Having stars on the floor is a great way to achieve success in the NBA, but boasting an elite coach is just as essential.
There are only about a handful of said coaches roaming the baselines in the league, but those tacticians earn a sizable salary for their duties.
The latest to earn a big bag was Monty Williams, who reportedly was hired by the Detroit Pistons on a lucrative deal following his exit from the Phoenix Suns.
But how much does Williams make? Here’s a look at who the highest-paid coaches are in the NBA:
Who are the highest-paid coaches in the NBA?
Unlike salaries of NBA players, staff salaries aren’t as widely reported or available. In 2021, Sportico published a list of the highest-paid coaches in U.S. sports, and seven of them were in the NBA. However, four of those were let go in the 2022-23 campaign: Steve Nash (Nets), Doc Rivers (76ers), Mike Budenholzer (Bucks) and Nick Nurse (Raptors).
Following the latest turnover and Williams’ reported hire, let’s take a look at some of the highest-paid coaches:
1. Monty Williams, Detroit Pistons: $13.05 million
Williams’ new deal with Detroit is worth $78.5 million over six years, The Athletic's Shams Charania and James L. Edwards III reported, citing sources, on Wednesday. That would mean Williams’ average salary is $13.05 million, but it doesn’t take into account how incentives reportedly could boost the contract to $100 million over eight years. Williams has the luxury of time to develop a young Pistons said while getting paid handsomely for his services.
2. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs: $11.5 million
Coach Pop held the top spot for a quite a while, and deservedly so. He’s one of the most successful coaches of all-time, having won five NBA titles, three Coach of the Year awards and helped the Spurs to 22 consecutive playoff berths from 1998 to 2019.
3. Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors: $9.5 million
Kerr has also been cementing his legacy as a coach in the NBA following his successful playing career. Since joining the Warriors as head coach in 2014, he’s helped lead the team to four NBA titles and was named Coach of the Year in 2016.
4. Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat: $8.5 million
Spoelstra started off as a video coordinator with Miami in 1995, which puts together clips to provide the coaching staff to better scout upcoming opponents. In 2008, the Heat made him their head coach, which so far has led to titles in 2012 and 2013. He’s also been a key figure in Miami’s run to the 2023 NBA Finals despite being an eight-seed.
5. Rick Carlisle, Indiana Pacers: $7.25 million
Rivers, Budenholzer, Nurse and Nash were all making north of $8 million prior to their exits, which bumps Indiana’s head coach Rick Carlisle to fifth. The 63-year-old signed a four-year deal in 2021 worth a reported 29 million. Carlisle coached the Dallas Mavericks to an NBA title in 2011 and was named Coach of the Year in 2002 with the Pistons.