LeBron James’ new Lakers contract will make him the highest-paid NBA player ever, but a bunch of active players are not far behind

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LeBron James is the latest NBA legend to join the Los Angeles Lakers and his new contract will take him past some other Lakers legends when it comes to the highest on-court earnings in basketball history.

Through the end of the 2017-18 season, LeBron was already the sixth-highest-paid player in NBA history, with $233.9 million in career earnings. But with his new 4-year, $153.3 million deal with the Lakers, James will pass all five players ahead of him, including Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and the current leader, Kevin Garnett.

But LeBron is not the only active player shooting up the list. With the recent surge in contract sizes, several other players will soon surpass $250 million in career earnings, including a few names that might surprise many fans.

Here are the ten players with the highest career on-court earnings, projected through the end of their current deals. Below we take a closer look at all ten players.


If we factor in all current contracts, there are already a bunch of active players guaranteed to surpass $250 million in career earnings, led by LeBron who will reach $387.2 million by the end of his new contract.

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10. Carmelo Anthony ― $255.3 million

Seasons: 15

Highest single-season salary: $27.9 million (2018-19)

Current contract: 5 years, $124.1 million (1 season left)

Championships: 0

All-Star Games: 10

NBA First-team All-NBA: 0


9. Stephen Curry ― $257.3 million

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Abbie Parr/Getty

Seasons: 9

Highest single-season salary: $45.8 million (2021-22)

Current contract: 5 years, $201.2 million (4 seasons left)

Championships: 3

All-Star Games: 5

NBA First-team All-NBA: 2


8. John Wall ― $277.1 million

Seasons: 8

Highest single-season salary: $46.9 million (2022-23)

Current contract: 4 years, $169.3 million (begins in 2018-19)

Championships: 0

All-Star Games: 5

NBA First-team All-NBA: 0


7. Shaquille O’Neal ― $286.3 million

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Mark Mainz/Getty Images

Seasons: 19

Highest single-season salary: $27.7 million

Championships: 4

All-Star Games: 15

NBA First-team All-NBA: 8


6. James Harden ― $316.6 million

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Seth Wenig/Getty

Seasons: 9

Highest single-season salary: $46.9 million (2022-23)

Current contract: 4 years, $118.0 million (will begin a 4-year, $169.3 million contract in the 2019-20 season)

Championships: 0

All-Star Games: 6

NBA First-team All-NBA: 4


5. Kobe Bryant ― $323.3 million

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Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports

Seasons: 20

Highest single-season salary: $30.5 million

Championships: 5

All-Star Games: 18

NBA First-team All-NBA: 11


4. Kevin Garnett ― $334.3 million

Seasons: 21

Highest single-season salary: $28 million

Championships: 1

All-Star Games: 15

NBA First-team All-NBA: 4


3. Russell Westbrook ― $336.3 million

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Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Seasons: 10

Highest single-season salary: $46.7 million (2022-23)

Current contract: 5 years, $205.0 million (begins in 2018-19)

Championships: 0

All-Star Games: 7

NBA First-team All-NBA: 2


2. Chris Paul ― $346.5 million

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Ezra Shaw/Getty

Seasons: 13

Highest single-season salary: $44.2 million (2021-22)

Current contract: 4 years, $159.7 million (begins in 2018-19)

Championships: 0

All-Star Games: 9

NBA First-team All-NBA: 4


1. LeBron James ― $387.2 million

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Streeter Lecka/Getty

Seasons: 15

Highest single-season salary: $41.0 million (2021-22)

Current contract: 4 years, $153.3 million (begins in 2018-19)

Championships: 3

All-Star Games: 14

NBA First-team All-NBA: 12


Now check out how LeBron spends all that money.

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

LEBRON JAMES: How the king of the NBA and the new king of Los Angeles spends his millions