NBA's biggest contracts: Jayson Tatum overtakes Jaylen Brown for largest deal in league history (2024)

TheNBAoffseason is underway, which means players around the league are agreeing to massive contracts to either stay with their current team or join a different squad. There was even a record-setting contract on Monday. The Celtics are planning to sign superstar Jayson Tatum to a five-year, $314 million supermax deal. It's the largest contract in NBA history in terms of total value, and Tatum takes that record from teammate Jaylen Brown. Brown signed a supermax contract last season that is projected to be worth $286 million.

Free agency also brought a big payday for Paul George, who signed a four-year, $211.58 million deal with the 76ers, in a move that shakes up both conferences. George becomes one of the highest-paid players in the league ahead of next season, and his average annual value (AAV) of $52.3 million is just behind new teammate Joel Embiid, who makes $53.3 million per season on his current deal.

We'll see what LeBron James ultimately signs for, because he could very well crack the list of highest-paid players for next season, too. Luka Doncic figures to pass Tatum next summer when he's eligible for a supermax extension with the Mavs, and both Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo begin three-year extensions in the 2025-26 season that pay them more than $58 million annually. So the list of highest-paid players is set to change.

But let's take a look at where things stand. Below are the biggest contracts in NBA history in terms of total value. All of these contracts have been signed or agreed to in the last three years.

Largest contracts in NBA history

Contract numbers below are based off total value.

1. Jayson Tatum, Celtics: Five years, $314 million
2. Jaylen Brown, Celtics: Five years, $285 million
3. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets: Five years, $276 million
4. Bradley Beal, Suns: Five years, $251 million
T5. Anthony Edwards, Wolves: Five years, $244 million
T5. Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers: Five years, $244 million

And what about next season? Tatum will get paid an average of roughly $62.8 million annually, but his deal will not kick in until the 2025-26 season. In 2024-25, Brown still leads the NBA for having the biggest contract in terms of average annual value. Here's a look at the top 10 largest contracts for the upcoming NBA season ranked by AAV.

Largest contracts for 2024-25 season

Contract numbers below are based on averaged annual value.

1. Jaylen Brown, Celtics: $57.1 million
Brown became the highest-paid player in the NBA when he signed a five-year, $285.39 million extension with the Celtics in July 2023. And since then he's earned his third All-Star selection, won Eastern Conference finals MVP and Finals MVP after helping lead the Celtics to their first championship since 2008. During the Finals Brown averaged 20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and five assists, and came up huge an important moments for Boston during the five-game series against the Dallas Mavericks.

2. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets: $55.2 million
The three-time MVP and 2023 NBA champion signed a five-year, $276.12 million deal with the Nuggets in July 2022, and is honestly probably still an underpay for Jokic. He's been the best player in the league for the last couple seasons, as evidenced from his three MVP awards. He led Denver to a championship in 2023, and despite a second-round exit to the Timberwolves during the playoffs this year, he still performed at a high level. Depending on how the Nuggets reload the roster for next season, he should once again have the Nuggets in prime position to be championship contenders.

T3. Devin Booker, Suns: $55.1 million
Booker's been one of the most consistent players in the league, and is perhaps one of the most underrated, too. He signed a four-year, $220.44 million extension with the Suns in 2022, and has routinely been amongst the league's best offensive players. While the Suns haven't climbed the mountaintop again to get back to the Finals after their trip in 2021, Booker's been a constant offensive force that gives them a fighting chance every night.

T3. Karl-Anthony Towns, Wolves: $55.1 million
The Timberwolves gave Towns a four-year, $220.44 million extension in 2022, and while he's since been speculated as a trade candidate, he also was a key piece in the Timberwolves making their first conference finals since 2004. He's a versatile big man who can spread the floor, and although he may not be the focal point of Minnesota's vision board of the future, he's the best 3-point shooting big man in the league today. If the Wolves end up trading him one day, they'll get quite the haul for him.

