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Taking a look at lucrative NBA offseason deals. Are we heading for a $70 million-a-year NBA player?

As the NBA generates more revenue and the salary cap rises, especially with a new TV deal coming soon, player salaries could explode in near future.

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Steph Curry of Golden State will become the first player in NBA history to earn $50 million in a single season in 2023–2024. Damian Lillard, a star player for Portland, will earn $60 million for the 2026–2027 season.

Three-time All-Star for Washington Bradley Beal has just agreed to a five-year, $251 million extension with the Wizards. a transaction for $250 million. It is now the highest-paying deal in the league.

The wage cap in the NBA has increased by more than twice as much in the last ten years, on average by 8.2 percent annually. This cap determines how much a team may pay its roster of players, excepting some exceptions.

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By the end of this decade or in the early 2030s, a player – perhaps Memphis’ Ja Morant, New Orleans’ Zion Williamson, Dallas’ Luka Doncic, or Atlanta’s Trae Young – will be paid $70 million for a season as the league generates more revenue and the salary cap rises, especially with a new TV deal on the horizon.

Starting in 1990 and continuing through 2000, the league’s wage cap nearly doubled every ten years. If this trend continues, the salary limit could reach approximately $200 million in 2029–30 or 2030–31. At a $200 million salary limit, a player who receives a maximum of 35 percent of the cap will begin the season with $70 million.

LeBron James earned $14.5 million in his debut season with the Miami Heat in 2010, so this is a significant increase.

Before anyone starts complaining about excessive player pay, it should be noted that the National Basketball Players Association (union) and the league negotiate player compensation, with both parties splitting revenue from basketball-related activities equally. The reason the league is making that much money is because the players are making that.

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Here are a few of the large contracts that were inked this offseason:

Lillard is expected to make $258.69 million over the next five seasons thanks to his two-year, $121.77 million agreement through 2026–2027, with $63.2 million arriving in the final season.

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Each of Beal’s final three seasons will cost more than $50 million each, including $57.1 million in 2026–2027.

Beal’s contract will be surpassed when the Denver Nuggets’ two-time MVP’s agreement begins to take effect in 2023–24. Jokic will earn $301.4 million over the following six seasons thanks to a five-year deal worth $269.9 million.

Zach LaVine, Doncic, and Young are all Chicago players who have contracts paying them a combined $215.15 million over the next five seasons.

Morant, Williamson, and Darius Garland of Cleveland all agreed to designated max rookie deals worth at least $193 million, which will increase to $231 million if they make one of the All-NBA teams in 2022–23.

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Karl-Anthony Towns of Minnesota and Devin Booker of Phoenix have agreed to four-year, $224 million deals with starting salaries of $50 million in 2024–25.

Deals don’t necessarily need to be in the $200 million area to be noteworthy.

Mitchell Robinson re-signed with the Knicks on a four-year, $80 million agreement, while Jalen Brunson will join New York on a four-year, $104 million deal.

Anfernee Simons of Portland re-signed for four years and $100 million, and Jusuf Nurkic obtained a similar deal.

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Lu Dort from Oklahoma City has agreed to a four-year, $87 million contract.

Originally published on USA TODAY, this article says: examining lucrative NBA offseason contracts. Are we on track for an NBA player making $70 million annually?

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