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The 21 highest-paid players in NBA history

LeBron James

  • According to a ranking of the highest-paid NBA players ever, 21 players have made more than $200 million in their careers.
  • LeBron James tops the list, which is based on data from Spotrac.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

NBA salaries have been steadily on the rise in recent years.

Insider took a look at the highest-paid players in NBA history, based on data from Spotrac. The numbers show that 21 players have earned more than $200 million, 13 of whom are still active.

LeBron James tops the list of all-time earnings. He has more dollars on the way after signing an $85 million extension this week.

1. LeBron James — $343.8 million

Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers

Highest single-season earnings: $37.4 million (2019-20)

All-Star Games: 16

One thing to know: James signed a two-year, $85 million extension with the Los Angeles Lakers that will bring his total career earnings to $435 million by 2023.

2. Kevin Garnett — $334.3 million

Teams: Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets

Highest single-season earnings: $28 million (2003-04)

All-Star Games: 15

One thing to know: Garnett got a six-year, $123 million extension when he was just 21 years old — one of the richest deals in NBA history at the time.

3. Kobe Bryant — $323.3 million

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

Highest single-season earnings: $30.4 million (2013-14)

All-Star Games: 18

One thing to know: Bryant made a large share of his money in the later years of his career, signing a three-year, $84 million in 2011, followed by a two-year, $48 million contract in 2013.

4. Chris Paul — $299.9 million

Teams: New Orleans Hornets, LA Clippers, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns

Highest single-season earnings: $41.3 million (2019-20)

All-Star Games: 10

One thing to know: Paul is in the third year of a four-year, $159 million contract, and is due to make $44.2 million for the 2021-22 season.

5. Shaquille O'Neal — $286.3 million

Teams: Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics

Highest single-season earnings: $27.6 million (2004-05)

All-Star Games: 15

One thing to know: From 1999 to 2009, O'Neal made over $10 million per season. Then he made $1.3 million with the Celtics in his final season.

6. Kevin Durant — $286.3 million

Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets

Highest single-season earnings: $38.1 million (2019-20)

All-Star Games: 10

One thing to know: Durant signed a 4-year, $164 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2019.

7. Carmelo Anthony — $259.8 million

Teams: Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers

Highest single-season earnings: $26.2 million (2017-18)

All-Star Games: 10

One thing to know: Now 36 years old, Anthony signed a one-year, veteran's minimum contract to stay with the Blazers this season.

8. Dirk Nowitzki — $251.6 million

Teams: Dallas Mavericks

Highest single-season earnings: $25 million (2016-17)

All-Star Games: 14

One thing to know: Nowitzki could have been higher on this list, but in the later years of his career, he signed several team-friendly deals with the Mavericks so they could build the team around him.

9. Russell Westbrook — $244.3 million

Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards

Highest single-season earnings: $37.3 million (2019-20)

All-Star Games: 9

One thing to know: Westbrook is in the third year of a five-year, $206 million contract extension, and he is set to make $47 million in 2022-23.

10. Dwight Howard — $242.5 million

Teams: Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers

Highest single-season earnings: $23.5 million (2017-18)

All-Star Games: 8

One thing to know: Despite ranking 10th all-time in earnings, Howard has never signed a contract worth over $100 million. His largest contract, worth $87.5 million, was signed in 2012.

11. Tim Duncan — $242 million

Teams: San Antonio Spurs

Highest single-season earnings: $22.1 million (2009-10)

All-Star Games: 15

One thing to know: Like Nowitzki, Duncan could have ranked higher on this list had he not signed team-friendly deals with the Spurs later in his career.

12. Chris Bosh — $239 million

Teams: Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat

Highest single-season earnings: $26.8 million (2018-19)

All-Star Games: 11

One thing to know: Bosh signed a five-year, $118 million contract with the Heat in 2014, but he was unable to play past 2016-17 because of blood clots. Bosh was still paid the remainder of the deal, though the Heat were able to do so without it counting against their salary cap.

13. Blake Griffin — $226.4 million

Teams: LA Clippers, Detroit Pistons

Highest single-season earnings: $34.2 million (2019-20)

All-Star Games: 6

One thing to know: Griffin signed a five-year, $181 million contract with the Clippers in July 2017 then was traded to the Pistons six months later.

14. James Harden — $224.3 million

Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets

Highest single-season earnings: $35.8 million (2019-20)

All-Star Games: 8

One thing to know: Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2012 after failing to secure a long-term, lucrative extension with the Thunder. He has made $212 million with the Rockets.

15. Paul Gasol — $220.9 million

Teams: Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks

Highest single-season earnings: $19.2 million (2013-14)

All-Star Games: 6

One thing to know: Gasol did not play in the 2019-20 season because of injury. But he has not officially retired, and there have been rumors that he's looking for a team for the 2020-21 season.

16. LaMarcus Aldridge — $217.1 million

Teams: Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio spurs

Highest single-season earnings: $24.3 million (2019-29)

All-Star Games: 7

One thing to know: Aldridge is in the final year of his contract and owed $25 million. He's 35 and still playing at a high level, so it's possible Aldridge could still secure one more big deal.

17. Joe Johnson — $215 million

Teams: Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets

Highest single-season earnings: $23.1 million (2014-15)

All-Star Games: 7

One thing to know: After signing a six-year, $123 million contract in 2010, Johnson went on to play for four different teams over the course of the deal.

18. Al Horford — $212.1 million

Teams: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma City Thunder

Highest single-season earnings: $28.9 million (2018-19)

All-Star Games: 5

One thing to know: Horford has signed back-to-back deals worth over $100 million: a four-year, $113 million contract with the Celtics in 2017, then a 4-year, $109 million deal with the 76ers.

19. Stephen Curry — $208.9 million

Teams: Golden State Warriors

Highest single-season earnings: $40.2 million (2019-20)

All-Star Games: 6

One thing to know: Curry is relatively low on this list because his MVP seasons occurred when he was on a team-friendly, four-year, $44 million contract.

20. Mike Conley — $206 million

Teams: Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz

Highest single-season earnings: $30.5 million (2018-19)

All-Star Games: 0

One thing to know: Conley has always been an underrated scorer, passer, and defender. He signed a five-year, $152 million contract in 2018 despite never making an All-Star team.

21. Kevin Love — $204 million

Teams: Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers

Highest single-season earnings: $27.1 million (2019-20)

All-Star Games: 5

One thing to know: Love has three years remaining on a four-year, $120 million extension.

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