Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Who Earns The Most?

nba finals 2015

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers square off in the 2015 NBA Finals. While most people are poring over points per game and rebounds and steals and other stats, we here at iMoney are asking the question: who’s earning the most in each team?

Take a look at the top five earners for each team for the 2014/15 season:

Golden State Warriors

The Western Conference champs are the favorites to win the Finals, winning a league-high 67 games in the regular season behind the shooting prowess of Stephen Curry, this season’s MVP and widely regarded as one of the best shooters of all time, breaking records left and right. But he doesn’t top the Dubs’ payroll.

golden state warriors salary graphic

David Lee heads the salary table for the Warriors, due to the contract he signed back in 2010 that pays him P3.6 billion over six years. Even though he’s the highest-paid Warrior, however, the power forward is now only a reserve for the team. The Aussie Andrew Bogut is second, with a P1.6 billion three-year contract that could go up to P1.9 billion with incentives. 2014 All-NBA Defensive first team member Andre Iguodala is close behind, with a four-year P2.1 billion deal signed in 2013. MVP Stephen Curry is only fourth on the salary list, with a four-year P2.0 billion rookie scale contract extension he signed in 2012. Rounding out the top five highest-paid Warriors is Shaun Livingston, with his three-year, P714 million contract signed in 2014.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs, making just their second trip to the Finals, are the underdogs of the series. But with LeBron James playing the way he is, dominating opponents even as the team is hampered by injuries to key players, they shouldn’t be written off just yet. Unsurprisingly, he tops the Cavs’ payroll, signing a two-year, P1.9 billion contract in 2014 as he opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat and returned to his home state. This is James’ fifth straight trip to the Finals, the first player since the 1960s to achieve this feat.

cleveland cavaliers salary chart

Coming in next in the payroll is Kevin Love, who was traded to the Cavs in 2014 to form part of the “Big Three” with James and Irving. The injured power forward recently told reporters that he fully expects to play for the Cavs next season. The Brazilian Anderson Varejao, also injured and not playing in the Finals, is third, having signed a contract extension in October 2014. Kyrie Irving, the Cavs’ #1 draft pick in 2011 and who set a franchise-record 57 points in one game just this March, is fourth. And JR Smith, who joined the Cavs from the New York Knicks in January along with Iman Shumpert, rounds out the top five players on the payroll.

How Much Do The 2015 NBA Finals Champions Get?

Whoever wins The Finals doesn’t get a huge payout per se. Last year, the NBA started with a P625 million prize pool, which it pays out to teams based on where they finished in their conference in the regular season. The San Antonio Spurs received P179 million for winning The Finals, with the rest of the pool being distributed to the losing playoff teams. That amount pales in comparison to the player’s salaries, especially when you consider that the P179 million has to be split amongst the players.

Who’s Going To Win?

The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers have met twice this season, with each team winning on their home court. Golden State Warriors are the favorites, with NBA analysts pegging them to win in six games. But will The Splash Brothers get past the Cavs’ much-improved D? Can King James take home a first major sports championship for the city of Cleveland since 1964? Both teams are only four wins away from glory. Who’s your bet?

Leave your comment