As of the 2020-2021 NBA season, there are only nine players in the league with supermax contracts. The supermax contract is a type of deal that was introduced in the NBA`s 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement. It allows teams to offer their superstar players a maximum contract that can exceed the salary cap by a certain percentage, depending on the player`s level of experience and performance.
To qualify for a supermax contract, a player must meet certain criteria. They must have been with their current team for at least eight years, or have played for at least four seasons and been named to an All-NBA team at least twice during their career. Additionally, the team offering the supermax must either have drafted the player or have acquired them in a trade during their rookie scale contract.
The first player to sign a supermax contract was Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. He signed a five-year deal worth $201 million in 2017. Since then, only eight other players have received supermax contracts:
1. Chris Paul – Phoenix Suns ($160 million over four years)
2. Russell Westbrook – Washington Wizards ($207 million over five years)
3. John Wall – Houston Rockets ($170 million over four years)
4. Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers ($196 million over four years)
5. James Harden – Houston Rockets ($171 million over four years)
6. Kevin Durant – Brooklyn Nets ($198 million over five years)
7. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks ($228 million over five years)
8. Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers ($196 million over four years)
It`s worth noting that some of these players signed their supermax contracts after being offered a regular max contract by their current team or after exploring free agency. However, the supermax contract is designed to incentivize players to stay with their current team and reward them for their loyalty and performance.
In conclusion, supermax contracts are rare in the NBA and are only offered to a select few players who meet strict criteria. As of the 2020-2021 season, there are only nine players in the league with supermax contracts, and they are some of the most talented and highly-paid players in the league.