Top 10 Biggest NBA Center Contracts
As the NBA is moving towards a small ball game, where centers are required to be able to shoot and open up the floor, many teams are not willing to give their big men huge contracts. However, a few of them are still making franchises break the bank. Let’s find out who are the highest-paid centers in the NBA.
What are the biggest NBA Center Contracts of All Time?
- Nikola Jokic: 5-year, $272 million
- Karl-Anthony Towns: 4-year, $224 million
- Joel Embiid: 4-year, $210 million
- Rudy Gobert: 5-year, $205 million
- Anthony Davis: 5-year, $190 million
- Deandre Ayton: 4-year, $132 million
- Al Horford: 4-year, $109 million
- Jarrett Allen: 5-year, $100 million
- Nikola Vucevic: 4-year, $100 million
- Clint Capela: 5-year, $90 million
1. Nikola Jokic - 5-year, $272 million
After two NBA MVP campaigns, Serbian All-Star Nikola Jokic signed a five-year, $272 million extension with the Denver Nuggets, agreeing to the biggest contract in NBA history. “The Joker” has redefined the center position, creating a new prototype of a center who can shoot like a guard and pass the ball around like a point guard. Since he was drafted by the Nuggets, Jokic has made it to the All-Star Game four times and is a three-time All-NBA First Team.
2. Karl-Anthony Towns - 4-year, $224 million
Just like Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns agreed to a supermax extension in the 2022 offseason. The 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year signed a four-year, $224 million deal to stay with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the franchise that selected him first overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. In seven seasons in the NBA, the Dominican center has been voted to the All-NBA Third Team twice and has been selected three times to the All-Star Game.
3. Joel Embiid - 4-year, $210 million
Since his first game back in 2016, Joel Embiid has put himself among the most dominant players in the league. His performances earned him a four-year, $210 million extension, signed in September 2022 with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Cameroon native is a constant nominee for the NBA MVP and is rated as one of the best defensive big men in the league. Joel Embiid is a five-time NBA All-Star and won the scoring title in 2022.
4. Rudy Gobert - 5-year, $205 million
After nine seasons in Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz traded three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year to the Minnesota Timberwolves in July 2022. The trade came two years after the French center put pen to paper on a five-year, $205 million extension with the Utah Jazz.
Gobert’s resume is stacked as he is a three-time NBA All-Star and has been voted to the All-NBA Defensive Team six times while also being a four-time All-NBA (three times Third Team All-NBA and one-time All-NBA Second Team).
5. Anthony Davis - 4-year, $190 million
After many talks around a possible trade, the Los Angeles Lakers finally agreed to a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire Anthony Davis in the summer of 2019. Davis was a key player in the Lakers title in 2020, earning him a four-year, $190 million extension in the 2020 offseason. The University of Kentucky alum is an eight-time NBA All-Star and a four-time All-NBA First Team while leading the league in blocks for three seasons.
6. Deandre Ayton - 4-year, $132 million
A series of heroic performances that led the Phoenix Suns to a trip to the NBA Finals in 2021 put Bahamian center Deandre Ayton in line to receive a max contract extension. As the NBA free agency kicked off, Ayton and the Suns agreed to a four-year, $132 million extension in July 2022. Having been selected first overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, Deandre Ayton made it to the All-Rookie First Team in 2019. and is among the most dominant players in the paint in the league.
7. Al Horford - 4-year, $109 million
Two-time NCAA champion at the University of Florida, Al Horford is the second Dominican player on this list after Karl-Anthony Towns. After nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks and three on the Celtics, Horford signed a four-year, $109 million contract with the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2019 offseason. After a season in Philadelphia and one in Oklahoma City, the five-time All-Star Horford was traded back to the Celtics in June 2021, where he has had an instant impact bringing the team to the NBA Finals.
8. Jarrett Allen - 5-year, $100 million
Jarrett Allen joined the Cleveland Cavaliers from the Brooklyn Nets in January 2021 as part of a four-team trade. In a very short time in Ohio, Allen showed all of his athleticism and defensive dominance, convincing the Cavs to sign him to a five-year, $100 million deal in the 2021 offseason. The contract extension led Allen to raise his playing level, making it to the All-Star team for the first time in his career in 2022.
9. Nikola Vucevic - 4-year, $100 million
After being the cornerstone of the franchise for nine seasons, Nikola Vucevic was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Chicago Bulls in March 2021. This came two years after Vucevic had signed a four-year, $100 million max extension with the Magic, which is now the ninth-biggest contract for an NBA center. Thanks to his versatility and great shooting, the Montenegrin center has made it to the All-Star Game twice.
10. Clint Capela - 5-year, $90 million
Swiss center Clint Capela closes out a top ten list with great foreign representation. Having started his career as Dwight Howard’s backup, Capela became a regular starter in the 2016-17 season and signed a five-year, $90 million extension with the Houston Rockets in July 2018.
Capela was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in February 2020 and was a key piece to his team’s Eastern Conference Finals run in 2021. The Hawks big men also led the league in rebounds in the 2021 season.
- Wendell Carter Jr.
- Richaun Holmes
- Chet Holmgren
- Brook Lopez
- Evan Mobley
- Jusuf Nurkic
- Mitchell Robinson
- Myles Turner
- Robert Williams III
- James Wiseman
Who has the biggest NBA Center contract currently?
Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic is currently the center on the highest contract in the NBA, as he signed a five-year, $272 million supermax extension in the 2022 offseason. The contract has an annual average value of $54 million, which ranks second behind Karl-Anthony Towns’ $56 million. Nikola Jokic is also the NBA player that currently has the biggest contract in the league, ahead of Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Who has the biggest NBA Center contract of all time?
The five-year, $272 million supermax extension signed by two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic to stay on the Denver Nuggets is the largest contract ever signed by a center in NBA history. Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid, Rudy Gobert, and Anthony Davis close out the top five of the biggest NBA center contracts of all time. Furthermore, Nikola Jokic’s contract is also the biggest contract signed by an NBA player in the league’s history.