Ever since the rise of Michael Jordan and his impact in transforming NBA basketball from a sport popular mainly in the Americas and Europe to a sport accessible to people across the world, the NBA has been raking in the moolah like few other professional sports leagues have. This has created a platform for players to now walk into life-changing wealth, should they be talented and lucky enough to be the first-round draft picks as rookies.
The revised Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed between the NBA and the NBPA (NBA Players Association) has now made it possible for players to sign guaranteed deals worth as much as $218 million over 5 years, while it helped raise the salary cap by a jump of 20% all at once.
Who are the highest-paid basketball players over the past decade? Read on to find out.
2008-09: Kevin Garnett
Garnett's 2008-09 salary: $24.75 million
After signing him to two of the biggest contracts in NBA history up until that point, Garnett was traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Boston Celtics in a 7-players-for-1 deal that was the highest number of players traded by a franchise in exchange for one player up until the Chris Paul trade to the Rockets in the summer of 2017.
Garnett was still a premier two-way player in the league at that point, and indeed, he was the bedrock of the Celtics' title contention window from 2007-2012. Having switched to the center position during the latter half of his career in order to extend it as much as he could, Garnett was putting up MVP-caliber numbers in his first season with the Celtics, and was also in the running in the 2008-09 season before going down with a career-altering knee injury.