The National Basketball Association is BIG business both domestically and overseas, thanks to blockbuster television deals, fantastic merchandising, and a marketing machine unlike any other in North American sports. These next eight guys have been the biggest beneficiaries from a player perspective, raking in massive contract and advertising dollars. Here's The 8 Highest-Paid Players In The NBA This Season.
8. Chris Paul - Los Angeles Clippers
Salary: $20.1 million
Endorsements: $6 million
Total Pay: $26.1 million
When he's not dishing dimes under the bright lights of the Staples Center, Paul is repping State Farm as Cliff freakin' Paul. CP3's got acting chops for days...
7. Amar'e Stoudemire - Dallas Mavericks
Salary: $23.4 million
Endorsements: $3 million
Total Pay: $26.4 million
Stoudemire is playing out the final days of his five-year, $100 million mega-deal a cool 1,370 miles away from his former stomping grounds at Madison Square Garden.
6. Dwayne Wade - Miami Heat
Salary: $15 million
Endorsements: $12 million
Total Pay: $27 million
D-Wade may have taken a $3.9 million pay cut prior to 2014-15, but don't cry for his pocketbook -- his $12 million in endorsement scratch is the fifth-most amongst active NBA players.
5. Carmelo Anthony - New York Knicks
Salary: $22.5 million
Endorsements: $8 million
Total Pay: $30.5 million
The first of five $30 million-plus club members, Melo is going to be making this level of straight bank for four more years after this after inking a five-year, $124 million deal with the Knicks this past offseason.
4. Derrick Rose - Chicago Bulls
Salary: $18.9 million
Endorsements: $20 million
Total Pay: $38.9 million
Injuries haven't slow Rose's endorsement paychecks, as he is bringing home a cool $20 million this season. If he can complete his comeback with a superstar showing in the 2015 NBA Playoffs, there's no reason that said number won't go up even further next go-around.
3. Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers
Salary: $23.5 million
Endorsements: $26 million
Total Pay: $49.5 million
Kobe's body may be playing cruel tricks on him at the tail end of his career, but he's still Kobe Bryant the money-making machine. Love him or hate him, there's only a handful of NBA players in history that have made people care one way or the other as much as Bryant has.
2. Kevin Durant - Oklahoma City Thunder
Salary: $19 million
Endorsements: $35 million
Total Pay: $54 million
The next big thing took an injury detour in 2014-15, but he's still pure money at the box office. KD is finishing up year one of a monster ten-year endorsement deal with Nike -- a contract that could net him up to $300 million, including royalties.
1. LeBron James - Cleveland Cavs
Salary: $20.6 million
Endorsements: $44 million
Total Pay: $64.6 million
LeBron went home, and he brought truckloads of cash with him. James is the NBA's most active and well-compensated advertising darling, hauling in $44 million in endorsements from the likes of Nike, Samsung, Coca Cola, and (of course) Beats By Dre.
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