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The Highest Paid Player For Every NBA Team In The 2022-23 Season

Fadeaway World logo Fadeaway World 8/9/2022 Eddie Bitar
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The money that players are being paid nowadays can be considered unbelievably high because even role players can make 7 figure salaries and franchises no longer bat an eye. The league has become a global attraction and the money that funnels into franchise owners is at an all-time low. Therefore, teams can afford to pay players a ton of money.

Of course, the talent across the league is at an all-time high as well. Increased revenue and terrific business models have allowed teams to spend money without worrying about the repercussions as much. But who are the highest-paid players per franchise entering the 2022-23 season? Each NBA team is willing to pay max dollars for players who truly deserve it, and unfortunately, we are even seeing cases where players are getting major money despite the fact that their production does not reflect their monetary status. At the end of the day, players agree on contracts and that is all they can control financially.

It is time to uncover the highest-paid NBA player for every team heading into the 2023 NBA season. There might be some surprises because some big-time players are still on rookie contracts, while other players past their primes are making ridiculous money. Without further ado, here are the most expensive NBA players per franchise for the 2022-23 season.

Atlanta Hawks

Trae Young - $37,096,500

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The Atlanta Hawks made a major move to bring in Dejounte Murray to play with Trae Young, the highest-paid member of the team. Murray is not the offensive star that Young is, but he is a more efficient ball-handler that can also defend at a high level and also rebound among the bigs. Adding in John Colling, the Hawks have a nice core.

They might need to make more trades to compete with other top teams including the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, but they are on the right track. Trae Young will need to tweak his usage rate because he is a superstar on the offensive end but has moments where he gives away the ball too much and also takes some bad shots. But overall, Young is an absolute baller for the Hawks which is why he is making over $37 million next year.

Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum - $30,351,780

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The Boston Celtics lost in the 2022 NBA Finals, but they should have a lot to feel good about. They have a budding superstar in Jayson Tatum and another All-Star in Jaylen Brown, although the Celtics were ruthless in going after Kevin Durant at the expense of the latter. Next year, the Celtics have the 6th highest payroll in the NBA which means they are all-in for the championship.

There is no doubt that Tatum is a max-level player because his ability to score the ball inside and outside the paint is beautiful to watch. Even if he has work to do when it comes to being the best player on a championship team, he is a Hall of Fame talent when he gets everything together. Boston will be a problem next year with the addition of Malcolm Brogdon, and they are willing to have a high payroll as a result.

Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant - $44,119,845

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There probably isn’t a more polarizing player to follow than Kevin Durant, arguably the greatest scorer in the game today. The superstar offensive player is very capable of being a top-2 player on a championship team, as we saw when Irving was on the Golden State Warriors. But there seems to be something going on with Durant on and off the court.

Durant requested a trade this offseason although he might remain with the franchise because Brooklyn can be a problem if everybody is healthy. The Nets franchise has no option but to keep Kevin Durant on board for the long-term and build around him because the player is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. If Durant stays, Brooklyn has to pay up over $44 million to keep him and there is no doubt he is worth it when healthy.

Charlotte Hornets

Gordon Hayward - $30,075,000

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The Charlotte Hornets have another year of paying LaMelo Ball “small money” before his max deal gets offered and eventually accepted. That means Gordon Hayward will be owed over $30 million next year, which means he has unfortunately one of the worst contracts in the NBA. Hayward is nowhere near being an All-Star, although he is certainly getting paid like it. Although it must be mentioned that it is not Hayward’s fault he has not made an All-Star Team in 2017.

A gruesome leg injury effectively derailed his career, although one might wonder why Michael Jordan felt Hayward was worth $30 million when it is obvious he could not play at an All-Star level anymore. Nonetheless, Hayward is on the books for two more seasons which should not hurt too bad since the Hornets have the 27th lowest payroll in the NBA.

