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May 26, 2024

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NBA Salary Rankings Stir Controversy: LeBron James Reigns Supreme, while Curry and Harden Find Themselves in the Third Tier

3 min read

The unveiling of the NBA’s salary rankings for the upcoming season has set the league abuzz, sparking spirited debates among both players and teams. One standout player, Paul George of the Clippers, has been particularly vocal about his discontent with the league’s scheduling decisions. The Clippers face a grueling travel schedule of 50,670 miles this season, a staggering 3,604 miles more than the second-ranked Nets. This lopsided arrangement undoubtedly places an undue burden on the Clippers.

This hot topic caught the attention of media outlet Fadeaway World, which delved into the matter by categorizing 35 NBA players across five tiers, each with a threshold of $200 million. Notably, the likes of Harden and Curry, two prominent stars, surprisingly found themselves relegated to the third tier.

Fifth Tier: $200 million – $249 million (19 Players)

The fifth tier encompasses an array of players who have commanded earnings ranging from $200 million to $249 million. Notable names include Tobias Harris, Aldridge, Joe Johnson, Butler, Jrue Holiday, Gasol, Beal, Klay, Davis, DeRozan, Leonard, Irving, Lillard, Hayward, Bosh, Duncan, Howard, Lowry, and Conley.

While some, such as Aldridge, Joe Johnson, Gasol, Bosh, Duncan, and Howard, have concluded their illustrious NBA careers, others like Butler, Jrue Holiday, Beal, Klay, Davis, DeRozan, Leonard, Irving, and Lillard continue to shine as bona fide stars, with the potential to further ascend the earnings ladder.

Fourth Tier: $250 million – $299 million (8 Players)

The fourth tier, ranging from $250 million to $299 million, features stalwarts like Nowitzki, Griffin, George, Anthony, Horford, Love, Wall, and O’Neal.

While Nowitzki and O’Neal have hung up their sneakers, their historical prominence granted them substantial contracts despite missing out on the peak salary increments. Others like Griffin, George, Anthony, Horford, Love, and Wall were once all-star caliber players, yet their prospects of securing significant future contracts appear limited, dampening hopes of climbing the earnings hierarchy.

Third Tier: $300 million – $349 million (5 Players)

Luminaries such as Harden, Curry, Kobe, Garnett, and Westbrook comprise the third tier, commanding salaries between $300 million and $349 million.

In this echelon, elite stars like Harden, Curry, and Westbrook have each experienced two salary escalations during their prime. Curry, although boasting a lower total income due to his “child labor contract” during the nascent phase of his career, remains a standout. While Harden’s journey through multiple teams may have hindered his cumulative earnings, both players retain the potential for substantial future contracts, hinting at a potential upgrade to a higher tier.

Second Tier: $350 million – $399 million (2 Players)

The second tier, spanning $350 million to $399 million, houses two luminaries: Paul and Durant.

Paul, a seasoned campaigner across teams like the Hornets, Clippers, Thunder, Rockets, Suns, and Warriors, secured generous contracts early in his career and continues to net substantial deals, with earnings exceeding $35 million annually. Durant, however, eclipses even this figure, with projections of annual income surpassing $50 million in the forthcoming years. Both players remain in contention for further lucrative contracts.

First Tier: Over $400 million (1 Player)

The apex of the earnings pyramid, the first tier, welcomes only one player: LeBron James. Since 2014, James’ annual income has never dipped below $20 million.

With projections indicating that James is set to earn more than $47 million annually in the ensuing two years, and the potential for additional contracts in the offing, it’s conceivable that his financial prowess will continue to soar should he opt to remain active in the league.

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