How Much Do NBA Players Make?

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The National Basketball Association (NBA) players are some of the highest-paid players in the world. They get huge contracts and brand endorsement deals that allow them to have a good life. When you take into consideration that an average NBA career lasts 4.5 years, any player who goes into the league has the capability of transforming his life even after they’ve left. Let’s find out more.

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NBA Average Salary

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NBA Game between the Suns and Dallas. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-Zero

In the 2023/24 season, the average salary of an NBA player is $9.3 million. This figure is heavily influenced by the big contracts few players like LeBron James and Steph Curry get and thus significantly raise the average. 

In the same breath, some players at the bottom of the pyramid earn significantly less and that too impacts the average. Another thing you should keep in mind is that NBA teams are smaller than other teams for example football. This means that players get bigger wages. 

So how do salaries compare depending on the level of experience in the NBA?

In the first year of the NBA, rookie’s contracts are determined by their draft positions. The contracts they sign will fall between $1.5 million to $8 million annually. 

After the rookie year, the contract is worth changing. The player signs a mid-level contract, which gives them an annual earning of between $9 to $10 million a year.

After some seasons, players can sign maximum contracts, which gives them an earning potential of up to  $228 million for five years.

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NBA vs Other Sports

The average pay of an NBA player is more than what players in other leagues earn. These are the averages: 

  • In the NFL, $3.26 million. 
  • In the MLB, $4.41 million.
  • In the NHL, $3.5 million.
  • In the MLS, $472,000.

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NBA Pay Frequency

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NBA Game. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-Zero

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) states that players should be paid regularly and not later than seven days after the pay period has elapsed. 

During the regular season, they get their money bi-weekly. The pay is divided according to the number of weeks, but they have around 24 paychecks.

That said, some NBA players ask for advanced pay or take loans on their salaries. If a player is asking for advanced pay, it can’t be more than 50% or 80% of their base or guaranteed salaries. 

Additionally, if a player takes a loan after signing a contract, the loan shouldn’t be more than the guaranteed contract. 

Playoff bonuses add to an NBA player’s salary. Each team that progresses into the playoffs gets about $347,500 and divides it among its players. If a team progresses to the next round, it gets $413,000. At the conference finals, teams receive $683,300. The runner-up in the NBA finals gets $2,700,000 and the NBA Champions gets $4,000,000.

How much do NBA players make? They rake in millions on their contracts and get additional money through sponsorship deals, and match bonuses. Even the lowest-paid ballers make more than average workers outside of the game.

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