Chicago Bulls

Zach LaVine - $37,096,500

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Zach LaVine is back with the Chicago Bulls, meaning NBA fans will get another year of exciting basketball from the All-Star duo featuring LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Of course, the rest of the roster needs to stay healthy including Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. If they do, the Bulls could be a sleeper out of the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls are paying DeRozan and LaVine max money, so the duo needs to step up in the big games. Last year, Chicago faltered multiple times against big teams and they were exposed on both ends of the floor. They hope to correct last year’s wrongs because Bulls fans are expecting big things from the team in 2023.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Kevin Love - $28,942,830

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Kevin Love is no longer an All-Star player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he is a veteran presence that makes a difference when he plays. The big man is still one of the best shooters in the NBA after putting up 13.6 PPG and 7.2 RPG on 39.2% shooting from the three-point line. These are very solid numbers for a backup big man.

Next year, Love will be in the final year of his deal which means he is off the books in 2024. It remains to be seen if Love will return to the Cavaliers on a much friendlier deal or if he looks for the biggest contract available when he turns 35 years old going on 36. Cleveland have Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen locked in over the next few years, so it will be interesting to see what kind of business they do this year.

Dallas Mavericks

Luka Doncic - $37,096,500

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Luka Doncic is worth every penny that the Dallas Mavericks will happily throw his way. The Slovenian superstar is getting better by the year and finally tasted the glory of getting past the first round of the playoffs and making the Western Conference Finals in 2022. With Doncic gaining more experience and the Mavericks continuing to build around him, the league and the rest of the competition are on notice.

Doncic is doing magical things for Dallas, and that is why he is worth every penny of the $37+ million he will earn in 2023 and the maximum money he will receive after that. At age 23, Luka is carrying a franchise on his back and deserves a ton of respect for doing so despite coming from overseas. Doncic will be the face of the NBA and is getting paid like it because his salary will exceed $37 million for the foreseeable future.

Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic - $33,047,803

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Unsurprisingly, two-time MVP Nikola Jokic is the highest-paid member of the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets are going all-in next year by bringing in veteran Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to bolster the starting lineup that will also feature the returning Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. At the center of it is Nikola Jokic, one of the most unique big men in NBA history.

The Serbian star is a beast inside the paint thanks to his size but his ability to handle the ball on the fast break is truly extraordinary. Jokic is adept at creating shots for others and also scoring the ball inside because he is one of the most unstoppable players in the NBA. No doubt about it, Jokic is worth supermax money and will be an MVP candidate once again next year.

Detroit Pistons

Kelly Olynyk - $12,804,878

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The Detroit Pistons are tanking, and it has been going well as they have a future All-Star in Cade Cunningham on a rookie deal and some other young pieces including Jaden Ivey and Saddiq Bey. Next year, they also have the 3rd lowest payroll in the league with big man Kelly Olynyk getting paid $12.8 million.

Olynyk can spread the floor and also rebound, which means he is making decent money on a pretty good contract. Of course, Detroit realizes they have to start paying max money to their players in short order, so keeping flexibility is key. But in 2023, the Pistons need to continue tanking and developing their young players because they aren’t going anywhere with their young roster just yet.

Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry - $48,070,014

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As the undisputed greatest point guard alive and the face of the Golden State Warriors, superstar Stephen Curry is making over $48 million next year and that should not be a problem for anybody. Steph will remain a Warrior for life, which means he will earn over $50 million per season in 2024 and 2025 as well. As a top-10 player in the game and arguably the face of the league, Golden State will be happy to pay their money-maker as much as he wants.

Not to mention, Steph was the Finals MVP for the Warriors team that won the 2022 NBA championship. In terms of value and impact, there is no doubt that Steph is getting paid what he deserves. Curry has already helped the Warriors win 3 championships, so he has more than made up for what he is getting paid.

Houston Rockets

John Wall - $40,866,760

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John Wall has played a total of 40 games in three seasons, yet continues to get paid like a top-10 player in the game. That is why many have been claiming that Wall’s contract is one of the worst in NBA history. It is not because Wall isn’t a great player but because he has not been able to stay healthy. It was five years ago when Wall made the All-NBA Team, which seems like an eternity ago.

Next year, Wall is making over $40 million and will finally be off the books after that. Of course, the Rockets finally engaged in a buy-out with the point guard which means he was free to join any team he wanted to. To nobody’s surprise, the 5-time All-Star joined Paul George and Kawhi Leonard with the Los Angeles Clippers as the Rockets continue their rebuild (and tanking process).

