5 NBA Players With Huge Endorsement Deals

Professional athletes and their salaries have long been a discussion amongst the general public, as the money that the best football, basketball, or tennis players earn can seem absurd to the average person. With that said, NBA players are some of the best paid for their on-court contributions, but the real stars of the game can also earn millions of dollars even when they’re not playing – mainly through endorsement deals. 

Of course, the big earnings don’t just come to any average player – you have to be a real star on the field with a matching personality off it to be able to attract big brands and to make them spill money on getting you to their representative. Over the years, we’ve seen many basketball players begin to earn an insane amount from ads and sponsorship deals. In this article, we’re going to look at the top five players with the biggest endorsement deals in the current NBA climate. 

The NBA’s Top Five Ranked By Endorsement Deals 

It should come as no surprise that the top five players, when it comes to endorsement money, are also among the best ones in the league. However, you may notice that superstars like Nikola Jokic or Kawhi Leonard are missing from this list, most likely because they like to keep their lives off the court more private, and so they appear in less commercial and have fewer brand deals. 

Having said all that, let’s start with the number one player when it comes to endorsements.

LeBron James – $80 Million 

For 20 years now, LeBron, or King James, has been the face of the NBA. Arguably one of the two best players to ever play basketball, James is known as a great family man, an incredible teammate, and an athlete with incredible strength, agility, and endurance. When it comes to earning money from endorsements, LeBron is the clear number one with a whopping $80 million, and the brands he works with can explain this sum pretty quickly. James has brand deals with some of the biggest companies in the US, including Nike, Beats By Dre & AT&T. 

Stephen Curry – $50 Million 

Arguably the second-best player of his generation and a man known to have changed basketball forever, Steph Curry takes the number two spot on this list with endorsement earnings of around $50 million. Curry’s deadly demeanor on the court massively contradicts his goofy, friendly off-court personality, and his adorable family has made fans of the game adore him even more. Among the companies Curry works with, you can find names like Under Armour (with which Steph has his own brand ‘Curry”, similar to Jordan and Nike), Chase, and Infiniti Motors. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo – $45 Million 

Lovingly referred to as the “Greek Freak” by NBA fans, Giannis is the only foreigner on this list, earning just $5 million less than Curry in endorsement deals. For Miauwakee, Antetokounmpo is a local hero, having won a championship with the team that drafted him and playing for future titles as well, and thanks to his smiley nature and good vibes, he has become a favorite of basketball fans across the world. Giannis has notable deals with companies like Nike, Google Pixel, and JBL, and he has the potential to sign with more, seeing as he is a lot younger than the other guys on this list. 

Kevin Durant – $42 Million 

KD has been a household name in the NBA for over a decade now, and his success with the Golden State Warriors cemented him as one of the greatest basketball players ever. Off the court, Durant is known for being business-oriented and tech-savvy, stating that his time in Silicon Valley (where the Warriors play) was crucial for his investments and his knowledge of the business world. When it comes to endorsements, KD earns around $42 million a year from deals with Nike, Beats by Dre, and Gatorade. 

Klay Thomspon – $21 Million 

The last name on the list is probably the most shocking one, considering the fact that Klay Thompson has been injured and in bad form for the past few seasons. However, the second Splash Brother is still earning a ton of money from endorsements, with $21 million for this season and brand deals with companies like Body Armour, Panini, and Anta. With that said, the difference between him and the other top 4, when it comes to the amount earned, is pretty notable. Still, Thompson is ahead of many current stars, such as Tatum, Lillard, and last year’s MVP, Joel Embiid. 


Hopefully now you know more about the biggest earners from endorsement deals in the NBA and if you want to continue reading about sports, fitness and nutrition, you can go over to our blog for more articles like this one.

Main Image: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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