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Top 20 Richest NBA Players Both Present and Past

by Nebojša Vujinović

If you are good at basketball the road will certainly take you to the NBA. Once you are an established NBA player, money will come on its own. It’s the circle of life. Of course, not all players earn the same. If you are curious to learn who is the richest among the rich on the court, keep reading.

It wasn’t easy to compile this list, as players earn money from endorsements and sponsors, and not only from their NBA contracts. So, we did a little digging all over the place, and after consulting Forbes, the Richest, Celebrity Net Worth, and Wealthy Gorilla, we have a pretty accurate and more than a decent list. Let’s start.

20. Yao Ming

It is no surprise that Yao managed to earn $120 million. The man has the entire PRC behind him. During his sting with the Houston Rockets, he became one of the world’s most recognized stars. He’s the man who heavily popularized this sport in China, so the amount tied to his name is no surprise.

Source: olympics.com

19. Dwyane Wade

Wade also has approximately $120 million which is not a surprise. After all, during his time in the NBA, he was a top player for over a decade. Since being drafted by the Miami Heat in 2003, he managed to win a couple of championships, and make lucrative deals on the side.

Source: nytimes.com

18. Carmelo Anthony

He came from the same class as Wade and the two men had similar careers. Of course, Carmelo missed on NBA Titles, but he didn’t miss on contracts from Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks. Unlike Dwayne, he’s still active and playing next to LeBron James in LA. The championship could still come. $120 million already did.

Source: nytimes.com

17. Russell Westbrook

Russ is another player on a ring hunt, and he as well could make it with the Lakers. Before landing in LA he was a stalwart in Oklahoma City and Houston, before a short sting with the Wizards. A man who is famous for a couple of triple-double seasons managed to bag in $125 million and counting.

Source: abc30.com

16. Tim Duncan

The Big Fundamental is one of the best players of his generation. After being selected as the first pick in 1997 by San Antonio Spurs he went on to make one of the best careers NBA has ever seen. Five championships and a few MVP titles later he also pocketed $130 million.

Source: usatoday.com

15. Gary Payton

Payton is one of the best point guards the NBA has ever seen, and he managed to profit on this. The man nicknamed The Glove had stints with Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers and it paid off for him. At the moment his net worth is estimated to be $130 million.

Source: rappler.com

14. Dwight Howard

Howard was one of those big men who dominated the rims for over a decade. After giving it his all for the Orlando Magic franchise that drafted him, he became some sort of a journeyman. With his nickname The Superman, he managed to earn super high amounts. This is why he has $140 million in his pocket from playing basketball. In the end, he even took the ring with LA Lakers.

Source: cbssports.com

13. Dirk Nowitzki

The German is one of the best European players that the NBA has ever seen, if not the best. He was the cornerstone for Dallas Mavericks for two decades and no wonder he earned as much. He was the NBA MVP and won a ring with his only NBA team, earning $140 million in the process.

Source: dw.com

12. James Harden

Another active player on this list, Harden made his fortune by selling his trade for Thunder, Rockets, and now Brooklyn Nets. He was voted NBA MVP a few years back and is among the leading NBA scorers for a while now. His precise shoot earned him $145 million so far. What’s left for him is to bag in NBA Championship with the Nets where he’s paired with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Source: cbssports.com

11. Kevin Durant

Durant is another reigning player, who already did it all. He was the NBA’s top scorer on more than one occasion, won titles with Warriors, and managed to earn $170 million in the process. He also had unprecedented success with the national team. Active since 2007 he still has a long way to go and earns heavily from his favorite sport.

Source: bleacherreport.com

10. Grant Hill

Hill is the least known name so far on this list. While he was an exquisite NBA player back in the day he can’t compare his skill to most of the players on this list. But he invested wisely in his earnings and managed to increase them after his career ended. This is why he has $180 million to his name. Also, he did play for more than 20 years.

Source: bleacherreport.com

9. Kevin Garnett

Garnett is yet another player with a long career and a lot of success behind him. At one point he was the league’s highest-paid player. His career started in 1995 with Minnesota Timberwolves before he moved to Boston where he took a ring and fulfilled his dreams. His net worth is a little below $200 million, currently standing at $190 million.

Source: bleacherreport.com

8. Hakeem Olajuwon

You don’t get called The Dream for no reason. $200 million in the bank could be one of those reasons. This Hall of Famer was tied to Houston Rockets for the majority of his career. For Hakeem, it all started in 1984 when he was drafted by the Rockets. It ended in 2008 when he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. One of the best centers of all tie did just enough for this sport and himself.


7. David Robinson

The Admiral was a dominant force back n the day. Together with Tim Duncan, he was the force to be reckoned in the world of NBA. He managed to cash in close o $200 million, which he easily paired with a couple of NBA titles. Today he is considered as one of the best centers of all time, which is an honor, considering he played in an era when big players meant so much more.

Source: quora.com

6. Kobe Bryant

Is there anything left to say about Kobe, you already do not know? Bryant is a legend on and of the court. Before his untimely death, he was worth $350 million. His assets are still highly valued and his family is in charge of them. During his glorious career, he not only cashed in millions, but he also managed to win five NBA championships and is considered one of the best NBA players in the post-Jordan era.

Source: essence.com

5. Shaquille O’Neal

O’Neal is one of those people, who not only cashed in on their NBA career but also has numerous side ventures. At the moment he also works as a TV host and analyst which pays well. All of his success combined translates well to $400 million in the bank. Unlike Kobe, who was his partner in crime for years, he only managed to conjure four NBA titles, and he was also an MVP.

Source: cnbc.com

4. LeBron James

King James is one of the best players of all time. His career is so good that he is in the conversation for the GOAT of the sport. His career took him from Cleveland to Miami and eventually to Los Angeles. He found success wherever she went, and this translated well to four NBA titles and $440 million in the bank.

Source: bleacherreport.net

3. Magic Johnson

Johnson is yet another NBA and Lakers legend. Playing in LA translates well to your bank account. One of the best point guards of all time made quite a fortune for himself during his playing career. He currently stands at close to $600 million. The former NBA champion and MVP also managed to fight HIV, which is an amazing feat on its own.

Source: si.com

2. Junior Bridgeman

Bridgeman is a rich man, but little is known about him if you are not a close watcher of sports. Also, you couldn’t tell how good he was based on his wealth. This is because his riches don’t stream from sports but from the Chili’s restaurants he owns. Junior now has something close to 160 restaurants all over the US, which generated him $600 million.

Source: twitter.com

1. Michael Jordan

Well, you already knew this. The GOAT is the richest NBA player and it’s the only way it’s right. At the moment MJ is worth $1.5 billion. His Nike contract and Air Jordan brand generate millions for him monthly. Furthermore, he owns an NBA franchise Charlotte Hornets.

Source: csq.com