Average NBA Salary [2024]

Have you ever wondered how much NBA players earn? Like most of you, I often wonder how much they earn because almost all of them live extravagant and luxurious lives.

It’s interesting to think about it because most aspiring college basketball players think of coming into the NBA as a form of salvation.

One good reason they think the NBA is a form of salvation is that these players are well-compensated and earn millions yearly like the rest.

If you want to know more about the average salary of NBA players, then continue reading as I explain it in detail below.

What Is The Median Salary Of NBA Players Per Year?

The average salary for NBA players in the NBA is around $8.5 million. While that sounds pretty high, the league’s earnings and wages are unevenly distributed.

However, the median salary of players based on the NBA 2022-2023 season is only around $4.3 million, which means half of the NBA players are making around that same value or less than that.

As I have mentioned, while average salaries for NBA players are significantly high, the reason behind this is that some players earn around $30 to $40 million annually.

What Is The Average Salary Of NBA Players Per Position?

Changes in how players play different roles are one of the reasons why there’s a wide redistribution of average salaries in different playing roles.

Based on basketball reference, the PG or point guard is the highest-paid NBA position for the second straight season.

Before they took over as the highest-paying position, centers earned the most, dating back to the 2013-2014 NBA season until the 2019-2020 season.

Average NBA Salary of Point Guards

Regarding salary, the PG or point guard has been the highest-paid position in the NBA for two consecutive seasons.

The average salary of point guards in the NBA is around $11.00 million. In addition, if you’ve referred to our list below, you will find that most of these highest-paid players are playing the point guard spot.

Gone are the days when centers were the highest earners. For comparison, point guards were the lowest-salaried players in the 90s when centers around the league got plenty of earnings.

The game of basketball is ever-changing, wherein you don’t get compensated for your height but for your ability to facilitate the offense and shoot the ball efficiently.

Average NBA Salary of Shooting Guards

Shooting guards are one of the more versatile roles in the league. Unfortunately, they have been holding the reigns for being the lowest-paid NBA position for eight consecutive seasons.

The average salary for NBA players playing the SG position is around $6.5 million, a huge difference if you compare it to other roles.

If you’ve referred to our list, only Klay Thompson is the shooting guard, but he often plays the small forward spot.

Average NBA Salary of Small Forwards

While their average salary dropped by a few percentages this year, it’s worth noting that some of the highest-paid NBA players play the SF position.

However, the average player salary for the SF role is roughly around $7.13 million, a 3% increase from the previous season. That 3% increase is by far the lowest.

Fact: For the last 31 seasons, small forwards have yet to crack the number one spot regarding the highest-paid position in terms of average salary.

Average NBA Salary of Power Forwards

Power forwards are fortunate enough because they are salaried relatively higher than other positions throughout NBA history of NBA.

The average salary of power forwards in the NBA is around $7.64 million, a 16% increase compared to the previous season.

Out of all the five positions, the power forward spot has the highest salary growth for an average NBA player.

Average NBA Salary of Centers

For centers, the average salary is around $7.82 million during the 2021-2022 season. Of all the positions, centers were the only ones that couldn’t experience an increase in average salary.

However, during the 2014 to 2020 seasons, centers were the highest-paid players in the league over that period.

Who Are the Highest-Paid NBA Players?

It’s easy to think that player salaries in the NBA are significantly high when you’re the face of an NBA team, and for the most part, it’s true.

Below is the list of the highestpaid players in the NBA.

Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors

  • Salary: $45,780,966

The greatest shooter in the history of the NBA is the highest-paid NBA player in the current season.

Steph Curry has one of the largest contracts in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors Organization is paying Steph Curry $45,780,966 in annual salary.

His sweet-shooting skills are a testament to how great shooting players are paid in bunches.

Stephen Curry became the highest-paid NBA player this season by inking a contract extension worth $215 million. This made it one of the largest contracts signed by an NBA player in league history.

John Wall – Los Angeles Clippers

  • Salary: $44,310,840

John Wall, who previously played for Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards teams, also became one of the players with the largest NBA salary.

While some would think he was not worthy of the contract as he was missing multiple games because of injuries, he is still one of the best two-way point guards the league has ever seen when healthy.

Russell Westbrook – Los Angeles Lakers

  • Salary: $44,211,146

Russell Westbrook, who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers team, ranks amongst the highest-paid players on our list.

