The NBA is growing exponentially in terms of revenue.  With the new $24 billion TV contract raising the salary cap, the NBA average salary is expected to reach $10 million for the 2020-21 season.  The greatest beneficiaries of the new CBA, however, are the league’s biggest stars who can reap contracts worth more than $200 million over five years starting next season.  Suddenly those short contracts players have been signing will make sense to those who didn’t get it before.  As usual, Forbes has crunched the numbers and has the highest paid players along with the most valuable teams in the NBA.

Most Valuable NBA Teams:

1. New York Knicks: $3.3 billion

2. Los Angeles Lakers $3 billion

3. Golden State Warriors $2.6 billion

4. Chicago Bulls $2.5 billion

5. Boston Celtics $2.2 billion

Rounding out the top 5 are: Los Angeles Clippers ($2 billion), Brooklyn Nets ($1.8 billion), Houston Rockets ($1.65 billion), Dallas Mavericks (1.45 billion), Miami Heat (1.35 billion)


1. LeBron James: $86 million ($31 million on-court, $55 million off-court)

James is at the top of the list for the third consecutive year.  His earnings are largely driven by endorsements with Nike being his biggest benefactor with a lifetime deal potentially worth $1 billion.  James also added endorsement deals with Intel and Verizon over the last year.  The new partners join Nike, Coca-Cola (Sprite), Beats Electronics and Kia Motor in James’ endorsement stable.  He also has a production company, SpringHill Entertainment, and has an investment group that owns 17 Blaze Pizza franchises in Chicago and South Florida. James has made more than $600 million since turning pro in 2003.

2. Kevin Durant: $62.5 million ($26.5 million on-court, $36 million off-court)

The shocking move to join the Golden State Warriors not only gave Durant a better chance at winning an NBA title, Durant also got a $6 million salary increase and an opportunity for new business ventures in the Bay Area.  His recent investments include delivery service Postmates and micro-investing app Acorns. Durant also owns stakes in Derek Jeter’s media platform, The Players Tribune, as well as flavored water brand Sparking Ice, which uses KD as a brand ambassador. Traditional endorsement partners for Durant include Nike, Beats Electronics, American Family Insurance, BBVA and NBA 2K.

3. Stephen Curry: $47.1 million ($12.1 million on-court, $35 million off-court)

His $12 million salary is pretty low for a superstar, but that will change since he’ll be a free-agent at this summer and can sign a deal that should top $200 million over five years with the Warriors.  For now, Curry’s off-court income tripled thanks to a slew of new deals including JPMorgan Chase, Brita, Vivo, and PressPlay.  Under Armour has catapulted into the basketball shoe market, building a $200 million basketball business thanks to Curry.  His money from UA increased along with the sales as he signed a contract extension with the company.  Curry’s jersey was the NBA’s best-seller for the first three months of the season with James and Durant ranked next.

4. James Harden: $46.5 million ($26.5 million on-court, $20 million off-court)

Harden signed a four-year, $118 million contract extension with the Rockets last summer.  He also signed a 13-year with Adidas that’s worth up to $200 million.

5. Russell Westbrook: $41.5 million ($26.5 million on-court, $15 million off-court)

Westbrook signed a three-year contract extension with the Thunder, worth up to $85 million.  He also signed a multi-year deal with Jordan Brand.

Rounding out the top 10 are: 6. Dwyane Wade, 7. Derrick Rose, 8. Carmelo Anthony, 9. Chris Paul, 10. Kyrie Irving.

Read more on Forbes: Most Valuable Teams || Highest Paid Players

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