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.
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