Westbrook’s NBA salary starts at a whopping $44 million, which is absurd considering he is well in the twilight of his legendary career.

Still, Russell Westbrook is the highest-paid player on his team despite having superstar teammates such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

It tells how much the organization values him for how well he plays the game.

James Harden – Philadelphia 76ers

  • Salary: $43,848,000

While he was recently traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden is still one of the best players the league has ever seen.

With a salary of $43 million, there’s no question regarding James Harden’s talents as long as he has Joel Embiid to support his quest for an NBA ring, the future’s bright for the organization.

Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers

  • Salary: $43,750,000

Damian Lillard has one of the biggest salaries the league had ever seen right when he signed an extension worth 225 million dollars for four years.

As a result, he will enjoy most of his prime years playing for the franchise, and hopefully, he will get his own NBA championship ring before he eventually retires.

LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers

  • Salary: $41,180,544

Surprisingly, LeBron James isn’t the highest-paid player in the NBA. However, he still ranks amongst the highest ones.

Well, he might not be the highest-paid superstar in the NBA, but he’s well on his way to becoming just the second player in NBA history to become a billionaire, next to Michael Jordan.

Fact: LeBron will go down as having one of the largest NBA salaries. Over his entire career, he has amassed a total of $528 million, excluding endorsement deals and other business ventures.

Kevin Durant – Brooklyn Nets

  • Salary: $40,918,900

Kevin Durant, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets, is one of the most versatile scorers the league has ever seen, and he also has one of the largest NBA salaries in history.

Kevin Durant’s salary is just a fraction of what he’s earning. He’s a business investor with ventures in multiple companies.

His NBA salary is around $41 million, and it might be the last lucrative contract he will sign as he is nearing the twilight of his career.

Despite nearing retirement age, he will still go down as having one of the highest NBA salaries once he retires from the game of basketball.

Paul George – Los Angeles Clippers

  • Salary: $39,344,970

Paul Geoge is one of the best two-way forwards in the league and has one of the biggest salaries in the current season.

He recently signed a $190 million contract extension for the Los Angeles Clippers, a good deal that will take him until 35 years of age.

The Clippers franchise should enjoy several seasons with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George at the helm wrecking the NBA court on both ends of the floor.

For now, Paul George will have to play better than ever this season as Kawhi Leonard is still ways ahead of his recovery due to an ACL injury.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks

  • Salary: $39,344,970

Well, the Greek Freak comes in at 9th place in terms of having one of the highest NBA salaries in the current season.

He is only 26 years of age this season, and his stats show why he is one of the highest-paid players in the league.

The Milwaukee Bucks currently pay him almost $40 million, which will only go up as his career progresses.

Klay Thompson

  • Salary: $37,980,720

The other half of the splash brothers, Klay Thompson, also ranks as one of the players with a high salary in the current season.

The Golden State Warriors organization pays him almost $38 million to shoot threes and guard the opponent’s best perimeter player daily.

Even though he was lost for two seasons due to multiple injuries, he still made tremendous money over that period. He also has ventures in different brands and industries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have further questions regarding players’ salaries in the NBA, you might find them below.

Who Is the Lowest-Paid NBA Player?

It’s tricky to answer this question because many factors are going into the season on who gets paid the least.

However, NBA players on two-way contracts are usually the lowest-paid players.

For context, G League players on two-way contracts make an average of $77k a season. They are significantly paid a lesser amount of money than rookies.

In addition, NBA teams often invite these players during the offseason to know which are worthy of a roster spot.

How Much Is the Waterboy Salary in the NBA?

The wages of a waterboy from one team to the other is different, and they don’t work for free!

The average salary of the waterboys in the NBA is around $58 thousand a year. It’s quite high, considering some of these waterboys are young.

Their average salary can go up depending on the organization they are working with. Their salary differs based on their skill set, expertise, and tenure.

Final Thoughts

While the NBA has an average salary of $8.5 million, almost 50% are getting below that.

In addition, it’s quite interesting to know how these superstars are well-compensated on how well they play the game compared to rookies, role players, and other players in the league.

Still, NBA players earn a lot of money if you compare it to other sports. They are fortunate enough to make a living by playing their passion while putting food on the table for their families.

I really hope that this article helps you better understand the average salary of NBA players.