The 10 largest free agency contracts in NBA history

These 10 players have penned the most expensive contracts when moving teams as a free agent in NBA history.

Free agency is a big chance for a player to start off fresh and potentially pick up an astronomical paycheck in the process.
There were some big deals this summer, including Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine and Deandre Ayton's extensions with the Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns respectively.

Jalen Brunson moved from the Dallas Mavericks to the New York Knicks as a free agent, penning a four-year $104,000,000 deal, but has remarkably missed out on this top 10.

Some useful players are still available as free agents, such as Carmelo Anthony, LaMarcus Aldridge and Avery Bradley.

With all the big deals done, dusted and out of the way, here are the top 10 largest free agent contracts of all time for players who moved elsewhere, ranked by total salary.

10) D'Angelo Russell, Golden State Warriors

Russell penned a four-year $117,325,500 deal via a sign-and-trade in 2019, leaving the Brooklyn Nets.
His time with the Warriors was pretty underwhelming, however.
The Warriors were bad in 2019/20, but Russell did score a career-high 52 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves in November 2019.
Russell was traded to the Timberwolves alongside Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman for Andrew Wiggins, who helped Golden State win a championship last season.

9) Rashard Lewis, Orlando Magic

Another player, and another sign-and-trade.
Having played his entire nine-year career in Seattle, Lewis penned a huge six-year $118,200,000 contract and was a part of the Magic team that reached the NBA Finals in 2009, two years after his trade.
He did not win in Orlando, but did nearby with the Miami Heat in 2013.

8) Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers

Lewis moved to Orlando and Shaq moved from Orlando, penning a seven-year $120,000,000 deal with the Lakers in the 90s.
This was the biggest contract in NBA history at the time and the Lakers do not regret offering it to O'Neal.
He helped the franchise win three championships and averaged 27 PPG, 11.8 RPG and 2.5 BPG across eight seasons in LA.

7) Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets

Hayward signed for the Hornets in 2020 and has two years left on his $120,000,000 contract.
He has averaged 17.6 PPG in Charlotte but has only been able to start 92 NBA games in two seasons.

6) Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics

Occupying seventh and sixth place is Mr. Hayward.
His deal to join the Celtics was worth $127,829,970 across four years. Hayward opted out of his contract after three years, however, to join the Hornets.
The 32-year-old enjoyed a terrific time with the Utah Jazz but has not reached the same level since leaving them as a free agent in 2017.

5) Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets

Irving left the Celtics to win a ring in Brooklyn, but he has not been successful in his mission as things stand.
His time with the Nets has been interesting, to say the least. This is mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the overall uncertainty surrounding his future.
The deal Irving inked in 2019 is worth $136,490,600 over four years.

T3) Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics

Another former Celtics point guard, Walker is the greatest player in Charlotte Hornets' history but wanted a new challenge with the prospect of winning a ring with the franchise that drafted him looking unlikely.
Since leaving the Hornets, it has not been fun for Walker.
Celtics offered him a four-year $140,790,600 deal (via a sign-and-trade) as they sought a replacement for Irving.
Walker spent two years in Boston before moving to the New York Knicks. He is now playing for the Detroit Pistons.

T3) Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat

After a lengthy spell with the Chicago Bulls - the team that drafted him - Butler bounced around the league a bit, but has finally found a home in Miami.
Butler signed a four-year $140,790,600 contract following a spell with the Philadelphia 76ers and helped the Heat reach the NBA Finals in the 2020 Orlando Bubble.

2) LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

James made 'The Decision' to join the Heat in 2010, signing a $109,837,500 deal, which is tied for 12th all-time in this ranking.
His four-year $153,312,846 contract with the Lakers was the biggest of his career and in his second season won his fourth title, beating Butler and the Heat in the aforementioned Bubble.
LeBron recently penned a new two-year $97,100,000 contract with the Lakers.

1) Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Durant made the switch from the Warriors to the Nets with the same objective as Irving: to bring Brooklyn their first championship.
His deal with the Nets was worth $164,255,700 over the course of four years and after requesting a trade out of Brooklyn this summer, will be staying in pursuit of his third ring.
His sign-and-trade to the Nets involved D'Angelo Russell, who joined the Warriors in the process.
READ MORE: Former Houston Rockets guard tells story of time he nearly stabbed Hakeem Olajuwon

More Articles