In the 2015-16 NBA season, Stephen Curry made $4,788 for each point. That may seem like a lot but it’s a fraction of what others make. For instance, Andrew Bogut made $36,800 per point. That equates to $73,600 for a regular basket or $110,400 for a three pointer. Curry has two things working “against” him: a relatively low salary and an extremely high number of points per season.
In some ways, money per point is a meaningless statistic. It’s interesting to see how much money Stephen Curry made per basket or per shot or per point, but a player’s skill isn’t defined by pay per point. In fact, the opposite is true. Players who make less money per point are generally better or higher valued than those who make more. It’s kind of like how people say players who win an NBA Championship make less money. They don’t really make less. They make less money per game because they’re on salary and they play more games. It’s simple math. It’s the same as how a regular employee on salary makes “less” money if they work more hours. Their salary might not change, but they make less per hour.
In the same way, Stephen Curry makes less per point than other players because he makes a lot more points. If NBA players were actually paid by the point, Curry would make a lot more money than most.
How Much Money Stephen Curry Makes Per Basket
Stephen Curry made $11,370,786 in salary for the 2015-16 season. He scored 2,375 points during that time. That translates to $4,788 per point or $9,575 for a regular basket. It also means the star NBA player made $14,363 for each three pointer and $4,788 for each free throw.
That’s a lot of money. Anyone who makes over $11 million a year is doing quite well financially. But Curry doesn’t make nearly as much as some in the NBA when taken on a per-point basis. Curry’s teammate Andrew Bogut earns a higher salary of $13.8 million. He scored only 375 points in the regular season. That works out to $36,800 for a free throw, $73,600 for a standard basket and $110,400 for a three pointer. Yet Curry is valued a lot higher by the team and the fans than Bogut. Part of Curry’s low per-point pay is just because he’s on salary. He doesn’t get paid by point really. He gets paid by year. If he scored 10,000 points in a year, his per-point pay would go down to $1,137 per point. Yet he would still make the same salary of $11.37 million.
Related: Stephen Curry Net Worth
If Stephen Curry Made as Much Per Basket as Andrew Bogut
If players were actually paid per shot, per point or per basket, Stephen Curry would be making a lot more money. How much more? Let’s take Andrew Bogut’s per-point money as a starting point. Bogut made 375 points in the 2015-16 season. He earned a salary of $13.8 million. That’s $36,800 per point. If Steph Curry made that much per point, he would have earned $87.4 million for the season. That’s almost eight times more than he actually made. Looked at that way, Andrew Bogut makes eight times more than Steph Curry. Should players be paid this way? If they were, the sport of basketball would suffer. Not every player can be a high scorer. For Curry to score the points he does, he needs the other four players working in concert. A good metaphor is a diamond ring. Without spending $1,000 or more on the metal part of the ring, there’d be more money to spend on a bigger diamond. But without the metal part, that bigger diamond would fall off your fiancee’s finger.
Stephen Curry’s Low Salary
Stephen Curry’s salary is certainly not low, but it’s not high enough to match his worth as a player. Curry has the 61st highest salary in the NBA with $11.37 million. He is also the highest scoring player in the NBA. That means there are 60 NBA players making a higher salary than Curry, and every one of them scored less regular season points. That fact contributes significantly to his low per-point pay. He gets hit with a double whammy: he earns less money than 60 players in the NBA, and he scores an insane amount of points. Naturally in any analysis of points and money, he’s not going to do well.
So what should Curry do? Score less points? That’s a ridiculous question, and it’s why the money per point or money per shot stat is so meaningless. Of course Curry shouldn’t score less points. If anything, his high point count per season is exactly the thing that’ll boost his earnings in the future. By some counts it’s already had an effect. Curry was able to land a big endorsement deal with Under Armour that, by some counts, pays him $5 million a year. His total endorsement earnings are currently estimated at around $10 million a year. Sponsor money aside, Curry will almost definitely see his salary go way up in the near future. One of the biggest reasons his salary is so low is that he has managed to shock the NBA. Most of the 60 players earning more than him have been around long enough to have negotiated contracts that pay them what they’re worth. Take Curry’s teammate Andrew Bogut for example. Bogut’s rookie year was 2005. That means Bogut has had 11 years to negotiate his best salary. In fact he’s on his third NBA contract. Contrast that to Steph Curry. His rookie year was 2009. He’s only been around for seven years. He’s on his second contract. When he signed it in 2013, his yearly points average was 1,235 and he had just come off a major injury. It was only after he inked the deal that his yearly points total got up to 2,000 a year and above.
Steph Curry is active for the Warriors.
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— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 24, 2016
It’s looking like Curry’s salary in his next contract may wind up at the top of the NBA heap, up there with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, in the $23 million a year range. If that happens, his pay per basket will go up to. If Curry was making $23 million like King James is, he’d be earning $9,671 per point or $19,344 for a basket. Of course if Curry were LeBron James, he’d have scored 455 less baskets in the 2015-16 season. 1,920 to be exact. In case you’re wondering, that puts James at $11,964 per point, $23,928 per basket or $35,891 for a three-pointer. Getting back to how meaningless these figure are though, James’ value almost certainly isn’t constrained by points alone. Time and again sports analysts have remarked on James’ uncanny ability as leader of his team. A more interesting stat would be, how many points is James actually responsible for?
The Warriors had a good shot at winning the NBA Championship this year but ultimately lost the bid to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Check out our article here on how much money players make if they take the Championship. Also see our post on how much the Warriors make in general. As of 6/23/16, Curry has remained silent about the big NBA finals loss.