Highest Paid NBA Players for 2020

lebron james

The sport’s top-earners made more off the court through lucrative endorsements and sports deals than their overly generous salaries.

While most of us enjoy a game of basketball every now and then, our lives will most likely be spent waiting hopelessly for those sponsorship deals to come in – they won’t. But while we’re representing the amateurs of sport on the court, the professionals are proving that their added value to the team is well worth the big bucks.

When it comes to the world’s highest-paid athletes, the NBA certainly produces some of the wealthiest. As we reported earlier this year, LeBron James’ rise to fame was proof of just how lucrative sponsorships and endorsements are for young athletes. Despite only entering the NBA in 2003, fresh out of high school, LeBron wasted no time in establishing himself as the most dominant player on the court, becoming a household name and one of the sport’s most bankable stars.

The fact is: NBA players become global icons. You only need to look at Michael Jordan’s foray into acting with Space Jam to see just how commercial the basketball player’s face and the name really is. But while Jordan is long-retired, the current players in the NBA are continuing to see a significant amount of coin land in their bank accounts. As Forbes reports, LeBron tops the ranking for the 2019-2020 season but has earned more than twice as much from endorsements than his $US270 million in playing salary over his first 16 years.

The findings make LeBron the NBA’s highest-paid player for the sixth straight year. “It’s a record haul for an active basketball player,” writes Kurt Badenhausen in the Forbes report. “Nike is his biggest backer, and the company is naming a new research lab at its Beaverton, Oregon, corporate campus after James. Last month, the 17th iteration of his Nike signature shoe, the LeBron XVII, hit stores.”

To induce some serious salary-envy, here are the 10 highest-paid athletes in the NBA for the 2019-2020 season.

1. LeBron James: $134.9 million

Salary: $54.8 million

Endorsements: $80.6 million

2. Stephen Curry: $124.9 million 

Salary: $58.9 million

Endorsements: $66 million

3. Kevin Durant: $107.3 million

Salary: $56 million

Endorsements: $51.3 million

4. Russell Westbrook: $82.8 million 

Salary: $56.4 million

Endorsements: $26 million

5. James Harden: $80.9 million

Salary: $56 million

Endorsements: $24.8 million

6. Kyrie Irving: $75.8 million

Salary: $46.4 million

Endorsements: $29.3 million

7. Klay Thompson: $69.9 million

Salary: $47.9 million

Endorsements: $21.9 million

8. Chris Paul: $68.1 million

Salary: $56.4 million

Endorsements: $11.7 million

9. Giannis Antetokounmpo: $67.1 million

Salary: $37.8 million

Endorsements: $2.3 million

10. Damian Lillard: $64.2 million

Salary: $43.7 million

Endorsements: $20.5 million

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Who do you think is the most deserving player to have the above-mentioned salary? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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