Jayson Tatum has arguably been the NBA's best player through one-third of the 2022-23 season, but the Boston Celtics aren't paying him like it. The forward is the MVP favorite and barely cracks top-40 in terms of highest salaries.

Tatum is in the second year of a five-year, $163 million max contract, which includes a player option for the 2025-26 campaign. His $30.351 million salary ranks 38th in the league, according to Spotrac, tying him with De'Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo.

Compared to the league's highest-paid players, Tatum is a bargain. There are 21 players earning a salary north of $35 million this season. Ten players are making at least $40 million. Stephen Curry leads the league at more than $48 million.

Tobias Harris, Kristaps Porzingis and D'Angelo Russell are among the players who are being paid more than Tatum.

In terms of total money, Tatum's contract is only a little better than his salary when compared to his peers. Tatum's $163 million deal ties him with three other players for the 27th-largest among active contracts.

Tatum's contract could've been worth up to $195 million if he was selected to a 2021 All-NBA team. The Celtics star was the highest vote-getter of any player who missed the cut, costing him $32 million over the life of the deal.

There seems to be little doubt that Tatum will be a 2023 All-NBA selection if he stays healthy. After making the All-NBA First Team a season ago, Tatum has been the best player on the best team. Boston leads both conferences with a 21-5 record and an offense that's on track to be the most efficient in the history of the sport.

Tatum has +280 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook to win an MVP award, giving him a slight edge over two-time winner Giannis Antetokounmpo at +290. Tatum is fourth in scoring, averaging 30.5 points to go along with 8,2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.0 blocks per game.

Tatum is shooting a career-high 48% from the field. He's making 36.5% of his 9.3 attempts per game from the 3-point range. Tatum's 7.0 free throws made per game are tied for sixth in the league.

Prior to this season, the Celtics paid Tatum a little more than $58 million in the first five years of his career.

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics celebrates with Grant Williams #12 and Noah Vonleh #4 against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center on October 24, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Michael Reaves/Getty Images