LeBron James passes Kevin Durant for highest paid player in NBA history: Updated list of top 10 all-time career earnings

LeBron James overshadowed the release of the NBA schedule on Wednesday, signing a two-year extension with the Lakers worth $97.1 million.

The extension brings him under contract until the 2024/25 season and includes a player option.

Notably, James ranks above Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard as the highest-earning player in NBA history at nearly $529 million — just over $30 million more than Durant’s total.

With his extension, James is now the first player in NBA history with over half a billion dollars in career earnings on the court, according to Spotrac.

The extension comes into effect following James’ current contract, which expires after this season.

Highest-earning players in NBA history

Cumulatively, James is at $528.99 million, just over $30 million more than Durant’s $498.69 million. Curry, Lillard and Bradley Beal round out the top 5, and the entire top 10 is still active.

MORE: LeBron James contract details: Lakers Ink star on massive two-year extension

The highest-earning retired player is Kevin Garnett, who ranks 16th with $334.3 million.

Here is the complete top 10:

player merits
Lebron James $528,992,480
Kevin Durant $498,688,653
Stephen Curry $470,090,010
Damian Lilard $449,910,157
Bradley Beal $428,874,362
ChrisPaul $419,909,419
Nikola Jokić $419,369,513
Karl-Anthony-Cities $406,491,723
Devin Booker $390,756,853
Joel Embid $374,516,037

You can view the full list here.

For his part, Durant is jailed until 2026 and is currently working on not playing for the Brooklyn Nets again this year. Regardless of whether this endeavor is successful or not, it’s hard to imagine him catching James anytime soon.

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Everyone on this list, except Paul, is either starting out or about to enter major overtime, so James’ cushion seems safe for now.

LeBron James contract details

This deal for James is a two-year extension that will come into effect after the 2022-23 season. It’s worth $97.1 million and has a 15 percent trade kicker.

James doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract as he gains more than five percent trade in the second year of the deal.

MORE: All the details on LeBron’s new extension with the Lakers

Year salary
2022-23 $44.5 million
2023-24* $46.7 million
2024-25* $50.4 million

*Years in extension

Previous contracts with LeBron James

James was pretty unconventional about how he got contracts. Instead of signing long-term renewals in the latter part of his career, he has instead accepted a variety of relatively short-term renewals.

Years team overall contract
2003-2006 Cleveland Cavaliers $18,788,540
2007-2010 Cleveland Cavaliers $60,380,987
2010-2013 Cleveland Cavaliers (sign and trade to Heat) $109,837,500
2014-2014 Cleveland Cavaliers $42,217,798
2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers $46,974,673
2016-2017 Cleveland Cavaliers $99,857,127
2018-2021 Los Angeles Lakers $153,312,846
2021-2023 Los Angeles Lakers $85,655,532
2023-2025 Los Angeles Lakers $97,133,373

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