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The Biggest Contracts of the 2021 NBA Offseason

Steph, Trae, Jimmy, and a running count of the most expensive deals of the summer — both by total value and average annual value

Before the NBA’s free agency and offseason period was even half a day old, over a billion dollars had already been spent on talent for the 2021-22 season and beyond.

A few of the news items were far from a surprise:

  • Steph Curry became the first player to sign an extension following a supermax extension, re-upping with the Warriors for four years and an incredible $215 million.
  • Trae Young and Luka Dončić inked the joint-biggest rookie extensions in NBA history: $207 million over five years. Months later, the Nuggets reportedly handed Michael Porter Jr. the same deal.
  • Kevin Durant signed a four-year deal that will take him above half a billion dollars in career earnings before his 38th birthday.

But a couple of numbers arrived more unexpectedly.

Principally, I submit to you Mr. Jimmy Butler, who just got absolutely paid ahead of his imminent team-up with new Miami teammate Kyle Lowry. In fact, he’s making off with a bit more than Kawhi Leonard, who has a ring and a Finals MVP to his name.

So, whose deals were fat enough to crack the vaunted top 10 in total value? And how about average annual value? Let’s roll through the full list.

Data updated as of the announcement of Michael Porter Jr.’s extension on 27 Sept. 2021.

Top 10 Contracts of the 2021 Offseason:
Total Value
PLAYERTEAMYRSTOT. $
1. Steph CurryWarriors4$215M
t-2. Trae YoungHawks5$207M
t-2. Luka DončićMavericks5$207M
t-2. Michael Porter Jr.Nuggets5$207M
5. Kevin DurantNets4$198M
6. Joel Embiid76ers4$196M
7. Jimmy ButlerHeat4$184M
8. Kawhi LeonardClippers4$176.3M
9. Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderThunder5$172M
10. John CollinsHawks5$125M
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Top 10 Contracts of the 2021 Offseason:
Average Annual Value
PLAYERTEAMYRSAVG. $
1. Steph CurryWarriors4$53.75M
2. Kevin DurantNets4$49.5M
3. Joel Embiid76ers4$49M
4. Jimmy ButlerHeat4$46M
5. Kawhi LeonardClippers4$44.075
t-6. Trae YoungHawks5$41.4M
t-6. Luka DončićMavericks5$41.4M
t-6. Michael Porter Jr.Nuggets5$41.4M
9. Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderThunder5$34.4M
t-10. Chris PaulSuns4$30M
t-10. Kyle LowryHeat3$30M

There are some incredible sums to marvel — and Julius Randle’s four years and $117 million weren’t even enough to make either one of our lists, to say nothing of Jarrett Allen’s five years and $100 million or Lonzo Ball’s four years and $85 million.

Business is booming around the Association.

And to think… this was supposed to be a “down year” in free agency.