Because of the ever-rising NBA salary cap, a new player signs a historic contract just about every year. The trend continued in 2022 free agency, and this time two players have inked deals that are worth more than the record that was held during this past season.
Jokic won the 2021 and 2022 regular-season MVP awards. On his way to winning the award for a second time, Jokic became the first player to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a single season.
Salary projections in 2023-24 are:Cap: $133MTax: $161MThe Nikola Jokic projected super max in Denver is for $270M
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 30, 2022
Prior to the start of the offseason, Giannis Antetokounmpo had the richest NBA contract of all time. The Milwaukee Bucks gave Antetokounmpo a five-year, $228 million extension seven months before he was named the 2021 NBA Finals MVP.
Antetokounmpo and Jokic might be the best basketball players in the world. The only other player signed to a contract worth more than $225 million isn’t in that same tier.
Bradley Beal opted out of his contract to become a free agent, and the Washington Wizards promptly gave him a five-year, $251 million contract. Beal has been an All-Star three times since 2018, though he’s only made one All-NBA Third Team and never played beyond the second round of the playoffs.
Injuries limited Beal to 40 games last season. In each of the previous two years, Beal averaged at least 30.5 points per game.
A pair of other players signed deals that nearly topped Antetokounmpo’s contract. Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns have both received four-year extensions worth just north of $224 million.
Booker finished fourth in the 2022 NBA MVP voting. The shooting guard led the Phoenix Suns with 26.8 points per game. The Suns had the NBA’s best regular-season record a year after losing to Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in the Finals.
Towns was selected to his third All-Star team and his second All-NBA Third Team in 2022. The center averaged 24.6 points and 9.8 rebounds for a Minnesota Timberwolves’ team that made it to Game 6 of their first-round series with the Memphis Grizzlies. Towns has never won a playoff series.
Stephen Curry’s five-year, $215.3 million is the NBA’s sixth-richest contract. The reigning Finals MVP is set to have the league’s highest-salary next season, according to Spotrac.
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