Photo: Golden State Warriors/Twitter

The NBA has handed out some serious cash in recent years. Steph Curry is pulling in a staggering $48M+ this season, but has he performed well enough to deserve this?

Well, collected salary data to dive into this. By comparing salaries to various factors (minutes played, field goals, three-pointers, assists, and more), the team created an index score for the 15 highest earning players – revealing who has been the most value for money. 

Stephen Curry’s contract breakdown found:

Stephen Curry Salaries/performance
Current Salary£48,070,014.00 
Minutes played894£53,769.59
Field Goals262£183,473.34

Data was also collected for 2021-2022 performances, comparing it to the current season.

The true cost of the NBA’s overachievers

  • Nets star, Kevin Durant, was the biggest NBA overachiever in 2022, with the largest salary in comparison to his effort while playing.
  • Milwaukee Bucks star, Khris Middleton, had the lowest index score in 2022, but the largest salary overall.
  • Golden State Warriors point guard, Steph Curry, earned more than all the top five overachievers in 2021 but didn’t make it into the top five.

A new report from reveals which NBA players are working the hardest for their pay.

By collecting salary data on various factors (salary per minutes played, per field goal scored, per three-pointers scored, per assist, and per point scored), the report created an overall index with data on the top 15 richest players in the NBA. It then looked at their 2021-2022 performance in their last full season to see who was working the hardest for their salaries.

Below is a table of data collected so far in 2022 revealing the top overachiever in the NBA:

RankPlayerSalary per minuteTotal score
1Kevin Durant$34,043.094.86
2LeBron James$42,600.564.76
3Paul George$42,323.204.75
4Damian Lillard$50,406.284.71
5Stephen Curry$53,769.594.71
6bias Harris$33,186.114.62
7Klay Thompson$42,160.004.52
8Giannis Antetokounmpo$40,585.004.50
9Russell Westbrook$50,120.854.43
10Bradley Beal$53,696.344.36
11Jimmy Butler$45,093.774.19
12Rudy Gobert$38,287.283.87
13Anthony Davis$45,431.483.52
14Kawhi Leonard$91,776.443.22
15Khris Middleton$221,919.740.24

Kevin Durant takes the crown for overachiever of 2022-23

Kevin Durant is working hard to earn every penny…

  • Durant had the best index score for the 2022-23 season so far, having the highest number of minutes played , highest number of field goals and highest number of points earned

Steph Curry racked up many Three-pointers

  • Curry came in fifth after Damian Lillard in the current season so far, Steph has the highest salary out of the entire top 15 that year and has had over 131 three pointers so far this season.

2021-22 season overachievers

RankPlayerSalary per minuteTotal score
1Giannis Antetokounmpo$19,279.724.74
2Khris Middleton$17,724.564.60
3LeBron James$21,341.174.56
4Kevin Durant$21,553.424.45
5Russell Westbrook$17,574.114.40
6Stephen Curry$23,066.234.37
7bias Harris$18,685.724.30
8Kawhi Leonard$23,966.444.00
9Jimmy Butler$19,499.383.92
10Bradley Beal$30,075.923.07
11Anthony Davis$27,051.792.32
12Rudy Gobert$18,005.862.26
13Paul George$39,454.502.10
14Damian Lillard$40,239.101.80
15Klay Thompson$43,145.671.31

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis played the second most minutes of basketball in 2021, just behind Russell Westbrook. Giannis had the highest number of field goals and points during the 2021 season. Split across his salary:

  • Giannis was found to earn $61,672.70 per field goal during 2021
  • Giannis was found to earn $21,225.02 per point during 2021-22

Russell Westbrook

  • The Lakers superstar earnt $17,574 per minute of play.

Meanwhile, Klay Thompson had the least number of minutes played, but the largest salary per minute, earning $43,145.67 for the 941 minutes he played.

2023 overachievers

And it appears that the five richest NBA players in 2023 are:

  • Stephen Curry from the Warriors
  • Russell Westbrook from the Lakers
  • LeBron James from the Lakers
  • Kevin Durant of the Nets
  • Bradley Beal of the Wizards.

So, a lot is in store for these notorious NBA stars this upcoming season.

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