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The NBA’s Biggest Contracts

Basketball Insiders’ salary cap guru Eric Pincus looks at the NBA’s biggest contracts for the 2014-15 season.



Fourteen teams are already on vacation.  Sixteen will be pared down to eight in a week’s time. Looking ahead to the 2014-15 season, the NBA has projected a salary cap of $63.2 million. A number of players will take up a major portion of their team’s cap.  Some earn their money — others, not so much.

The following is a list of the NBA’s biggest contracts for the coming season:

1 — Kobe Bryant — Los Angeles Lakers — $23.5 million

2 — Amar’e Stoudemire — New York Knicks — $23.4 million

Note: Stoudemire can opt out his contract, but he won’t.  His on court value is not close to his salary.

3 — Carmelo Anthony — New York Knicks — $23.3 million

Note: Anthony will opt out of his contract, to lock in a new long-term deal.

4 — Joe Johnson — Brooklyn Nets — $23.2 million

5 — Dwight Howard — Houston Rockets — $21.4 million

6/7 — LeBron James and Chris Bosh — Miami HEAT — $20.6 million

Note: Both James and Bosh can opt out of their contracts, forgoing their 2014-15 salaries of $22.1 million as well.  It’s unclear if either will do so.

8 — Dwyane Wade — Miami HEAT — $20.2 million

Note: Wade can also opt out, but he’d also give up $21.7 million for the following season.  Given his recent injury concerns, he’s unlikely to hit free agency this summer.

9 — Chris Paul — Los Angeles Clippers — $20.1 million

10 — Deron Williams — Brooklyn Nets — $19.8 million

BONUS — Brandon Roy — formerly with the Portland Trail Blazers — $19.3 million

Note: Roy was amnestied in 2011.

Other players of note include Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings), who is unlikely to opt out of his $19.3 million and Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies), who is likely to opt out of his final year at $17 million.

The Chicago Bulls may consider using amnesty on Carlos Boozer and his $16.8 million.

Finally, amnestied Gilbert Arenas will finally come off the books of the Orlando Magic.  The 2013-14 season was his last one — a stunning $22.3 million not to play.

Largest Overall Contracts

The Clippers have championship aspirations and two of the four biggest overall contracts in the NBA. Washington’s John Wall has the largest fully-guaranteed deal, with no contract options for the Wizards guard.

1 — Chris Paul — Los Angeles Clippers — four years, $88.7 million

Note: Paul has a player option on his final season at $24.3 million.

2/3 — John Wall — Washington Wizards; Paul George — Indiana Pacers — five years, $78.8 million.

Note: George has a player option on his fifth year at $17.8 million.

4 — Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers — four years, $78.1 million

Note: Griffin can opt out of his fourth season at $21.4 million

5 — Dwight Howard — Houston Rockets — three years, $67.1 million

Note: Howard’s final year is a player option at $23.3 million.

6 — James Harden — Houston Rockets — four years, $65.1 million

Note: Harden’s fourth year at $17.8 million is only half-guaranteed.

7 — Deron Williams — Brooklyn Nets — $63.1 million

Note: Third year is William’s option at $22.3 million

8 — DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings — four years, $61.0 million

9 — Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls — three years, $60.3 million

10 — Russell Westbrook — Oklahoma City Thunder — three years, $50.2 million

BONUS — Kobe Bryant — Los Angeles Lakers — two years, $48.5 million.

Note: Bryant’s 11th on the overall list, but over just two seasons.  Joe Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets is a hair behind Bryant over two years at $48.1 million.  In comparison, Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic will make $47.9 million over four years.

Eric Pincus is a Senior Writer for Basketball Insiders, with a focus on the business side of the game.

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