NBA

Which NBA teams have three max contract players on their roster?

Over the recent years, the NBA's salary cap has ballooned and is expected to continue doing so.

Barring the 2020-21 season, when there was no change in the salary cap from the previous year - an economic consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic - the salary cap has seen a spike in the range of five to eight million dollars each year since 2014, according to Real GM .

These salary camp increases, including the biggest jump prior to the 2016-17 season which saw the cap jump to $94 million after being just at $70 million the prior season - an outcome of the money from the league's new TV deal (worth $2.6 billion per year over a nine-year period) kicking-in - has seen the cap go from around $58 million for the 2011-12 season to $$112 million for the 2021-22 season.

MORE: All players with contracts upwards of $200 million

That inflated cap has allowed teams to hold multiple max players on their roster. First, it was two midway through the 2010s but towards the end of that decade, we saw the first team to have three max players on the roster.

That number has jumped to five entering the 2021-22 season, so here's a look at those teams:

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors were one of the first NBA franchise to have three max players on their roster, forming the club in the 2019 offseason.

It came together when they signed Klay Thompson to his 5-year $189.9 million max deal and then acquired D'Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade, that sent Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets, on a max contract worth four years and $117 million.

The duo joined Stephen Curry , who was already on his max deal of 5 years and $201.2 million that he signed in 2017. Since then, the two-time league MVP has signed another extension upwards of $200 million worth $215m over four years that kicks in from the 2022-23 season.

At the 2019-20 trade deadline, the Warriors traded Russell along with Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman in exchange for Andrew Wiggins , a protected 2021 first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick to the Timberwolves.

Wiggins, the No. 1 pick from the 2014 NBA Draft, was already on a 5-year $147.7 million max contract that he signed in the 2017 offseason.

Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets became the second team to have three max players on their roster when they acquired James Harden from the Houston Rockets in Jan. 2021. The shooting guard was already a max player, courtesy of a supermax extension over four years that he agreed to with the Texas franchise back in 2017.

He joined the duo of Kevin Durant (four years, $164 million) and Kyrie Irving (four years, $136 million) on the roster, both of whom agreed to max deals with the Nets as free agents in 2019.

Since then, Durant has signed another max extension of four years worth $198 million that keeps him with the franchise until the 2025-26 season.

Los Angeles Lakers

The illustrious Lakers franchise recently became a part of this club when they acquired Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards this past offseason.

The former MVP was already on a max contract, one worth $206 million over five years that he signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017. In the fourth year of the contract, what's unique is that he's been on a different for each of those four years.

He joins the other two max contract players on the roster in LeBron James and Anthony Davis .

James, who first signed with the Lakers in 2018 on a 4 year $153.5 million. He let the final year of that contract go when he signed a two-year max extension in the 2020 offseason worth $85.66 million. On the other hand, Davis, who the Lakers acquired via trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, signed a five-year $190 million max extension in the 2020 offseason.

Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets are the latest team to join this club when they recently reportedly signed Michael Porter Jr. to a five-year max rookie extension worth $172.55 million. This extension could inflate to $207 million if the 23-year-old receives an All-NBA selection this season.

He joins the other franchise pillars in Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic .

The Canadian guard became a max player when he signed the rookie extension in 2019 worth $195.65 million over five years. Jokic was the first of the trio to have a max contract when he signed his rookie extension in 2018 worth $147.7 million over five years.

The Nuggets are the only home-grown max trio having drafted Porter Jr. (14th overall), Murray (7th overall) and Jokic (41st overall) in 2018, 2016 and 2014 respectively.

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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