James Harden vs Kevin Durant vs Kyrie Irving: Who is the Highest Paid Player in the Brooklyn Nets Roster?

Published 01/16/2021, 2:44 PM EST
James Harden attends Black Ops Basketball Run on September 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images)

Why are the Brooklyn Nets the most feared team in the NBA? Well, simply because they have 3 of the best offensive players in the league.


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The Nets have formed a ‘Big 3’ to take a real shot at the championship. The franchise boasts having 3 of the best in the business, but it also costs them a fortune to pay them their salaries! 

So how much will the Nets pay Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden in 2021? The trio earns millions every year through NBA contracts, and Brooklyn now has the responsibility of paying them up every year until the contracts expire. 


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Who is the highest-paid player in the Brooklyn Nets roster? 

It is no secret that Brooklyn has 3 valuable players on its roster. However, these guys demand millions each year and the franchise has to oblige. When it comes to the Nets, though, he just arrived, James Harden has already taken over as the player with the highest salary

James Harden signed a 4-year extension with the Houston Rockets worth $170 million in 2017. His contract will only expire in 2023, but the 2022 season is a player option. Moreover, the Nets would have to pay his salary for the 2021 season, which is precisely $41,254,920. 

As for Kevin Durant, the ‘Slim Reaper’ is the second-highest earner in Brooklyn. The Nets will pay Durant a total of $40.1 million for the 2021 season that comes with a series of incentives. Now, KD will have no complaints about coming up behind Harden on the wage list as long as they achieve the team goal. 

Dec 22, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before a game against the Golden State Warriors at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

So this sums up that Kyrie Irving earns a lesser wage than the above-mentioned duo. Kyrie Irving also signed a mammoth 4-year contract with the Nets, but his wages for the 2021 season stand at $33,460,350 including the incentives. 

The more agonizing part for Kyrie is that he will not receive his full salary for the 2021 season, as he was penalized a hefty sum for breaking COVID-19 protocols. 

Here’s a fact to put things into a different perspective: The NBA’s salary cap for the 2020/21 season is set at $109,140,000 for a team. But these players alone from the Nets will earn a combined wage of more than $114 million in 2021!

Can the Nets strike gold in 2021?

The Brooklyn Nets are primed to win the championship in 2021, but they’d have to overcome a few hurdles before they can reach the summit. 

The first thing is that James Harden should build up his conditioning and start firing for the Nets. He should make sacrifices with his new team since he’s no longer the only superstar in the franchise. 


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Kyrie Irving’s contribution is as vital as Harden’s. He hasn’t been in the most proper mindset as a player, and Durant was left to carry the team in the past few games. 

Dec 30, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) dribbles the ball while being defended by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets are one of the strongest teams in the NBA, and there’s no denying it. Having 3 superstars on the team can certainly lead them to glory; however, this tactic could blow up in their faces just as well. 


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Team chemistry is all that will matter for the Brooklyn Nets, besides their defense. They’re a team that can eye a three-peat if they manage to hold relations tight. But first, they’ve to take one step at a time and start conquering their regular-season games!


Arjun Athreya

2033 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.



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