UPDATE (Aug. 6, 8:00 AM): The salary numbers reported by Joel Brigham do not agree with the Basketball Insiders salary page maintained by Eric Pincus. Per Pincus' numbers, Lillard's contract is actually for $139.9 million, which would give Lillard the third richest contract ever.
H/T to commenter Sean M for pointing out the discrepancy.
Portland Trail Blazers Point Guard Damian Lillard spent the 2015-2016 season ascending the "Greatest Blazer of all-time" list. When the national media took notice and named Lillard to the all-NBA second team he rocketed to nearly the top of another list: Highest paid players in NBA history.
Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders explains that Lillard’s rookie contract extension, which activated on July 1, is the second largest deal in league history. Lillard’s contract was originally for "only" about $120 million, but it jumped to more than $150 million when his all-NBA selection triggered a "Derrick Rose Bonus."
Mike Conley of the Grizzlies and DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors also joined Lillard on the highest all-time contracts list this summer. Conley’s $153 million extension and DeRozan’s $145 million deal are, respectively, the first and third richest in league history.
It’s no coincidence that the three largest NBA contracts ever all went into effect this summer; the league’s new television deal has created a salary cap spike which drove up the value of maximum contracts. League revenues show no signs of declining, so fans can expect more contemporary players to join Lillard, Conley, and DeRozan at the time of the highest paid list in the coming years.
Here’s the full list of the top 15 contracts in NBA history from Brigham’s article:
1. Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies, five years, $153 million (2016)
2. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, five years, $151.8 million (2015)
3. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors, five years, $145 million (2016)
4. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers, seven years, $136.4 million (2004)
5. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons, five years, $130 million (2016)
6. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards, five years, $128 million (2016)
7. Jermaine O’Neal, Indiana Pacers, five years, $126.6 million (2003)
8. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, five years, $126.5 million (2015)
9. Rashard Lewis, Orlando Magic, six years, $126 million (2007)
10. Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves, five years, $126 million (2007)
11. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, five years, $124.1 million (2014)
12. Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks, five years, $123.7 million (2010)
13. Chris Webber, Sacramento Kings, seven years, $122.7 million (2001)
14. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, seven years, $122 million (2003)
15. Nicolas Batum, Charlotte Hornets, five years, $120 million (2016)