The highest-paid players in NBA history

·6 min read

A lot of is made about the size of current NBA contracts, and with good reason, as players today are making astronomical sums in terms of total contract size.

As such, when looking at the highest-paid players in NBA history, it stands to reason that most of the players at or near the top of the list are currently active. And if we re-do this exercise in a decade, it’ll more than likely solely be made up of players from the modern era.

Below, check out the highest-paid players in NBA history in terms of total money made in their careers, led by LeBron James.

LeBron James

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Career earnings: $390,511,090 in 19 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $423,075,248
Highest salary: $41,180,544 in 2021-22 (5th in the NBA)

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett, MVP
Kevin Garnett, MVP

Career earnings: $343,862,398 in 21 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $448,647,933
Highest salary: $28,000,000 in 2003-04 (1st in the NBA)

Chris Paul

Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns
Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns

Career earnings: $330,977,385 in 17 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $353,715,143
Highest salary: $41,358,814 in 2020-21 (2nd in the NBA)

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

Career earnings: $328,237,108 in 20 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $402,826,486
Highest salary: $30,453,000 in 2013-14 (1st in the NBA)

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Career earnings: $313,070,742 in 14 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $330,710,522
Highest salary: $40,918,900 in 2021-22 (6th in the NBA)

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal, Miami Heat
Shaquille O'Neal, Miami Heat

Career earnings: $292,198,327 in 19 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $412,027,502
Highest salary: $27,696,430 in 2004-05 (1st in the NBA)

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers
Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers

Career earnings: $291,756,333 in 14 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $304,813,058
Highest salary: $44,211,146 in 2021-22 (4th in the NBA)

James Harden

James Harden, Brooklyn Nets
James Harden, Brooklyn Nets

Career earnings: $272,039,833 in 13 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $283,156,382
Highest salary: $44,310,840 in 2021-22 (2nd in the NBA)

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin, Brooklyn Nets
Blake Griffin, Brooklyn Nets

Career earnings: $258,432,713 in 12 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $270,653,988
Highest salary: $34,449,964 in 2019-20 (8th in the NBA)

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Career earnings: $257,859,052 in 13 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $266,445,897
Highest salary: $45,780,966 in 2021-22 (1st in the NBA)

Dirk Nowitzki

Career earnings: $255,371,800 in 21 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $306,162,830
Highest salary: $25,000,000 in 2016-17 (8th in the NBA)

Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan vs. Miami Heat
Tim Duncan vs. Miami Heat

Career earnings: $245,964,351 in 19 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $309,733,187
Highest salary: $21,164,619 in 2011-12 (4th in the NBA)

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers

Career earnings: $245,838,349in 18 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $274,071,048
Highest salary: $23,500,000 in 2016-17 (12th in the NBA)

Al Horford

Al Horford, Boston Celtics
Al Horford, Boston Celtics

Career earnings: $243,228,232 in 15 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $257,197,019
Highest salary: $28,928,710 in 2018-19 (13th in the NBA)

Chris Bosh

Career earnings: $242,110,053 in 13 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $271,386,003
Highest salary: $26,837,720 in 2018-19 (16th in the NBA)

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony, Los Angeles Lakers
Carmelo Anthony, Los Angeles Lakers

Career earnings: $240,843,702 in 19 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $271,839,098
Highest salary: $26,243,760 in 2017-18 (12th in the NBA)

Kevin Love

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers

Career earnings: $237,969,812 in 14 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $249,999,834
Highest salary: $31,258,256 in 2020-21 (20th in the NBA)

Mike Conley

Mike Conley, Utah Jazz
Mike Conley, Utah Jazz

Career earnings: $229,541,596 in 15 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $241,042,181
Highest salary: $34,502,132 in 2020-21 (10th in the NBA)

John Wall

Career earnings: $229,235,106 in 11 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $237,500,437
Highest salary: $44,310,840 in 2021-22 (2nd in the NBA)

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers

Career earnings: $219,784,441 in 18 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $254,950,452
Highest salary: $19,285,850 in 2013-14 (8th in the NBA)

