The NBA's salary cap is supposed to promote competitive balance, but the league's biggest spenders are also the championship favorites. The teams with top-five payrolls have the best odds to win the title in the 2022-2023 season.

The Los Angeles Clippers' payroll of $199.2 million is the league's highest, according to HoopsHype, a little over a week before Opening Night. The Golden State Warriors are set to defend their championship with a $196.2 million payroll, which ranks second in all of basketball.

The Brooklyn Nets are paying $190.5 million in player salaries for 2022-2023, leading the Eastern Conference. The Milwaukee Bucks ($185.1 million) and Boston Celtics ($184.6 million) are the only other teams with payrolls north of $177 million.

After coming two victories shy of winning the 2022 Finals, the Celtics are the preseason championship favorites. Milwaukee is considered to be Boston's biggest threat after pushing the Celtics to seven games in their second-round playoff series. The Clippers, Warriors and Nets are tied for the third-best championship odds.

Golden State is led by the world's highest-paid basketball player. Stephen Curry has a record $48 million salary after winning the 2022 Finals MVP award. Four Warriors players make at least $25 million.

Expectations are high for the Clippers now that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are healthy. The two superstars are each set to make $42.5 million this season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo also has a $42.5 million salary. Antetokounmpo won back-to-back regular-season MVP awards in 2019 and 2020 before winning the 2021 Finals MVP award for Milwaukee's first title in 50 years. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday return to the Bucks among the 27 highest-paid players.

In Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, the Nets have three of the league's 22 highest-paid players. Durant and Irving were nearly traded in the summer.

No team is spending more money on two players than the Los Angeles Lakers. Russell Westbrook and LeBron James rank third and fourth, respectively, in player salaries. With Anthony Davis completing the Lakers' Big 3, the team has the sixth-highest payroll ($176.9 million)

The Lakers missed last year's playoffs and aren't viewed as a top contender.

The Phoenix Suns ($173.2 million) and Dallas Mavericks ($171.9 million) have top-eight payrolls. The Denver Nuggets ($165.9 million) and Portland Trail Blazers ($158.3 million) round out the top 10.

The Memphis Grizzlies ($124.4) have the lowest payroll of any 2022 playoff team. The San Antonio Spurs ($98.8) are the only team that has a payroll south of $100 million.

Only a handful of teams are below the $123.655 million salary cap. There are 11 teams above the $150.267 million luxury tax line.

Steph Curry
NOVEMBER 12: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warriors made a basket against the Chicago Bulls in the second half at Chase Center on November 12, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images