Pro basketball stars that make it to the top of the sport earn a fortune for every game they play or endorsement that they make.
Still, not all the time the best players are the best paid. Some are considered overrated, while others who might be listed in BetAmerica list of best undrafted NBA players, earn quite less in comparison. For example, Fred VanVleet who is on that list and is one of the men headlining possible NBA transfers, has a net worth of only $10 million.
Still, we wonder who are the richest NBA players right now? For this list we based ourselves on information gathered at CelebrityNetWorth and we chose only athletes who haven’t retired yet.
The following are the current top 5 of the athletes with the highest net worth in the sport. You can already guess the one who tops the list, but perhaps you will be surprised with some names in between.
Stephen Curry, Net Worth $130 Million
Curry joined the Golden State Warriors in the 2009 NBA draft and has played there ever since. His current contract is for 5 years and just over $200 million, giving him an average annual salary of over $40 million. Given his exciting style of play, it is common to see him listed in the latest free NBA betting expert picks.
Forbes listed Curry in 42nd place in their 2017 list of the top 100 best-paid celebrities, just behind Robert Downey Jr and Jackie Chan. His net worth is estimated at around $130 million but it could be more, as he has invested wisely and has numerous big endorsement deals.
He earned about $13 million his first 4 seasons, so it is clear that his earning power has shot up in recent years and seem set to carry on at this high level. Given that he could still play at the top level of another 6 or 7 years, it is easy to imagine that he will be worth hundreds of millions of dollars by the time that he retires.
Dwight Howard, Net Worth $140 Million
The first name in our list from the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard has an annual salary of $23 million. Howard was the first pick of the 2004 NBA draft, being picked by the Orlando Magic. He stayed loyal to the Florida based team until 2012, when he moved for one season to the LA Lakers.
From then, he played on the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards, until he returned to the LA Lakers in 2019. In his first season after his return the team led by LeBron James won the NBA Championship, giving Dwight Howard his first career title at the age of 34.
The center is 6 ft 10 inches (2.08 m) registered also the best 3 point field-goal percentage of his career during this last season (6.00), despite only starting in 2 games during the regular season.
Off-field, Dwight is known for doing charitable work and being a very religious person. He established the Dwight Howard Foundation, which tries to provide scholarships for students who can’t afford education.
Out of curiosity, Howard has 5 children of 5 different women. He also owns 20 pet snakes and owns a farm in north Georgia.
James Harden, Net Worth $145 Million
Harden is believed to have a net worth of more than $145 million just now, playing in the NBA since joining Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2009 draft before being traded to the Houston Rockets in 2012. In 2016, his contract was extended for 4 more years at close to $118 million.
At the time of writing, Harden is being strongly linked with a move to the Brooklyn Nets, which would mean another big-money contract for him. His biggest endorsement deal is probably the $200 million contract he has with Adidas, which he signed in 2015 for a period of 13 years.
Kevin Durant, Net Worth $170 Million
Durant currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets and has been earning big money in the NBA ever since he joined the Seattle SuperSonics in the 2007 draft. Some estimates put his net worth in 2023 at $150 million.
His latest contract, with the Nets, is said to be worth as much as $164 million over 4 years, which is his biggest salary to date. In terms of endorsements, a deal with Nike is said to be his biggest, giving him around $35 million each year to more or less double his overall earnings.
LeBron James, Net Worth $480 Million
Arguably the best player in the NBA right now, James has a net worth in 2023 that is estimated at around $480 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth. He joined the NFL in 2003, as the first pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers and has been successful for Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers since then.
He has typically taken an unusual approach to signing contracts, making shorter-term deals that have given him more flexibility and allowed him to take advantage of the increasing salary caps in the league. He became the highest-paid player in the league in 2016.
His current salary is given as close to $40 million, but he earns about the same again in endorsements, giving him perhaps $80 million each year. Among his best deals was the $90 million offer from Adidas that came after a bidding war with Reebok and Adidas, and James also earned $30 million when Apple bought out Beat Electronics. He has said that he plans to buy an NBA franchise in the future.
Here you have it, the NBA stars with highest net worth. It was obvious that LeBron would come on top as he is the name that everyone thinks about first when hearing about NBA nowadays.
Still, if we were to count players who have already retired, Michael Jordan would be the one who would top the list. Jordan, who has a lifetime contract with Nike, has a net worth estimate in $1.3 billion! Yes, you read it right.
Who do you think should earn more in NBA and who is clearly overrated and overpaid? Do you agree with the exorbitant salaries paid in the world of sports?