Lebron James, Jonathan Kuminga
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots over Jonathan Kuminga #00 of the Golden State Warriors during a 124-116 Lakers win at Crypto.com Arena on March 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images

LeBron James turns 38 years old on Dec. 30, nearing the halfway point of his 20th NBA season. The Los Angeles Lakers star has made more money playing professional basketball than anyone in history, and his career earnings might continue to skyrocket over the next few seasons.

James' net worth reached $1 billion earlier in 2022, according to Forbes, making him the first NBA player to achieve that feat while being an active player. James will have earned just under $432 million in NBA contracts when the 2022-23 season is completed.

James' contract runs through the 2024-25 season as part of a two-year, $97.1 million extension. In the final year of the deal, James is set to make a career-high $50.65 million salary. If James finishes his current contract , he'll reach $529.4 million in career earnings in the summer of 2025.

Only Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook have a higher salary than the $44.5 million that James is earning in his age-38 season. James remains one of the league's best players, and he could still be among the highest-paid stars for several years to come.

James enters his birthday averaging 27.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game. The four-time MVP ranks ninth in scoring and 16th in assists. In Los Angeles' 112-88 loss against the Miami Heat Wednesday night, James was one of the Lakers' few bright spots, putting up 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

"I don't have a number," James told reporters after the loss when asked how many more seasons he might play. "I know as long as my mind stays in it, I can play at this level for a minute. Now, that's up to my mind. My body is going to be OK because if my mind is into it, I will make sure my body is taken care of and I'll continue to put in the work."

If James maintains this level of play for another season and a half, he can opt out of the final year of his current deal and sign another max contract. Whether or not he chooses to stay in Los Angeles, it's a safe bet to assume that some team will be ready to pay one of the league's greatest stars ever a top salary if he's still competing at an All-Star level.

James could make close to $55 million for the 2025-26 season. The highest-paid players have a salary well north of $60 million for the 2026-27 campaign.

James has made it no secret that he hopes to play alongside his son, Bronny James, who will be eligible for the 2024 draft. It's still uncertain if Bronny James will be an NBA-caliber player. LeBron's youngest son, Bryce James, is a sophomore in high school and could potentially have a future as a professional basketball player.

Udonis Haslem is the oldest player in the league at 42 years old, though he's played fewer than 85 minutes total in six straight seasons with the Miami Heat. In the 2019-20 season, Vince Carter turned 43 years old and scored 298 points for the Atlanta Hawks.