Thursday, March 23, 2023

Average NBA Salary In 2023 – How Much Do NBA Players Make?

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, and certainly the most popular worldwide of North America’s big four sports. From high school basketball to March Madness to the NBA, America loves its hoops, and so does the rest of the world. Leagues and teams across Europe and Asia are growing, and some of the NBA’s biggest stars have come from overseas.

The NBA’s surging popularity and star power have done wonders for the popularity of the game, and the league has big earnings to show for it. The average NBA franchise is now worth $1.3 billion, with the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Golden State Warriors all topping $2.5 billion in value. The value is also reflected in its players’ salaries, as NBA players outearn their counterparts from other sports.

Average Salary for NBA Players In 2023 – $7.3 Million

The average salary in the NBA is $7.3 million for the 2021-2022 season, according to The median salary is $3.8 million while the salary cap for the season is $109.1 million.

This makes their minimum salary much higher than other sports teams in North America. Even NBA rookies (first-time players) receive a considerably higher wage if they’re selected in the top NBA Draft List. Take Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans, for example, he earned $9.7 million in 2020.

Not only that, but the wages will also go up for veteran players (the exact amount will depend on how long they’ve been in the tournament).

In contrast, the average NFL player only makes about $450,000. The MLB and NHL are similar with a set minimum wage of $500,000.

Currently, the highest paid NBA players of the 2021-2022 season include Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors ($45.7 million), John Wall of the Houston Rockets ($44.3 million), Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers ($44.2 million), and James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets ($43.8 million), LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers ($41.1 million), and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets ($40.9 million).

How to become an NBA player

From 1971, when Spencer Haywood won a Supreme Court case against the NBA to allow him to play despite not being four years removed from college, until 2006, players could declare from the draft straight out of high school. Several top NBA players came into the league that way, including Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O’Neal, LeBron James, Tracy McGrady, and Amar’e Staudemire.

The NBA negotiated a clause in the 2006 collective bargaining agreement stating that players must be 19 years old to be draft eligible, which made most high school players ineligible. Thanks to this clause, many high school players who otherwise would have declared ended up becoming “one-and-done” college players, playing a single season and declaring for the draft. Other players have chosen to play professionally overseas or enter the NBA Development League instead.

The NBA Developmental League was established in 2001 as a minor league basketball system, complete with NBA league affiliate teams. Players who aren’t drafted into the NBA draft or aren’t eligible to be drafted may be drafted into the D-League, where they play in hopes of getting a callup. Players who are under 19 can still be drafted into the regular NBA draft once they are eligible, which has happened six times in the league’s history. The most recent case was P.J. Hairston, drafted in the first round in 2014.

For most players, the surest route to the NBA is the annual NBA draft. 60 players are picked per year in two rounds, with each team assigned a pick in each round. Most first rounders and many of the second rounders make it onto active rosters their first season, so getting drafted is a player’s best chance at a real NBA paycheck. FIrst round picks sign contracts paying them up to around $5 million for the first overall pick to around $1 million for the 30th pick.

Becoming an NBA player is only for the best of the best, and for many, that still won’t be enough. Between the stiff competition and the small rosters, the odds of becoming an NBA regular are slimmer than slim. For those who succeed, though, their reward is one of the most impressive incomes in all of sports.'
Ronnie Gordon
A tech-savvy freelance writer who enjoys music, personal finance, and competitive gaming.


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