Paul George

Paul George, LA Clippers
Paul George, LA Clippers

Career earnings: $218,962,361 in 12 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $226,208,281
Highest salary: $39,344,970 in 2021-22 (7th in the NBA)

Joe Johnson

Career earnings: $217,316,875 in 17 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $251,597,423
Highest salary: $23,180,790 in 2014-15 (2nd in the NBA)

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry, Miami Heat
Kyle Lowry, Miami Heat

Career earnings: $217,142,045 in 16 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $226,764,210
Highest salary: $33,296,296 in 2019-20 (9th in the NBA)

LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge, Brooklyn Nets
LaMarcus Aldridge, Brooklyn Nets

Career earnings: $215,090,968 in 16 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $232,119,902
Highest salary: $26,000,000 in 2019-20 (40th in the NBA)

Gordon Hayward

Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets
Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets

Career earnings: $209,347,778 in 12 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $216,880,698
Highest salary: $32,700,690 in 2019-20 (16th in the NBA)

DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

Career earnings: $202,705,770 in 13 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $211,032,391
Highest salary: $27,739,975 in 2017-18 (10th in the NBA)

Paul Pierce

PAUL PIERCE VS KOBE BRYANT
PAUL PIERCE VS KOBE BRYANT

Career earnings: $200,708,312 in 19 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $246,459,400
Highest salary: $19,795,712 in 2009-10 (7th in the NBA)

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls
Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls

Career earnings: $199,499,205 in 16 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $226,640,037
Highest salary: $23,200,000 in 2016-17 (13th in the NBA)

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph, Sacramento Kings
Zach Randolph, Sacramento Kings

Career earnings: $199,124,765 in 17 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $229,724,281
Highest salary: $17,800,000 in 2013-14 (16th in the NBA)

Kyrie Irving

Career earnings: $197,582,092 in 11 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $204,422,511
Highest salary: $35,053,700 in 2021-22 (16th in the NBA)

Paul Millsap

Paul Millsap, Brooklyn Nets
Paul Millsap, Brooklyn Nets

Career earnings: $193,541,787 in 16 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $206,089,663
Highest salary: $30,769,231 in 2017-18 (3rd in the NBA)

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

Career earnings: $193,078,511 in 10 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $198,304,842
Highest salary: $39,344,900 in 2021-22 (8th in the NBA)

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard handling the ball
Kawhi Leonard handling the ball

Career earnings: $191,133,262 in 11 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $196,344,142
Highest salary: $39,344,900 in 2021-22 (8th in the NBA)

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Career earnings: $189,720,908 in 10 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $195,487,695
Highest salary: $35,361,360 in 2021-22 (15th in the NBA)

Tyson Chandler

Tyson Chandler, Houston Rockets
Tyson Chandler, Houston Rockets

Career earnings: $189,644,026 in 19 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $219,518,735
Highest salary: $14,596,888 in 2014-15 (32nd in the NBA)

Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks

Career earnings: $189,474,724 in 13 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $196,465,950
Highest salary: $27,026,011 in 2020-21 (43rd in the NBA)

Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd vs Tim Duncan
Jason Kidd vs Tim Duncan

Career earnings: $187,675,468 in 19 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $251,428,484
Highest salary: $21,372,000 in 2008-09 (2nd in the NBA)

Vince Carter

Vince Carter, Orlando Magic
Vince Carter, Orlando Magic

Career earnings: $186,916,012 in 22 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $231,110,118
Highest salary: $21,300,000 in 2011-12 (2nd in the NBA)

Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors

Career earnings: $186,715,950 in 18 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $205,037,485
Highest salary: $17,185,185 in 2019-20 (65th in the NBA)

Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
Marc Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers

Career earnings: $185,786,591 in 13 seasons
Adjusted to inflation: $198,957,141
Highest salary: $25,595,700 in 2019-20 (43rd in the NBA)

Image: Coley Cleary / USA TODAY Sports Media Group illustration

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