When it comes to making money outside the NBA courts, no one comes near the level LeBron James is currently at, with Kobe Bryant being the closest to him, although a bigger earner overall thanks to the highest salary in the league, as well as one of three Los Angeles Lakers players on the list.
Pau Gasol – $21.5 million
Gasol is having his worst season since entering the NBA, averaging 12.7 points. Most of his earnings come from his $19 million salary, while the rest from his deals with Nike, Banco Popular and EA Sports.
Chris Paul – $24.8 million
Paul is enjoying a very good season with the Los Angeles Clippers (16.6 points, 9.7 assists), and some more media exposure in LA. His NBA salary is $17.8 million, making the rest from State Farm, Nike, Powerade and Upper Deck.
Dwight Howard – $26.5 million
Howard is earning $19.5 million on the last season of his contract before becoming a free agent. He’s making the rest from other deals, despite losing his contracts with both Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.
Amare Stoudemire – $27.9 million
Stoudemire has missed about a third of the season due to injury and still hasn’t returned to the Knicks’ starting lineup. He’s making $19.9 million in wages and $8 million from the rest of his off-court endorsements.
Carmelo Anthony – $28.4 million
Anthony is once again having an excellent individual season, averaging a career-high 29.2 points per game. He makes $20.4 million from basketball and the rest mostly from his deal with Nike.
Kevin Durant – $29.7 million
Durant, averaging an NBA best 29.6 points per game this season is making $16.7 million on his current contract, gradually rising to more than $20 mil in a few years. The bulk of his endorsement income is from Nike.
Dwyane Wade – $30.2 million
Wade is making $17.1 million on his 10th season with the Miami Heat, averaging 20.5 points per game, the lowest since his rookie season. Wade left Nike last year, signing a very lucrative deal with China’s Li Ning.
Derrick Rose – $32.4 million
Rose hasn’t played a single minute of basketball this season, but his contract is paying him $16.4 million, as he prepares for his return for the Chicago Bulls around late February, early March. His off-the-court money mostly comes from his huge 13-year deal with Adidas, banking him a total of $185 million.
LeBron James – $57.6 million
LeBron James makes more money than anyone off the basketball court, bringing in $17.5 million from the Miami Heat and more than $40 million thanks to his deals with Nike, Coca-Cola, Samsung and McDonald’s.
Kobe Bryant – $59.8 million
Kobe Bryant is the highest paid player in the NBA for the third straight season with $27.8 million in salary from the Lakers, which will bounce to $32 million next season. He makes around $32 million off-the court, mostly for his Nike ties, which sells twice as many Bryant sneakers in China as in the U.S.
Hat tip: Forbes