45.8 million

Endorsements – $47 million

1. LeBron James - $111.2 million

Is this really a shock for anyone? James has secured the number one spot once again earning $18.8 million more than last year. He earned an impressive $70 million off the court mostly due to his media and entertainment business, SpringHill Company, which just announced the sale of a minority stake at a valuation of $725 million. He also lent his likeness to Fortnite and joined Tonal as an investor and brand ambassador.

Salary – $41.2 million

Endorsements – $70 million


For more like this, check out the list of the 10 highest paid athletes of 2021!