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LeBron James 2-year contract extension makes him the NBA’s all-time highest-paid player

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LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, making him the highest-paid player in NBA history, as ESPN reported for the first time.

With this new contract, James will earn at least $528.9 million in guaranteed earnings over his career, more than Kevin Durant’s all-time earnings, according to salary tracking site Spotrac.

Here’s a look at the 10 highest-paid NBA players of all time, including active and inactive players:

  1. LeBron James: $528,992,480
  2. Kevin Durant: $498,688,653
  3. Stephen Curry: $470,090,010
  4. Damian Lilard: $449,910,157
  5. Bradley Beal: $428,874,362
  6. Chris Paul: $419,909,419
  7. Nikola Jokic: $419,369,513
  8. Karl-Anthony Towns: $406,491,723
  9. Devin Booker: $390,756,853
  10. Joel Embiid: $374,516,037
LeBron James

Despite James’ ability to have nearly two decades on the pitch, his career value has not surpassed that of young stars. James is 37 years old, but the other players on this list are in their 20s or early 30s.

One big reason for that is the cost of salary: As the first draft pick in 2003, James received more than $4 million in his rookie season, less than $10 million the top pick can win today.

The contract extension followed another milestone for James. Last year, he became the first active NBA player to reach billionaire status, according to Forbes. Besides his NBA salary, James’ net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion including income from endorsements, business investments and his own entertainment industry.

James is entering the final year of his contract with the Lakers, which pays him $44.5 million for the 2022-23 season. With the extension, he will earn about $46.7 million for the 2023-24 season. It includes a player’s option for the third year, which means that for the 2024-25 season, James can choose to extend the contract or join another team.

Since this is a contract extension and not a new contract, James is not eligible for a no-trade clause, but it does include a buyer paying him 15% of his salary if a sell it to another group.

The NBA All-Star and four-time champion will enter the 20th season this fall, looking for his second championship with the Lakers, to win with the team in 2020.

Although the Lakers lost games last season, James played well, scoring 30.3 points per game – his best since the 2005-06 season.

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