5. Stephen Curry, Warriors: $53.8 million
Even after a season in which the Warriors failed to make the playoffs, Curry still feels like he's near the peak of his powers. The landscape around him may be changing -- like the departure of fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson -- but he's still an All-NBA player, capable of completely taking over a game at a moment's notice. The Warriors signed him to a four-year, $215.35 million deal in August 2021, and rightfully so. He's a four-time champion, 10-time All-Star, Finals MVP, two-time league MVP and countless other accolades to his name. When next season starts he'll be 35 and on his 16th year in the league, but he's still operating at a level very few are capable of reaching.

6. Joel Embiid, 76ers: $53.3 million
Embiid signed a four-year, $213.28 million extension with the Sixers in August 2021, and next season he'll be entering Year 2 of that deal. In two of the last three seasons he's led the league in scoring, earned an MVP award, made All-Defensive teams, All-Star nods, you name it. But injuries have often handicapped Embiid and the Sixers' ability to make a deep run in the playoffs. They've yet to break through to the conference finals with him as their No. 1 guy, but they've been close a number of times. Next season may be their best shot after signing Paul George, giving Tyrese Maxey an extension and bringing back Kelly Oubre. It'll be the most-talented team Embiid's had around him, and as long as he can stay healthy, Philadelphia should be a threat at the top of the East.

7. Paul George, 76ers: $52.9 million
George just signed a massive four-year, $211.58 million deal with the Sixers, leaving the Clippers after the two sides couldn't come to an agreement on a new contract. George wanted four years, and L.A. reportedly wasn't offering anything more than three, so now he'll head back to the Eastern Conference for a shot at a championship with Embiid and Maxey. George immediately elevates the Sixers for next season, and as long as he's healthy, the money will be well spent for the Sixers. Sure, he'll be making $50+ million when he's 37 years old, but if Philadelphia wins a championship, it won't matter.

8. Bradley Beal, Suns: $50.2 million
Before being traded to the Suns last summer, Beal signed a five-year, $251.02 million deal with the Wizards. It was an inexplicable signing then, one that many expected would be incredibly difficult to trade. But then the Suns ponied up four pick swaps, a bevy of second-round picks to add Beal to a core that already featured Booker and Kevin Durant. In his first season with Phoenix he was limited to just 53 games due to injuries, and the jury is still out on if this trio of players can work on the same roster. If it doesn't it's going to be incredibly difficult for Phoenix to find a trade partner for Beal with this high of a salary given his injury history and limited impact on winning.

9. Kawhi Leonard, Clippers: $49.8 million
Like everything else about Leonard's demeanor, the Clippers quietly signed him to a three-year, $149.51 million extension back in January, likely with the intention of also signing George to a new deal this summer. However, George opted out on the last year of his deal and left L.A. for Philadelphia. Leaving Leonard in L.A. with James Harden. Despite all the injuries to Leonard over the years, which has been the reason the Clippers have never been able to truly contend of a championship, he's still one of the best players in the league when he's healthy. He tried to make a go of it in L.A.'s first-round playoff loss to the Mavericks, but he was visibly limited in what he was able to do. We'll see what he an the Clippers can do next season, but for now it feels like they paid Leonard to be a fringe contender at best.

T10. Anthony Edwards, Wolves: $48.9 million
Perhaps the fastest rising star this season, Edwards had the best year of his career, which ended with a Western Conference finals trip. He signed a five-year, $244 million extension in July 2023, and he's been on quite the tear since. He earned his second All-Star appearance, his first All-NBA nod and led the Wolves to a conference finals appearance. The crazy thing is, Edwards is only 22 years old and has barely begun scratching the surface of his potential. His on-court talent and off-court personality have him primed to be a face of the league in the future. Edwards is the centerpiece of Minnesota's team, and they'll continue to build around him going forward, even if it means trading one of his teammates also featured on this list.

T10. Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers: $48.9 million
Haliburton signed a five-year, $244 million rookie max extension with the Pacers last summer, and after making the All-NBA Third Team this past season, he earned an increase in his overall contract, as he'll now make 30% of Indiana's salary cap. it took his contract from roughly $204 million to around $245 million, a significant increase in pay. And it's well earned at that, as Haliburton helped lead a Pacers team to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2014. With him in tow, as well as a new contract for Pascal Siakam, the Pacers are primed once again to be playoff contenders in the East.

NBA's biggest contracts: Jayson Tatum overtakes Jaylen Brown for largest deal in league history (2024)
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