The NBA’s 2022-23 Highest-Paid Players List Is Awful

Fan of the NBA or not, everyone must admit this league’s player salaries are out of whack. Look no further than next year’s highest-paid players list. And we aren’t arguing the players make too much money, the wrong players are making it.

  1. Steph Curry – $48.1M
  2. James Harden – $47.4M
  3. John Wall – $47.4M
  4. Russell Westbrook – $47.1M
  5. LeBron James – $44.5M
  6. Kevin Durant – $44.2M

It’s clear the NBA has a problem when three of their top six highest-paid players aren’t the best players on their own team. Harden is easily behind Joel Embiid and probably not as good as Tyrese Maxey, John Wall hasn’t touched an NBA floor in two years, and Westbrook is expected to be dealt this off-season because the Lakers don’t want him. All paid like must-have talents and it’s descpicable.

One thing we know for certain about today’s NBA is that the players have all the power. Players enter into the league as rookies and just four years later have their respected franchises by the neck. Either pay me the max or someone else will. And there’s not nearly enough talent around the league for a team to decline these contracts and reallocate said money to another player.

Young talent worth a max contract is honestly a dime a dozen.

Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and John Wall are almost stealing money at this point. We’re happy for anyone capitalizing off a free market in their respected work force, however the NBA has to do something about this. There’s no way anyone can argue players that were last effective four or five years ago should command this type of money. John Wall has played 40 games the past two years, sitting an entire season waiting on a contract buy-out, and he still cashes out? A total joke for the NBA, and it impacts organizations strapped with these deals for years to come.

Of course we can argue organizations should hire front office staff smart enough to turn down these dismal deals, but we can’t ignore smaller markets are forced to dive into these waters. A team like the Oklahoma City Thunder, who rarely acquires star talent, is essentially forced to give Westbrook what he wanted. We’re all watching struggling players break the bank while young studs, like Ja Morant and Luka Doncic, wait for their big pay day. Perhaps the league should pay their players based on what they’re doing rather than what they’ve done?

Don’t know what they can do but commissioner Adam Silver needs to put his thinking cap on.

 

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

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