By John Rammas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The prompt for the feature was a tweet from ESPN about LeBron James’s contract with the Lakers and his revenues for next season.
It’s just that, not only does King James not have the most expensive current contract, he’s only fourth in earnings per second.
For the sake of comparison here are the Top 10 EuroLeague contracts. So take a deep breath and read about the NBA Top 10.
#10. KEVIN DURANT (Golden State Warriors)
Total contract value: $61.500.000 (68th) until 2020
Contract value 2018-19: $30.000.000 (11th)
Average contract value: $30.750.000
Per second: $130.2
It’s his third season with the Warriors, third contract since the summer of 2016, again for 1+1 years, having turned down the +1 on the previous two, aiming at higher earnings. Not that $61.500.000 until 2020 is a lot for a back-to-back Finals MVP. Besides, he’s 68th in the relevant ranking, but at least in terms of average value, it’s enough to get him in the Top 10. Obviously, the $130.2 per second is not a small amount.
#9. GORDON HAYWARD (Boston Celtics)
Total contract value: $127.829.970 until 2021 (14th)
Contract value 2018-19: $31.214.295 (6th)
Average contract value: $31.957.493
Per second: $135.3
His contract is the most expensive in the Celtics and the 14th most expensive in the NBA, but due to a serious injury last season (fractured tibia and dislocated ankle in his left leg), he didn’t manage to play for more than 5:15. Or, in this case, for… $42.620, since this is the amount that corresponds to his playing time in last season’s premiere, based on the $135.3 he makes per second. It goes without saying that he’d trade in the full value of his contract for never having been injured.
#8. KYLE LOWRY (Toronto Raptors)
Total contract value: $100.000.000 until 2020 (26th)
Contract value 2018-19: $31.000.000 (7th)
Average contract value: $33.333.333
Per second: $141.1
His second contract with the Raptors (he arrived in Toronto in 2012 through a trade, he renewed for 4 years in 2014, on the last year he declined his option but then renewed for 3 years in 2017) makes him the highest paid player on the team, he was the second highest paid while DeMar DeRozan was still around (now with the Spurs). With $33.333.333 annually until 2020, the amount of $141 per second places him at eighth place in the ranking.
#7. PAUL GEORGE (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Total contract value: $136.911.936 until 2022 (12th)
Contract value 2018-19: $30.560.700 (8th)
Average contract value: $34.227.984
Per second: $144.9
Born in Palmdale, California, he has repeatedly stated that playing for the Lakers has been a lifelong dream. Even though he was a free agent, the new season will find him playing in the colors of the Thunder as the second highest paid player on the team. For every second he plays or thinks about whether and when he will finally join the Lakers, he will be $144.9 richer.
#6. BLAKE GRIFFIN (Detroit Pistons)
Total contract value: $171.174.820 until 2022 (3rd)
Contract value 2018-19: $32.088.932 (5th)
Average contract value: $34.234.964
Per second: $145
Even though he will enter his second season with the Pistons, in theory, he’s still getting paid by the Clippers, because before he was traded (in January of 2018) he hadn’t even exhausted the second year of his 5-year renewal. The $171.174.820 until 2022 he was paid then, place him 3rd on the list of the most expensive current contracts, and his average value – worth $34.234.964 – will be adding $145 per second to his bank account.
#5. ANDREW WIGGINS (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Total contract value: $146.450.000 until 2023 (8th)
Contract value 2018-19: $25.250.000 (24th)
Average contract value: $36.612.500
Per second: $155
He got just $24.850.243 from 2014 (selected with the 1st overall pick by the Cavaliers and traded a few months later) until 2018, and $146.450.000 from that point until 2023. Not bad, and how could it have been otherwise for the player with the 8th most expensive current contract in the NBA and fifth in terms of highest average value? His $155 per second give extra status to the second Canadian to be selected No.1 overall in the history of the league (the first was Anthony Bennett in 2013).
#4. LEBRON JAMES (Los Angeles Lakers)
Total contract value: $153.312.846 until 2022 (5th)
Contract value 2018-19: $35.654.150 (3rd)
Average contract value: $38.328.212
Per second: $162.3
There’s no need for words when it comes to his value as a player, and the same goes for the dollars provided by his new contract, his first with the Lakers, who he aspires to make protagonists once again. Paradoxically, even though he’s the highest paid player on the team (the $35.654.150 until 2019 is the highest amount he has ever earned after the $33.285.709 from last year with the Cavaliers), the Californians didn’t… pay a heavy price when one considers that his contract is the fifth most expensive in the NBA, while his average value has him one place higher. Who could have guessed that even $162.3 per second can seem like… not much?
#3. CHRIS PAUL (Houston Rockets)
Total contract value: $159.730.592 until 2022 (4th)
Contract value 2018-19: $35.654.150 (2nd)
Average contract value: $39.932.648
Per second: $169.1
The years are going by but the art cannot be forgotten, and this is why the Rockets pledged $159.730.592 until 2022. Now, at 33+, he makes more than the MVP of the Year – who happens to be his teammate (James Harden) – and, obviously, more than a lot of other players. He has the fourth most expensive contract in terms of total value, which is divided into $39.932.648 annually and $169 and 10 cents per second.
#2. STEPHEN CURRY (Golden State Warriors)
Total contract value: $201.158.790 until 2022 (2nd)
Contract value 2018-19: $37.457.154 (1st)
Average contract value: $40.231.758
Per second: $170.4
He’s the first player in the history of the NBA to get a contract worth more than $200.000.000 ($201.158.790 in 2017 until 2022). And it makes sense since we’re talking about a three-time NBA Champion (2015, 2017, 2018) and two-time winner of the MVP of the Year award (2015, 2016). What’s crazy, or, to be exact, what was crazy, is that, until he signed that contract he had made $56.092.043 in 7 years, which is almost a quarter of his new contract. The fact that he’s just one of two players who make more than $170 (+40 cents) per second seems like the ultimate reward.
#1. RUSSELL WESTBROOK (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Total contract value: $205.030.000 until 2023 (1st)
Contract value 2018-19: $35.350.000 (4th)
Average contract value: $41.006.000
Per second: $173.6
Mr. Triple-Double (first in the history of the NBA with back-to-back seasons) will start the new season with the fourth highest earnings until 2019. But that amount is just a sliver of the most expensive contract – in terms of total value – in the history of the league ($205.030.000). With an average value at $41.006.000, the amount of $173.6 per second calls for another triple-double season.
Photo credit: Getty Images