Indiana Pacers

Buddy Hield - $21,177,750

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The Indiana Pacers franchise has been shopping Buddy Hield (and Myles Turner) for the last several years. They got rid of Malcolm Brogdon following a trade with the Boston Celtics and might want to contact the Lakers for a potential deal involving their players on the trading block. But as things stand, Hield is the highest-paid member of the Indiana Pacers.

One of the best shooters in the NBA, Hield averaged 15.6 PPG and 4.4 RPG on 40.6% FG, 36.6% 3-PT FG, and 87.4% FT last year. He can be a very solid contributor to a contending team like the Lakers, so it remains to be seen if the sharpshooter gets moved after all these trade talks.

Los Angeles Clippers

Paul George - $42,492,568

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Paul George has a player option coming in 2025, and the Los Angeles Clippers could be a legitimate title contender for the foreseeable future with both George and Kawhi Leonard on the roster together. Los Angeles has a ton of money tied up into their two stars, and they should have enough to win at least one championship as currently constructed. George is absolutely deserving of max money when he is healthy, and he should be back to full health next year.

In terms of two-way play, it is hard to find better players than George in the league. He has an excellent all-around game and will form one of the best duos in the league with Kawhi Leonard next year. Making over $40 million should bring a ton of pressure and expectation on George’s shoulders, and it is expected that the 7-time All-Star will do well after a long layoff.

Los Angeles Lakers

Russell Westbrook - $47,063,478

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Russell Westbrook used to be an MVP and used to be worthy of supermax money. Nowadays, Russ has slightly lost some athleticism and has not added an efficient three-point jumper to his arsenal. An inefficient, turnover-prone point guard won’t succeed for title contenders in the modern NBA, which means Russ will likely never get another max contract again.

But that shouldn’t bother Russ that much, because he has already gone through a couple of max contracts over his career. Unfortunately for the point guard, his salary is bothering the Los Angeles Lakers and also the Lakers Nation. Westbrook’s albatross of a contract makes it impossible to find a suitable trade partner, meaning the Lakers probably have to waste another year of LeBron’s presence because the two players do not fit on the court together.

Memphis Grizzlies

Jaren Jackson Jr - $28,946,605

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Ja Morant is making his maximum money starting in the 2024 season, which means he is only making $12 million next year. That also means that defensive center Jaren Jackson Jr will be the highest-paid player on the Grizzlies in 2023. Unfortunately, the big man is sidelined indefinitely following his off-season foot surgery.

The Grizzlies have enough talent to remain afloat for the 4-6 months that Jackson Jr is out, but once he returns, the team can boost their title chances. Memphis was arguably the most exciting team in the NBA last year thanks to Ja Morant, and Jaren Jackson Jr also deserves credit for being an excellent two-way player who was in the running for Defensive Player of the Year.

Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler - $37,653,300

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Jimmy Butler has brought life back to Miami over the past few seasons because his hard-working nature and no-nonsense attitude fit perfectly with what the Heat are trying to do. Butler is not only an All-Star offensive player, but he is one of the best defensive wings in the NBA. After all, Jimmy relishes the challenges of defending the NBA’s best players. Not to mention, Butler almost led the Heat to the NBA Finals after losing to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Butler is owed over $37 million next season but is also owed over $45 million per season until 2025. The swingman will hope he can repay the Heat for offering him a max contract by leading them to the NBA Finals once again. If Butler can win a championship as the leader of the Heat, it would be very probable that the swingman will be booking his spot in the Hall of Fame.

Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo - $42,492,492

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Giannis Antetokounmpo is a top-two talent in the world right now, and he deserves to get paid like it. The Greek Freak is one of the highest-paid players in the world, and he should be on the books for at least the next 3 years. Giannis already has a championship with the Milwaukee Bucks, so there should be no reason to look elsewhere when his franchise has given him everything he needs to carry them to the promised land.

Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday are both in their prime, so Giannis has a ton of help around him at this moment in time. The Bucks just need to continue running it back because the roster is built for deep playoff runs and their best player is at the core of it. Expect Giannis to continue being an MVP contender as he gets paid over $40 million per year.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Rudy Gobert - $38,172,414

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Rudy Gobert certainly has his critics around the NBA, but there is no denying he can defend the rim at a high level and is an excellent shot-blocker and rebounder. After all, the Frenchman is a 3-time Defensive Player of the Year and led the NBA in rebounds this past year. But if there is one knock against Rudy, it is the fact that he has not developed an offensive game.

Gobert is very reliant on easy putbacks and lobs and struggles to make an impact on the offensive end if easy dunks are not there. Even though he is a massive figure with long arms, Rudy is not a very powerful force inside the paint similar to other 7-footers throughout NBA history. He will be owed over $40 million in 2024 and 2025, so it remains to be seen if the big man can build a contender in Minnestoa alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.

New Orleans Pelicans

CJ McCollum - $33,333,333

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The New Orleans Pelicans did a great job bringing in CJ McCollum, a 20 PPG scorer who has plenty of playoff experience from his Portland Trail Blazers days. The addition means the Pelicans have a very intriguing roster next year because Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson are expected to be All-Stars again.

McCollum averaged 22.1 PPG last year, and at age 30, he has a few more years of being a reliable scorer from the shooting guard position. The Pelicans will only go as far as Zion Williamson takes them, however. The big man has been strangely nonchalant over the last year, but it seems he is ready and able to take the Pelicans to the playoffs again. No doubt, New Orleans has a very exciting team to follow in 2023.

New York Knicks

Jalen Brunson - $27,733,332

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Jalen Brunson signed a mega $100 million deal which lured him away from the Dallas Mavericks. The miniature point guard is only 6’1” and 190 lbs, but he has shown he can be a go-to scorer and playmaker for a playoff team. At age 25, he is also entering his prime and can help the New York Knicks return to the playoffs.

Whether he is worth $27 million per year remains to be seen, but the Knicks wanted their man and got him. A core of Brunson, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, and RJ Barrett could be good enough for the Knicks to make the playoffs next year. If that happens and the Knicks somehow make it to the second round, Brunson’s contract would be money well spent.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - $30,913,750

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The Oklahoma City Thunder decided to make Shai Gilgeous-Alexander a max player, and the guard certainly has All-Star potential because of his all-around versatility. Standing 6’6”, he has height and tremendous athleticism which helps him rebound the ball and also be a solid scorer and playmaker.

Shai also fits the young Thunder core that also features Josh Giddey and No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren. That could be a Big Three that sparks fear in the opposing teams’ hearts in at least 5 more years because they have a ton of growing to do. Nonetheless, the 24-year-old guard put up solid numbers last year at 24.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 5.9 APG and hopefully can be in the mix for the All-Star Team next year.

Orlando Magic

Jonathan Isaac - $17,400,000

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The Orlando Magic are tanking, and have a solid roster with excellent young pieces including No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero at the heart of it. The team also has Jonathan Isaac, a lengthy wing who has the potential to be an elite defender both inside the paint and on the perimeter.

Isaac just needs to stay healthy, because he has missed the last two seasons with an ACL injury. We do not know how the 24-year-old will bounce back after missing so much action, but the Magic do not have much to lose by keeping him and waiting to see his progress. He is making $17 million next year which isn’t too bad considering Orlando ranks 24th lowest in payroll.

Philadelphia 76ers

Tobias Harris - $37,633,050

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Tobias Harris is overpaid, especially when he plays on a team that also includes Joel Embiid and James Harden. Unfortunately, Harris is not a max player. That is not because he isn’t a very good player, it is because he is best suited for a third or fourth option on a championship team. Tobias is a solid scorer and rebounder who is great at playing off superstar players, but Philadelphia wanted to retain his services to play beside Joel Embiid.

Now, with James Harden on the team, Harris is once again relegated to a third option role. He fills it well, although it might not warrant a contract that will pay him over $37 million next year and $39 million the season after. If Philadelphia can somehow keep Embiid healthy and win a championship with Harris as the third option, every penny would be worth it. But that is looking more unlikely as each season passes.

Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker - $33,833,400

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It seems the Phoenix Suns are running it back with the core of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton. It seemed Phoenix was going for Kevin Durant, but the return of Ayton to the team has effectively killed that deal. That means Booker will be the highest-paid player because he is the best player on the team and in his prime right now.

