• Stephen Curry tops the list of highest-paid NBA players in 2021 with a cap hit of $45,780,966
  • LeBron "King James" James is only sixth on the list with a cap hit of $41,180,544
  • Russell Westbrook, who completed the Lakers' "Big 3" with James and Anthony Davis, has a cap hit of $44,211,146

The NBA has been home to iconic names throughout the history of the league, birthing legends such as Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who have carved their names in the industry. But in modern times, who are the highest-paid NBA players?

The salaries of professional basketball players have become even more lucrative through the years. This list of highest-paid NBA players in 2021 shows the athletes with the biggest contracts and highest cap hits in the league, as originally compiled by ESPN.

#10 Damian Lillard

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard signed a four-year contract extension with his team in 2019 worth $176,265,152. The NBA player’s deal, which would last until the 2024-2025 season, gave him a cap hit of $39,344,900, as per Spotrac.

#9 Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard recently signed a contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers worth $176.3 million for four years. The NBA player currently has a cap hit of $39,344,900. The 30-year-old small forward was named a consensus second-team All-American while playing college basketball for the San Diego State Aztecs.

#8 Paul George

Shooting guard Paul George currently plays for the Clippers and has a cap hit of $39,344,900 under his four-year, $176,265,466 contract. The 31-year-old superstar began his career in the NBA in 2010 when he was chosen as the 10th overall pick by the Indiana Pacers.

#7 Giannis Antetokounmpo

The “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo played a crucial role in the championship win of the Milwaukee Bucks against the Phoenix Suns in July this year. The 26-year-old power forward currently has a five-year, $228,200,420 contract with the Bucks with a cap hit of $39,344,900.

#6 LeBron James

LeBron James, also known as “King James,” is a 26-year-old small forward that plays for the Los Angeles Lakers under a two-year contract worth $85,655,532, which gives him an average annual salary of $42,827,766. The NBA superstar’s deal has a cap hit of $41,180,544.

#5 Kevin Durant

Small forward Kevin “KD” Durant currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets under a four-year, $164,255,700 contract. The NBA superstar was previously a free agent that played for various teams in the last season of the league. But now, Durant’s deal with the Nets gives him a cap hit of $42,018,900.

#4 Russell Westbrook

The Lakers recently acquired Russell Westbrook in a trade deal with the Washington Wizards under a five-year, $206,794,070 contract that would pay the athlete an average salary of $41,358,814 with a cap hit of $44,211,146. Westbrook's arrival in the Lakers forms the team’s “Big 3” that includes King James and Anthony Davis.

#3 John Wall

John Wall was chosen as the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Wizards and now plays for the Houston Rockets under a four-year, $171,131,520 contract with a cap hit of $44,310,840. His deal cements his plays as one of the highest-paid athletes in the league for this season.

#2 James Harden

Shooting guard James Harden, also known as “The Beard,” currently plays for the Nets. He has a cap hit of $44,310,840 under his contract worth $171,131,520 for four years. Harden was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player during the league’s 2017-2018 season while playing for the Rockets.

#1 Stephen Curry

But the title of highest-paid NBA player in 2021 goes to the Warriors’ superstar Stephen Curry, who arguably has one of the biggest contracts in the league’s history. The 33-year-old point guard earns an average annual salary of $40,231,758 with a cap hit of $45,780,966 under his five-year, $201,158,790 contract. Throughout his 11-year career in the NBA, Curry has won three championship rings and earned two MVP awards.

LeBron James at premiere of "Space Jam: A New Legacy"
JULY 12: LeBron James attends the premiere of Warner Bros "Space Jam: A New Legacy" at Regal LA Live on July 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/WireImage