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NBA

Jokic signs record $264 million contract: Who are the highest paid players in the NBA?

Nikola Jokic made a new NBA record this week - largest contract in NBA history, making him the highest-paid player going into the 2022-23 season.

Update:
Nikola Jokic made a new NBA record this week - largest contract in NBA history, making him the highest-paid player going into the 2022-23 season.
Jamie SchwaberowAFP

The Denver Nuggets signed Nikola Jokic to a five-year, $264 million supermax deal, taking him from the 27th highest-paid player in the NBA to the number one highest, earning a cool $52 million per season. He now surpasses Steph Curry, who’s making $48.07 million. Jokic, the two-time reigning MVP is still owed $32.5 million from his original deal, so the extension will take effect at the end of the 2022-23 season.

Bradley Beal recently jumped to top five on the list too with his deal with the Washington Wizards. Beal is signing a five-year, $251 million extension with the team after declining the $36.4 player option for the last season of his current contract.

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Who are the highest-paid players in the NBA in the 2022-23 season?

1. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

2022-23 Salary: TBD

Nikola Jokic had made it clear he wanted to stay in Denver and the two-time MVP got his wish. With the five-year supermax deal, Jokic is committed to the Nuggets until the 2027-28 season.

2. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

2022-23 Salary: $48.07 million

In 2022, Steph Curry signed a four-year, $215,353,664 contract extension with the Warriors, with an average annual salary of $53,838,416. By the end of the 2025-26 season, he’ll be making an average of $53.84 million.

3. Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers

2022-23 Salary: $47.1 million

Russell Westbrook decided to opt in to his $47.1 million player option with the Lakers, though they’ve mentioned that a trade is still possible. According to The Athletic, the Lakers would trade. Westbrook if there were a team willing to take on his expiring contract without asking for a future first-round puck in return.

4. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

2022-23 Salary: $44.4 million

In the summer of 2021, LeBron James signed a two-year contract with the Lakers that would make him over $85 million. In the summer of 2023, he will become an unrestricted free agent.

5. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

2022-23 Salary: $43.2 million

Bradley Beal’s new contract with the Washington Wizards is the second-largest in NBA history, just behind Nikola Jokic’s. His five-year, $251 million extension shot him to the top of the list of highest-paid players, whereas before, he wasn’t even in the top ten.

6. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

2022-23 Salary: $42.9 million

Kevin Durant has made it clear that he wants out of Brooklyn ASAP. He went to the owner, Joe Tsai, and requested a trade. The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are on his list of preferred destinations. Durant is under contract with the Nets on a four-year extension through 2026 which he signed last summer.

6. Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers

2022-23 Salary: $42.9 million

Paul George signed a four-year, $190 million maximum contract extension with the Clippers in 2019. By the end of his contract, he will make $217,812,735.

7. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

2022-23 Salary: $42.5 million

In 2020, Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a five-year, $228 million contract extension with the Bucks. His contract began last season, when he made a career-high $39.3 million in salary, which will continue to increase each year. By the end of the 2025-26 season, he will earn $51.9 million in salary.

7. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

2022-23 Salary: $42.5 million

It looks like the Trail Blazers will offer Damian Lillard a two-year contract extension that would be worth over $100 million. He is currently in the middle of a four-year deal which expires in 2025, with a player option in the final season. If he signs the two-year deal, he would remain under contract in Portland until 2027.

7. Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers

2022-23 Salary: $42.5 million

Kawhi Leonard signed a four-year deal with the Clippers in 2018 for $176,265,152 which will expire at the end of next season.

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