The top-earning basketball stars going into 2016-17 NBA season
The 2016-2017 NBA season kicks off Tuesday, Oct. 25, and brings together some of the richest — and tallest — players in sports. Forbes' The World's Highest-Paid Athletes list owes two of the top five spots to NBA stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Those basketball stars have earnings that compete with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Roger Federer.
To celebrate the start of the NBA season, find out which of your favorite basketball players are bringing in the highest salaries. Players are ranked according to 2016-2017 salary earnings reported by ESPN — from least to most.
Dwyane Wade Salary: $23.2 Million
Chicago Bulls shooting guard Dwyane Wade has a net worth of $95 million. For the 2016-2017 season, he brings in a salary of $23.2 million, up from $20 million in the previous season. That makes him the eighth-highest earning NBA star this season.
Wade spent more than a decade with the Miami Heat before signing a two-year contract with the Bulls. The 13-year NBA veteran has three championship rings, from the 2005-2006, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons with the Heat.
Those wins have helped Wade earn tens of millions over the years. The NBA star appeared on Forbes' 2016 World's Highest-Paid Celebrities list, which put his earnings at $32 million for the year ending in June 2016. Forbes also reported he earned $12 million from endorsement deals in that time period. His sponsors include brands like Li-Ning and Naked Brand Group.
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Chris Bosh Salary: $23.74 Million
Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh has a net worth of $50 million. This season, he'll earn $23.74 million — the seventh-highest salary in the league this year. Formerly named to the 2004 All-Rookie 1st Team and 2007 All-NBA 2nd Team, Bosh is in the middle of a five-year, $118.7 million contract that runs through the 2018-2019 season.<
The 13-year veteran has earned a cumulative $163.2 million since he entered the league in 2003, reported Spotrac.com.
Although Bosh's health is under scrutiny after blood clots cut his seasons short for the past two years, the NBA player did pick up an endorsement deal with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which produces the blood thinner Xarelto. Unfortunately, Bosh likely won't be on the court until next year — if at all. After failing a preseason physical, Heat president Pat Riley said Bosh's career with the team might be over.
"We are not working toward his return," Riley said in an interview on Sept. 26. "We feel that, based on the last exam, that his Heat career is probably over."
Damian Lillard Salary: $24.33 Million
Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard will earn $24.33 million in the coming season. The only player in the history of the NBA to sink more than 150 three-pointers in his first four years, Lillard has a net worth of $10 million.
Last season he was paid just over $4.24 million. In 2016, however, he signed a five-year contract worth just shy of $140 million. He'll be paid an average salary of $27.98 million a year until he becomes a free agent in 2021. This season, he picks up a $24.33 million salary — nearly six times what he made last season.
The 2013 Rookie of the Year has earned just over $13.85 million in cash, according to Spotrac.com.See: Blake Griffin's Net Worth — NBA Star Loses $860,000 Over Fight with Matias Testi
Carmelo Anthony Salary: $24.56 Million
No. 97 on Forbes' 2016 The World's Highest-Paid Celebrities list, Carmelo Anthony, earned $31 million between salary and endorsement earnings in the year ending June 2016.
The New York Knicks small forward is among the NBA's highest-paid players both on and off the court. He has a net worth of $90 million.
His salary for the coming season is $24.56 million, a small bump from last season's $22.88 million salary. The NBA star is in the middle of a five-year, $124.06 million contract that pays him an average salary of $24.81 million a year. Since entering the league in 2003, Anthony has been paid a whopping $176.56 million in cash.
Anthony was the third overall pick in the 2003 draft. Since he was drafted, Anthony has earned a 24.9 points per game career average. Forbes reported he earned $8 million off endorsements in the year ending June 2016.
Dirk Nowitzki Salary: $25 Million
Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki will earn $25 million in the coming season off salary alone. He signed a one-year contract that guarantees him the entire payment before he becomes a free agent in 2018. In total, he's earned more than $216.65 million in salary over the course of his 18-year career, reported Spotrac.com.
For four years before his $80 million contract expired in 2014, Nowitzki earned more than every player in the NBA except Kobe Bryant. The 12-time All-Star, who is the league's most prolific European scorer, has a net worth of $120 million. He is among the only NBA players who operates without the assistance of an agent.
Nowitzki's career has earned him an estimated $216.65 million in cash — a fortune that suits his 22 points per game career average.
Al Horford Salary: $26.54 Million
Al Horford, who has a net worth of $20 million, plays center for the Boston Celtics. He will earn a $26.54 million salary in the coming season, more than double the $12 million he earned in the 2015-2016 season.
His pay increase is owed to a four-year, $113.33 million contract he signed with the Celtics. That contract pays him through the 2019-2020 season. Over the course of his career, Horford has brought in $75.18 million in cash, reported Spotrac.com.
The third overall pick in 2007, Horford was selected for the All-Rookie 1st Team in 2008. In 2011, he was named to the All-NBA 3rd Team. Horford has a career average of 14.3 points.
LeBron James Salary: $30.96 Million
Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James brought the city of Cleveland its first major sports championship in 42 years when he led the Cavaliers to victory in the 2016 NBA Finals.
King James, who has a net worth of $340 million, will earn a salary of $30.96 million for the 2016-2017 season, up from $22.97 million for the 2015-2016 season.
He signed a three-year, $99.86 million contract, which runs through 2018. Since he entered the NBA in 2003, James has earned an estimated $170 million, according to Spotrac.com. In endorsements, however, he earned $54 million in the year ending in June 2016, reported Forbes. Among his biggest deals is a lifetime contract with Nike — the first of its kind in the company's history.
James was named Rookie of the Year in 2004. With the exception of 2011, he was named MVP every year from 2009 to 2013. The 10-time All-NBA 1st Team was selected as the Finals MVP in 2012, 2013 and 2016.
Net worth figures are indicative of assets versus liabilities. All net worth figures are according to CelebrityNetWorth.com unless otherwise noted. NBA contract details according to Spotrac.com, unless otherwise noted.