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Forbes: NBA’s Highest Earning Players Revealed 


Forbes annual NBA report came out and we get to see the details of what the big names and teams in the league are raking in each year.

LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are the three highest earning players in the game. James leads the way with $88 million coming in this year through salary and endorsements. Kevin Durant is in second with earnings of $62.5 million to be made this year which includes $36 million off the court. The back-to-back MVP, Stephen Curry, is in third this year with $47.5 million in salaries which is mostly made up of endorsements. James Harden and Russell Westbrook take up the number four and five spots. Check it out below. Via Forbes:

James’ salary this season is $31 million after re-signing with the Cavs this summer for three years and $99.9 million (the third year is a player option). James is just the third NBA player to make at least $30 million in salary in a season, joining Michael Jordan and Bryant.

James added endorsement deals with Intel and Verizon over the last year, while parting ways with Samsung and Tencent. The new partners join Nike, Coca-Cola (Sprite), Beats Electronics and Kia Motor in James’ endorsement stable with James “lifetime” Nike deal potentially worth $1 billion, according to his business manager Maverick Carter.

James has an expanding production company, SpringHill Entertainment. James exec produces “The Wall” on NBC through SpringHill. The game show has averaged more than six million viewers per episode and NBC ordered 20 more episodes last month.

Other SpringHill programs: “Survivor’s Remorse” on Starz, CNBC’s “Cleveland Hustles” and “Becoming” on Disney XD.

James’ off-court ventures also include an investment group that owns 17 Blaze Pizza franchises in Chicago and South Florida. The fast-food pizza chain is on fire with sales up tk% last year to $185 million and targeting $285 million in 2017, according to a company spokesperson.

James will make an estimated $55 million off the court this season by our count.

Kevin Durant will make the second most money this season with earnings of $62.5 million, including $26.5 million off the court. Durant shocked the basketball world with his move to Golden State last summer. His salary got a $6 million bump with the new contract that allows him to be a free agent again this summer.

Durant joined the favorites for the NBA title this season, but part of the rationale for the move west was the opportunity for new business opportunities in the Bay Area. His recent investments include delivery service Postmates and micro-investing app Acorns. Durant also owns stakes in Derek Jeter’s media platform, The Players Tribune, as well as flavored water brand Sparking Ice, which uses KD as a brand ambassador. Traditional endorsement partners for the four-time scoring champ include Nike, Beats Electronics, American Family Insurance, BBVA and NBA 2K.

The biggest mover among the NBA’s top-earners is Curry. The two-time MVP moves up from No. 16 to third with total earnings of $47.1 million.

Curry’s $12.1 million salary ranks No. 83 in the NBA this season, according to Spotrac, but his off-court income nearly tripled to $35 million thanks to a slew of new deals and the emergence of Under Armour in the basketball shoe market.

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