20 Highest-Paid Players in the NBA

The NBA tournament champion is still being decided, but we can already pinpoint the league's winners in another area: salary.

According to DraftExpress.com, the league's 20 highest-paid players all have contracts worth more than $15 million per year. To draw a quick comparison, according to the most recent data from the Labor Department's Occupational Employment Statistics, the average salary in the U.S. is $44,410 ($21.35/hour), meaning it would take the average person more than 558 years to earn the annual salary of the league's highest-paid player, Kobe Bryant.

Here's a countdown of the NBA's winning salaries:

20. Chris Paul

Team: New Orleans Hornets

Salary: $15,202,590

19. Deron Williams

Team: New Jersey Nets

Salary: $15,202,590

18. Dwight Howard

Team: Orlando Magic

Salary: $15,779,912

17. Elton Brand

Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Salary: $15,959,099

16. Joe Johnson

Team: Atlanta Hawks

Salary: $16,324,500

15. Amare Stoudemire

Team: New York Knicks

Salary: $16,486,611

14. Kenyon Martin

Team: Denver Nuggets

Salary: $16,545,454

13. Carmelo Anthony

Team: New York Knicks

Salary: $17,149,243

12. Dirk Nowitzki

Team: Dallas Mavericks

Salary: $17,278,618

11. Zach Randolph

Team: Memphis Grizzlies

Salary: $17,333,333

10. Vince Carter

Team: Phoenix Suns

Salary: $17,522,375

9. Yao Ming

Team: Houston Rockets

Salary: $17,686,100

8. Gilbert Arenas

Team: Orlando Magic

Salary: $17,730,694

7. Andrei Kirilenko

Team: Utah Jazz

Salary: $17,823,000

6. Pau Gasol

Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Salary: $17,823,000

5. Michael Redd

Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Salary: $18,300,000

4. Tim Duncan

Team: San Antonio Spurs

Salary: $18,700,000

3. Kevin Garnett

Team: Boston Celtics

Salary: $18,866,934

2. Rashard Lewis

Team: Washington Wizards

Salary: $19,573,711

1. Kobe Bryant

Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Salary: $24,806,250

Do you think these NBA players earn their salaries?
Yes1 (33.3%)
No1 (33.3%)
Depends on the player1 (33.3%)

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Akin Ogunsola

I rather see the players make decent salary than those shark owners. Those players work hard for their money otherwise they will not be or make what they make. Hurray for the players they entertain us not the management nor the owners. This is America whereby you are rewarded for your hard work.Those players deserve what they make and even more.

August 09 2011 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

cool! what a wasste

July 24 2011 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Do the ladies and gentlemen of the armed forces who go out there to fight and protect us from harm, with some of them living an unfinished lives, earn even 1% of what these players earn? Goodness!!!.

July 17 2011 at 11:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what a waste of money

June 03 2011 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

this is what capitalism is all about, folks; you receive what the market will bear; for those of you who disagree, would you refer to yourselves as socialists? that's pretty much what the (not)right calls anyone who challenges multi-millionaires/billionaires; good old capitalism is what made this country what it is--a multi-tier economic system with the bigs constantly getting bigger while the rest try desperately to keep their heads above water. it really works well for the well-thy.

June 03 2011 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dbokaman's comment

Silly. What all of you collectivists conveniently forget is that, in free(r) countries (as if we even HAD a free market, ha!) people move up and down those "tiers" all the time. In most places in the world, you die in the class or caste into which you were born... unless you make your way to the West, or fall in with the power elite, or are born into it. If you had people all around the world willing to spend money to watch you play, get your jersey, whatever, you'd make millions, too. Oh, of course, YOU would refuse the money, right? Grow up. As long as no one is using coercion or fraud to tip the scales -- and assuming we can keep government from colluding with business -- you should be free to make what you can. No one is forced to buy a Kobe calendar, or give the Laker games great ratings. Millions of choices can often coalesce around an individual, bringing her millions of dollars. More power to her, I say. Or even a "him."

October 06 2011 at 2:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vegas von

We live in a very strange time. When you have Democrats and Republicans bickering and complaining about how otoTAKE CARE or CARE ENOUGH to TAKE CARE of the Indigent to make sure they have proper health care to the point where NOTHING IS EVER TAKEN CARE OF so for years people have died 'young' simply because they didn't have 'INSURANCE' (MY brother being a prime example...died at age 64 because he didn't have the $$$$$ for the Dr or hospital!)/ When our children and their children are watching their schools going backwards, with teachers being laid off and classes being cut...you know...the 'unnecessary ones like ART AND MUSIC!/ When most people are more interested in cocaine crazed tiger blooded 'poor excuse of a man' Sheen on '2 1/2 Men' , than they are in 'getting to know' and getting involved in their community and getting behind and supporting their President of the United States who was ELECTED by us to carry out the responsibilities as such/When there are so many NEEDS here in the good old USA......why in God's name and how in the world did we ever get to this place where it's the 'norm' for a BALL PLAYER...ONE WHO SHOOTS HOOPS..... not a scientist who studies and discovers revolutionary life changing things about the world we live in.to make it a better and safer place!...not a teacher who spends hours in and out of the classroom studying and transferring invaluable knowledge on to the next generation to equip them with the tools they so vitally need to succeed in this life.....BUT A BALL PLAYER....ONE WHO PLAYS WITH A BALL.... is HONORED, GLORIFIED AND EXTRAVAGANTLY SHOWERED WITH MORE MONEY IN ONE YEAR than an average person could earn (actually WORKING A REAL JOB!!!) IN nearly 600 years??????? Now, you tell me .... what's wrong with this picture and why in God's name are we encouraging and breeding these flagrant examples of 'what we want to be when we grow up' to any future generations??? Some things just have to change for life to even make 'sense' anymore. Is it possible? Probably not, because THE VOICES that are being heard today are ONLY those that have the most money. How sad.

June 03 2011 at 7:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Wecome Annette

You should see the money the owners, advertisers, stadiums and NIKE makes off of these athletes. Is this an anti-union mob. Let the owners make the money and the slaves just be happy to work.

June 03 2011 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

only one player on this list is still playing, so my answer would be no. In a list of the top twenty players you would expect to see at least three guys who are still playing, instead you only have one. My opinion would be, the Heat got it right three of the top twenty players in the league all on one team and there are still playing, for this in my eyes means the Heat will be a competitor for many years to come.

June 03 2011 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nobodys worth that much money unless you cure cancer or something like that. That's ridiculous that any person gets that much money in one year for putting a ball through a hoop. And then some of the sports people have the gall to go on strike for more money. In this day and age and this economy there should be a cap so the cost of the tickets and parking don't keep on going up. Please. If you can't live on one million dollars a year, you're just a greedy person.

June 03 2011 at 5:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does anybody even know about tax? and like 6% goes to there agent,ect. and they could get fine 500,000 for saying one bad thing, this should be deducted from the salary that people see on paper

June 03 2011 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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