From Damian Lillard to James Harden, Players with the Most Expensive Contracts in the NBA

November 23, 2020 12:13 pm

While the NBA is a league full of stars like LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, these players do not have massive contracts like some other stars. Here’s a look at the eight biggest contracts in NBA history.

8. Tobias Harris

Tobias Harris is a talented player, to say the least. But for a player who hasn’t made an All-Star appearance till now tp have a better contract than multiple All-Stars is simply absurd. Harris is arguably the most overpaid player on this list.

Harris has been in the NBA for about nine years now. He has been with the Philadelphia 76ers from the mid 2018-19 season. In the summer of 2019, Harris signed an absurd five-year contract worth $180 million.

The 6’8 forward has been a main-stay in the 76ers attack and has put up decent numbers across the board averaging 19.6 points, 3.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Philly are desperate to win the championship and want to keep the core of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Harris together, and that might be why they’ve overpaid Harris.

7. Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson is probably the best two-way guard in the NBA. He hasn’t seen any NBA action since game 6 of the 2018-19 NBA finals where he suffered from a tore ACL.

Thompson was on his way back to full fitness to play for the 2020-21 season but yet again suffered from a tore Achilles. He is set to make his return in the 2021-22 season.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 10: Klay Thompson of USA in action during the men’s preliminary round group A match between USA and Australia at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 10, 2016. (Photo by Okan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Thompson is the centrepiece of the team, with crucial contributions at both the offensive and the defensive end. No one can forget the clutch threes he scored in game 6 against the Houston Rockets in 2018 NBA playoffs.

The Golden State Warriors know how important Thompson is to the team. Despite their star’s injury, they’ve tied him down to a five-year contract worth $190 million.

6. Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell is certainly one of the best young players in the NBA. The Jazz’ star has been in the league for three seasons only and has already made an All-Star appearance.

Last season, Mitchell averaged a career high 24 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. He is already a quality shooting guard and might just become the best in the league in some time.

Utah realize how important Mitchell is to the side. Mitchell recently signed a five-year, $195 million contract extension with the Jazz. This deal makes him one of the best paid stars in the NBA.

With multiple teams emerging as competitors, Utah will be excited to keep their star and will try to add the right players to elevate the squad.

5. Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum has been the best player for the Boston Celtics for some time now. The No. 3 pick from the 2017 NBA draft is an offensive force in the Celtics and has improved his play at a rapid pace.

Last season, Tatum averaged a career high 23.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists per game. The Celtics are wary of how talented Tatum is.

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics with the ball during the Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics NBA regular season game at Scotiabank Arena on October 19, 2018 in Toronto, Canada (Toronto Raptors win 113-101) (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Recently Jayson Tatum agreed to a 5-year extension with the Celtics worth $195 million. This number may even go up to $200 million with all NBA escalators.

Boston recently lost Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets. They are now concentrating on making sure that both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum stay put. With this new contract extension, Tatum will be under contract through the 2023-24 season.

4. Stephen Curry

Steph Curry is arguably the best shooter the NBA has ever seen. The 2-time MVP has been the cornerstone of the Warriors for some time now and is the most important player on the squad.

Curry, who was drafted in the year 2009, has a career 3-point percentage of 43.5%. He missed most of the 2019-20 season with a broken left hand.

NEW YORK, USA – FEBRUARY 5 : Golden State Warriors player Steph Curry seen ahead of the NBA match between Golden Gate Warriors and Brooklyn Nets held on February 05, 2020 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Curry and the Warriors have helped to revolutionize the modern NBA that prioritizes 3-point shooting. Steph played a crucial role in leading the Warriors to five finals consecutively.

The Warriors certainly know the value of a generational talent like Curry. In the year 2017, Curry signed a five-year deal worth $201 million, making him one of the most salaried player in the league.

3.  Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook is one of the most talented players in the NBA. Brodie was the face of the OKC Thunder and single-handedly took them to multiple playoff runs.

Oklahoma were certainly very happy with Westbrook and offered him a five-year guaranteed contract worth $207 million.

SAITAMA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 08: Russell Westbrook #0 of Houston Rockets dribbles up court against the Toronto Raptors on October 8, 2019 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)

With his championship window diminishing, Westbrook knew it was time to leave the Thunder, and the Rockets were very interested to bring in him to pair up with James Harden. However, the 2019-20 season did not go according to plan. With the Rockets crashing out of the playoffs, Westbrook has demanded a trade.

2. James Harden

James Harden actually could have been the number 1 on the list. The Rockets star recently rejected a two-year contact extension worth $102 million.

Harden has been with the Rockets since 2013. He has been crucial in the Rockets being a main-stay as one of the top teams of the league.

SAITAMA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 08: James Harden #13 of Houston Rockets dribbles up court against the Toronto Rapters on October 8, 2019 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)

The Beard won the 2017-18 MVP and went on to finish second three times in the MVP race. Harden signed a six-year extension contract worth $228 million in 2017.

With his championship window closing, Harden has now demanded a trade and reportedly wants to join Kevin Durant and Kyrie in the Brooklyn Nets.

1. Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard might not be the best player in the NBA, but he certainly has the most expensive contract in NBA history. He was drafted by the Trailblazers in 2012.

Lillard has stayed loyal to the team since then. Despite multiple rumors linking him to other teams, Lillard has never demanded a trade and stayed with Portland.

Lillard’s impact on the Trailblazers is on a whole new level. After drafting him, Portland have reached the playoffs seven times in his eight seasons. No can forget the 2017-18 game 7 dagger against Westbrook’s Thunder.

DENVER, CO – MAY 7: Damian Lillard (0) of the Portland Trail Blazers shows signs of frustration against the Denver Nuggets during the third quarter on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. The Denver Nuggets versus the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the teams’ second round NBA playoff series at the Pepsi Center in Denver. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Damian Lillard signed a four-year extension worth $196 million, taking his contract to a mind-boggling $257 million for six years.

Teams in the NBA have certainly realized how important their stars are for them. They do everything in their power to keep them in their team. Giannis Antetokounmpo will certainly break all these records if he signs the super-max deal with the Bucks worth $247.3 million for a 5-year extension.

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