How Much Do NBA Players Make On Average? Plus The Highest And Lowest Paid Players For The 2023-2024 Season Revealed

Steph Curry, Jaylen Brown and Damian Lilliard are often mentioned during the how much do nba players make conversation.

Many sports fans at some point probably ask themselves, “How much do NBA players make?” as they are some of the highest-compensated athletes in the world. The NBA has successfully grown itself over the years making it very lucrative to be a professional basketball player in the United States. Superstars, stars, starters, and bench players alike make incredible sums of money, enhanced by the fact that many NBA contracts are fully guaranteed.

How much do NBA players make a year?

The amount of money that an NBA player can make is determined by a salary scale. There are minimum and maximum salary scales that determine how much an NBA player can earn depending on their years of service. The maximum a player can make is $51,915,615 for the 2023-24 NBA season. Most NBA players make at least several million dollars a year in salary, with additional compensation provided in the form of commercial endorsements. As a general rule, the more successful the player, the higher the compensation.

However, recently drafted NBA players are limited in their rookie contracts and have to wait until their 2nd contract to earn a large deal even if they develop quickly. For the 2023-24 NBA season the minimum salary is $1,119,563 on a fully guaranteed contract. Players on a two-way contract can make up to 50% ($559,782) of the minimum salary allowed for rookie players. Many rookies throughout the years have probably impatiently asked, “How much do NBA players make?”, waiting for their turn to receive a large contract.

What’s the Average Salary for an NBA Player?

The NBA determines the average player salary by dividing all of the salaries paid during that season by 396 (amount of teams x 13.2). Therefore the 2023-2024 average player salary will not be determined until after the end of the season, when the league completes an audit in July.

The NBA’s average player salary for the 2022-2023 season was $11,498,076. The NBA’s estimate of the average player salary for the 2023-2024 season will be 104.5% of the 2022-2023 season’s average player salary. The 2023-2024 estimated average player salary currently sits at $11, 958,000.

What is the Lowest NBA Salary?

Steph Curry is the highest paid NBA player in 2024.

The lowest NBA salary for the 2022-2023 NBA season was $1,017, 781. The NBA league minimum salary increases at the same rate as the salary cap. So, that minimum amount increases for the 2023-2024 season. The lowest NBA salary for a fully guaranteed contract for the 2023-2024 NBA season is $1,029,483. This contract is held by Gui Santos of the Golden State Warriors, who is currently in the first of a three year deal.

The lowest two-way contract is $205,897 (Adam Flager, OKC). Seven players earn $64,343 on 10-day contracts. Players earning on the lower end of the NBA salary scale probably ask themselves, “How much do NBA players make?” out of aspiration considering the massive numbers that other individuals throughout the league get.

Who is the highest paid NBA player?

Steph Curry is the highest paid NBA player in 2024.

Stephen Curry is currently the highest-paid NBA player. Earning $51.9 million for the 2023-2024 season. However, last summer Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics received the largest NBA contract in history. He signed a record breaking supermax extension worth $303.7 million over 5 years.

Brown’s new contract won’t kick in until the 2024-2025 season where he is scheduled to make an average of $60.8 million per year. Yet, Brown may not even be the highest-paid player on his team in a year. If Jason Tatum makes an All-NBA Team during the 2023-2024 NBA season, he will be eligible for a supermax contract larger than that of Brown’s, which he can sign in the 2024 offseason.

It’s also worthwhile to note that in 2022 Damian Lilliard signed a very lucrative contract extension with the Portland Trailblazers. Just like Brown, Lilliard will collect an average of $60.8 million per year starting in the 2025-2026 season. However, Brown will receive more money over the life of his contract, as it is 5 years long, whereas Lillard’s expires in just 2 years ($122 million). If Lilliard exercises his player option for the 2026-2027 season.

Why are NBA salaries so high?

NBA salaries are so high because the owners and players share the NBA’s annual basketball related income in an approximate 50-50 revenue split. A major factor which contributes to an increase of basketball related income are broadcast rights. As revenue from broadcast deals increase, the salary cap increases as well. When the salary cap increases player salaries rise too.

The current NBA media rights agreement started during the 2016-2017 season and expires after the 2024-2025 season. This agreement nets annual rights fees to the tune of $2.6 billion annually. The next deal will possibly bring in upward of $8 billion annually.

When a basketball fan asks, “How much do NBA players make?”, they are probably initially astounded at some of the massive deals in the league today. Honestly, other professional athletes including players from the MLB, NFL, and NHL probably get a little jealous when they ask, “How much do NBA players make?”

Also, it is important to note that there are far fewer NBA players than MLB, NFL, or NHL players. NBA rosters are comprised of 15 players, far fewer than the 53 for the NFL, 23 for the NHL, and 26 for MLB. The reality is that fewer players in the NBA result in a greater individual earning potential than in other sports leagues.

Will NBA Salaries Continue to Rise?

Yes. Although there has been some discussion over the past few years over the ratings of NBA games and whether the league will continue to grow, the simple reality is that the NBA prints money. The international marketability of its stars opens up massive earning opportunities that other sports leagues simply do not have.

In addition to its international appeal, the league continues to remain incredibly popular in the United States year after year. As a result, in addition to larger broadcast deals, NBA revenues, and player salaries, will continue to rise unabated for many decades to come. Individuals will be asking “How much do NBA players make?” for the foreseeable future. Eventually, Jaylen Brown type contracts will become the norm.

Inflation – Did older players make as much as current players today?

Many old NBA stars occasionally complain about how much money players make today, themselves asking, “How much do NBA players make now?” Many individuals may accurately point out that inflation is a natural occurrence that will always make salaries for previous decades look smaller. However, NBA salaries have risen exponentially over the years far outpacing inflation and making NBA players even more affluent today than those from previous generations.

For example, in 1980, George Gervin, one of the best players in the NBA at the time made $350,000 a year playing for the Spurs. When adjusted for inflation, that comes out to just under $1.4 million, close to the league minimum for players today.

Asking “How much do NBA players make” is probably a common question for many sports fans in the United States these days. NBA players are some of the highest-paid athletes in the world, due both to the league’s popularity and overall smaller player base compared to other sports leagues. The league has expanded its revenues exponentially over the last several decades, resulting in players making far more than their counterparts in older eras. As a result, some of the most common individuals asking, “How much do NBA players make?” are former players, especially former stars.

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