Anthony Davis, 30, will become a “$60 million man. He signed a contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday worth up to $186 million over three years.
The deal is effective for the 2025-2026 season. It is the highest contract in NBA history based on average annualized salary ($62 million-$81.1 billion). Last month, the Boston Celtics gave shooting guard/small forward Jaylen Brown (196 cm) a five-year, $60.74 million ($794.55 million) extension through the 2024-2025 season. Brown made history by becoming the first player to surpass $300 million ($337.3 million) in contract size.
Davis, 208 cm, a former first-round draft pick of New Orleans in 2012, was traded to the Lakers in June 2019. He is one of the league’s best big men, averaging 24 points (10.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.3 blocked shots, 1.3 steals) in 11 seasons. He will make $40.6 million in the 2023-2024 season and $43.22 million in the 2024-2025 season. Their cumulative salary from their rookie seasons through the 2027-2028 season, when their new contracts end, is $497.5 million.
Davis and Brown are significant because they usher in the $60 million-a-year era in the NBA. That $60 million is more than the entirety of the Baltimore Orioles or Oakland Athletics’ rosters as of Opening Day of this year’s Major League Baseball (MLB) season. The Orioles rank 29th in payroll ($60.72 million) and the Athletics rank 30th ($56.89 million) among the 30 major league teams, making them typical “small market” organizations. They don’t compare to the New York Mets ($353.54 million), who have the highest payroll.
The highest paid players in the majors this year are Justin Verlander (Houston Astros) and Max Scherzer (Texas Rangers-plus pitcher), both at $43.3 million. Last year’s home run king, Aaron Judge (New York Yankees), earns $40 million (third).
By comparison, NBA stars earn much higher salaries. The highest paid player in the 2023-2024 season is Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors at $51.915 million. There are 18 other players earning over $40 million, including Curry.
There’s a reason the NBA has such a high per capita salary. In the 2021-2022 season, the average NBA team earned $334 million, while the average MLB team earned $360 million in the 2022 season. Despite the difference in revenue, there are far fewer players per team in the NBA (15) than in MLB (40). This is a good structure for the NBA to increase its “per capita labor cost”.
While MLB does not have a salary cap, only a luxury tax, the NBA has a cap ($136.2 million) as well as a floor ($124.1 million for the 2023-2024 season). Of course, there are teams in the NBA that charge a hefty luxury tax to boost their player salaries, but the disparity between teams is relatively small compared to MLB. Rich teams and poor teams are similar in terms of player salaries.
The Golden State Warriors have a total team payroll of over $200 million for the 2023-2024 season, ranking first out of 30 teams. The Warriors also face an “enhanced penalty” for paying the luxury tax in past years. Next season, the luxury tax is expected to be around $190 million. Between salaries and the luxury tax, the Warriors will have to spend around $400 million a season, but the team’s finances are so strong that it shouldn’t be a problem. The Warriors made $765 million in sponsorships, ticket and merchandise sales in 2022, and are on track to surpass $1 billion in annual revenue. Right now, the NBA is the “real deal” in the US professional sports business 스포츠토토.