Although Stephen Curry (R) and LeBron James battled in the last two NBA Finals, their team contracts are on different playing fields. Two-time reigning MVP Curry is criminally shortchanged -- by NBA standards -- at $12.1 million this season, while LeBron lords over the list of top earners in the world's highest paying league. While James' position is expected, there are some eye-popping inclusions on this list. (Source: basketball-reference.com)
No. 20: Harrison Barnes, $22.12 million – Barnes became excess luggage at Golden State once Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors. The free agent -- who endured a poor NBA Finals and was essentially the 12th man on the Team USA roster in Rio -- signed a four-year $94.4 million deal with Dallas. The Mavericks are depending on the 6-foot 8-inch 24-year-old to take the scoring load off veteran Dirk Nowitzki. (Note: No's 20 -15 will all earn $22.12 million this season, the maximum under the current salary cap for players with up to six years of experience).
No. 19: Andre Drummond, $22.12 million – Drummond led the NBA in both offensive and defensive rebounds last year, averaging a total of 14.8 per game. He also made the All-NBA Third Team, confirming his status as a top-15 player in the league. The 6-foot 11-inch center was rewarded with a five-year max deal from the Pistons, worth over $127 million.
No.17: Hassan Whiteside, $22.12 million – Whiteside (#21) is the ultimate American redemption story. The seven-footer was drafted out of lowly Marshall University, and was cut by the Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies and even Al Mouttahed Tripoli of the Lebanese league before catching on with Miami in 2014. In a league run by "small ball," Whiteside excels as a throwback center, averaging 3.68 blocks per game in 2016 -- the highest mark since 2000. He also recorded three triple-doubles -- tying LeBron James and James Harden -- earning him a four-year $98 million deal with the Heat in July.
No. 16: Anthony Davis, $22.12 million – Last season was supposed to be Davis' breakout campaign, but he sat out the last 14 games with knee and shoulder injuries as the Pelicans missed out on the playoffs. Davis has yet to endure a full NBA season and said he has been troubled by left shoulder pain since his rookie campaign. When healthy, however, he is the most dominant big man in the game, which is why New Orleans signed a five-year, $127 million extension to his deal in 2015.