How Much Do NBA Players Make?

How much do NBA players make? It’s a question that many fans have, and we’re here to help answer it. Keep reading to learn about the average NBA salary, as well as the different factors that can affect a player’s earnings.

NBA Players’ Salaries

NBA players are among some of the highest-paid athletes in the world. The average player’s salary is around $7.7 million per year. However, some players make much more than that. The highest-paid player in the NBA is LeBron James, who makes $35.6 million per year.

NBA Salary Cap

The NBA salary cap is the limit to the total amount of money that NBA teams can spend on their players’ salaries. It is a “hard” cap, meaning that there is no exception for any team to exceed the salary cap. The salary cap for the 2020-21 NBA season is $109.14 million.

The salary cap was first introduced in the 1984-85 season, when it was set at $3.6 million. It has since risen steadily, and has more than doubled in the last 10 years alone. The salary cap is set by the NBA Board of Governors and is usually based on 50% of league revenues.

The salary cap has a major impact on how teams are built and how much they can pay their players. It also affects how much money players can earn, as it sets a maximum amount that teams can pay any one player. For example, LeBron James, who is widely considered to be the best player in the world, will earn a maximum of $37.4 million this season, which is just over 34% of the Lakers’ total salary cap.

The salary cap is one of the most important aspects of the NBA, and it has a huge impact on how teams are run and how players are paid. If you want to learn more about the NBA salary cap, check out this article from Forbes.

Maximum Salaries

In the NBA, a player’s maximum salary is determined by their years of service in the league. Players with 0-6 years of service can make a maximum of 25% of the salary cap, players with 7-9 years of service can make a maximum of 30% of the salary cap, and players with 10+ years of service can make a maximum of 35% of the salary cap.

For the 2019-20 season, the salary cap is $109.14 million. Therefore, a player with 0-6 years of service can make a maximum annual salary of $27.29 million, a player with 7-9 years of service can make a maximum annual salary of $32.74 million, and a player with 10+ years of service can make a maximum annual salary $38.19 million.

Rookie Scale

The NBA’s rookie wage scale is a set of guidelines used to determine how much first-year NBA players will be paid. The scale is based on the player’s draft position, with the first overall pick earning the most and subsequent picks earning less. As rookies, players are only eligible for a maximum of three years’ worth of salary, after which they become restricted or unrestricted free agents.

The following chart shows the maximum salaries that can be earned by each pick in the draft, as well as the amount of guaranteed money that each player is entitled to:

1st Pick: $5,093,600 / $3,752,920 Guaranteed

2nd Pick: $4,149,000 / $2,937,720 Guaranteed

3rd Pick: $3,387,400 / $2,334,120 Guaranteed

4th Pick: $2,794,000 / $1,837,520 Guaranteed

5th Pick: $2,369,200 / $1,495,760 Guaranteed

NBA Players’ Endorsements

In addition to their playing salaries, NBA players also make money through endorsements. Companies are willing to pay NBA players for endorsement deals because of the players’ exposure and the fact that they are seen as role models by many people. NBA players’ endorsement deals vary depending on the player and the company, but the deals can be worth millions of dollars.

Endorsement Deals

Many NBA players have endorsement deals with companies that pay them to promote their products. The amount of money a player gets from an endorsement deal depends on their star power and the size of the company they are endorsing. For example, LeBron James has a lifetime deal with Nike that is reportedly worth over $1 billion, while Kevin Durant has an endorsement deal with Under Armour that is worth $265 million.

Brand Endorsements

It’s not just their multi-million dollar salaries that make NBA players some of the richest athletes in the world – many of them also rake in huge sums from brand endorsements.

According to Forbes, the 20 most valuable NBA players have endorsement deals worth a combined $358 million. That’s an average of $17.9 million each!

The player with the most valuable endorsement portfolio is LeBron James, who signed a deal with Nike in 2015 that is reportedly worth up to $1 billion. Other top earners include Kevin Durant, who has a deal with Nike worth up to $300 million, and Stephen Curry, who has a deal with Under Armour worth up to $400 million.

Despite not being one of the league’s biggest stars, Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin is also among the top 20 earners from endorsements, thanks to his massive popularity in his native China. Lin has deals with Adidas, Volvo and Steiner Sports, among others, and is estimated to be making $14 million per year from endorsements – more than any other Asian-born athlete in history.

How NBA Players Spend Their Money

NBA players are some of the highest-paid athletes in the world. The average salary for an NBA player is $7.7 million per year. However, some players make much more than that. For example, LeBron James is the highest-paid NBA player, making $35.65 million per year. So, what do NBA players do with all that money?

Charitable Giving

While many NBA players are known for their lavish lifestyles, many of them are also quite philanthropic. For example, Steph Curry has his own foundation, called the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, which provides healthy eating education,Grant Program resources, and active play opportunities to underserved kids in the Bay Area and across the country. Curry isn’t alone in his charitable efforts — many other NBA players have their own foundations or support various charities. LeBron James has his own LeBron James Family Foundation, which provides support to at-risk children and families in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Dwyane Wade supports various causes through his Wade’s World Foundation, including supporting after-school and literacy programs and providing college scholarships.

Player philanthropy extends beyond personal foundations — many players also donate to other causes or participate in charitable events. For example, Chris Paul hosts an annual CP3 Back 2 School Kickball Classic event each August, which benefits disadvantaged children in Winston-Salem, North Carolina by providing them with school supplies and haircuts as they head back to school. Carmelo Anthony is also involved in a number of charities; he founded the Melo7 Tech Partners investment firm to help communities impacted by mass incarceration by providing access to technology education and entrepreneurial training programs.


Players in the NBA are always looking for ways to make sure their money lasts long after their playing days are over. One of the best ways to do this is to invest their money wisely.

Many players choose to invest in real estate. This can be a great way to build equity and provide a steady income stream after retirement. Other players invest in businesses, either as silent partners or by starting their own companies. This can be a more volatile investment, but it can also lead to greater rewards if the business is successful.

Still other players choose to invest in more traditional vehicles such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. These investments tend to be less risky than starting a business, but they also tend to have lower returns. Ultimately, it’s up to each player to decide what mix of investments is right for them.

Luxury Purchases

Much has been made of the high salaries that NBA players earn, and it’s true that they are among the highest-paid athletes in the world. But what may be even more surprising is how they spend their money.

While some NBA players do blow their incomes on luxury goods and expensive cars, many are actually quite savvy with their money. In fact, many players invest their money in real estate, stocks, and other ventures.

Some of the more popular luxury purchases among NBA players include private jets, yachts, and mansions. In recent years, however, more and more players are choosing to invest their money in more practical things like businesses and real estate.

So while it’s true that NBA players do have a lot of disposable income, they are not all wasting it on frivolous purchases. Many are actually quite savvy with their money and are making wise investments that will pay off in the long run.

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