Last year, the shooting guard averaged 26.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 4.8 APG while shooting 46.6% from the field, 38.3% from three, and 86.8% from the free-throw line. Those are elite numbers from a bonafide star who is still getting better. Hopefully, Booker can lead the Suns to the NBA Finals again next year.

Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard - $42,492,492

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The current face of the Portland Trail Blazers and its undisputed franchise player, Damian Lillard has sworn loyalty to his team. That is why Portland will continue to give their point guard anything he wants to remain with the squad. Dame has a player option in 2025, which he will likely take as it pays over $48 million. For a player that made the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, that salary seems very fair.

Lillard has been out for a while so people have forgotten how great he can be when healthy. But make no mistake, Lillard is hoping to return to the court with a vengeance as he hopes the Trail Blazers can find a way to build around him for a shot at making the NBA Finals one day. So far, Portland has brought in Jerami Grant and also brought back Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic.

Sacramento Kings

De'Aaron Fox - $30,351,780

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The Sacramento Kings are paying De’Aaron Fox over $30 million, and their fans are slightly unsure about that. There is no doubt that Fox is a starting-caliber player for the Kings, but is he good enough to lead them into the playoffs? So far, the answer is no. Although, the point guard played well last year by posting 23.2 PPG and 5.6 APG.

But Sacramento isn’t exactly building a great team around him either, especially when they traded away future All-Star Tyrese Haliburton last year. Nonetheless, the Kings are hoping Fox becomes an All-Star and Domantas Sabonis returns to his best ball because their playoff drought needs to end as soon as possible.

San Antonio Spurs

Doug McDermott - $13,750,000

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The San Antonio Spurs have let the NBA world know that they are tanking for the future and want Victor Wembanyama in next year’s draft. The Spurs want the big man so bad, that they decided to trade franchise player Dejounte Murray for draft consideration. Of course, that greatly cleared their cap space now and in the future.

That means that sharpshooting role player Doug McDermott will enter the 2023 season as the highest-paid player on the team. He is on the books for another two years and the fact that he is only making $13.75 million also ensures that the Spurs have the lowest payroll in the NBA right now. It will be interesting to see how far San Antonio goes with their rebuild, and if they move any more players.

Toronto Raptors

Pascal Siakam - $35,448,672

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Toronto is building something interesting with youngster Scottie Barnes winning Rookie of the Year alongside All-Stars Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet. It was reported that the Raptors were in for Kevin Durant, although they are refusing to include Barnes in any trade deals. Nonetheless, the Raptors are a playoff team next year.

Siakam is considered the best player on the team because he does a lot of things on the floor at a high level. He is set to make over $35 million next year and considering his versatility as a power forward and center, that seems reasonable. Toronto might ship off Siakam if it means acquiring Durant, so stay tuned to see what happens in Canada.

Utah Jazz

Donovan Mitchell - $30,351,780

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The Utah Jazz has finally moved on from Rudy Gobert, which means Donovan Mitchell is the only true star on the team. The shooting guard is certainly a talented player and he came off a season when he made his 3rd All-Star Team while averaging 25.9 PPG and 5.3 APG. Next year, it can be expected that the 25-year-old will average similar numbers.

Of course, it could be in the cards that Mitchell also gets traded as the Utah Jazz try to rebuild their roster for the future. As things stand, Utah can still be a playoff team if they find a way to replace Gobert, and Mitchell could be at the heart of it. Time will tell if the franchise star remains with Utah for the long term.

Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal - $43,279,250

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Bradley Beal signed a maximum extension following the 2023 season, although his future in Washington was considered very uncertain. But Beal has remained loyal to the franchise until now, but considering how poorly this season went, he could be looking elsewhere for a new challenge. The shooting guard essentially holds the keys to the Wizards franchise, because his staying forces the team to continue to add pieces to the roster.

If Beal wants to leave some time in the future, Washington would be best suited to blowing up the team and tanking for draft picks. Ultimately, the power is in Beal’s hands and the Wizards will have to accept that. So far, Washington has brought in solid starters including Kristaps Porzingis and Will Barton among others to build around their maximum player. 


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