Top 10 Biggest NBA Center Contracts

Morgan Wolf

The world of professional basketball is known for its high-stakes games, star players, and jaw-dropping contracts. When it comes to the NBA, centers play a crucial role in the success of a team. 

Their towering presence, defensive prowess, and scoring ability make them some of the most sought-after players in the league. As a result, NBA centers often secure hefty contracts that reflect their value to their respective teams. 

In this blog post, we will explore the top 10 biggest NBA center contracts, shedding light on the financial rewards that come with being a dominant force in the paint. So, stay focused. 

Top 10 Biggest NBA Center Contracts

The top 10 biggest NBA center contracts feature dominant players like Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Rudy Gobert, who have secured multi-year deals worth millions of dollars, highlighting their value to their teams and the league.

Check out the discussion in the next section below. 

1. Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid - Philadelphia 76ers


  • Contract: $196 million 
  • Contract year: 4  

Joel Embiid’s contract with the Philadelphia 76ers stands at an impressive $196 million over a four-year period. Known for his versatility and dominant presence in the paint, Embiid has established himself as one of the premier centers in the league. 

This substantial contract demonstrates the 76ers’ commitment to building their team around Embiid and highlights his value to the franchise’s success.

2. Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic - Denver Nuggets


  • Contract: $147 million  
  • Contract year: 5

Nikola Jokic, the reigning NBA MVP, secured a five-year contract extension worth $147 million with the Denver Nuggets. Known for his exceptional passing, scoring ability, and basketball IQ, Jokic has been instrumental in the Nuggets’ rise as a formidable team. 

This contract not only reflects Jokic’s individual accomplishments but also acknowledges his role as the centerpiece of the Nuggets’ future aspirations.

3. Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz

Rudy Gobert - Utah Jazz


  • Contract: $205 million  
  • Contract year: 5

Rudy Gobert, a defensive stalwart for the Utah Jazz, signed a five-year contract worth an impressive $205 million. Gobert’s defensive presence and shot-blocking ability have earned him multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards. 

This significant investment by the Jazz highlights their belief in Gobert’s impact on both ends of the court and solidifies his position as a defensive anchor for the team.

4. Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns - Minnesota Timberwolves


  • Contract: $158 million  
  • Contract year: 5

Karl-Anthony Towns, a skilled and versatile big man, secured a five-year contract extension worth $158 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Towns possesses a unique blend of inside scoring, three-point shooting, and rebounding, making him a valuable asset for the Timberwolves’ long-term plans. 

This substantial contract demonstrates the franchise’s commitment to Towns as a cornerstone player and their desire to build a competitive team around him.

5.  Andre Drummond – Los Angeles Lakers

Andre Drummond - Los Angeles Lakers


  • Contract: $127 million  
  • Contract year: 5

Andre Drummond, known for his rebounding prowess and interior scoring, signed a five-year contract worth $127 million with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Although Drummond has played for multiple teams in recent years, this contract signifies the Lakers’ confidence in his ability to contribute to their championship aspirations. Drummond’s size and skill set make him an intriguing addition to the Laker’s frontcourt.

6. Hassan Whiteside – Miami Heat

Hassan Whiteside - Miami Heat


  • Contract: $98 million  
  • Contract year: 4

Hassan Whiteside, a former member of the Miami Heat, secured a four-year contract worth $98 million. Known for his shot-blocking and rebounding abilities, Whiteside had a strong stint with the Heat before moving on to other teams. 

This contract represents the Heat’s recognition of Whiteside’s impact during his tenure and their willingness to invest in his abilities.

7. Steven Adams – Oklahoma City Thunder

Steven Adams - Oklahoma City Thunder


  • Contract: $100 million  
  • Contract year: 4

Steven Adams, a rugged and physical center, signed a four-year contract worth $100 million with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Known for his defensive tenacity and rebounding prowess, Adams played a significant role in the Thunder’s success during his time with the team. 

This contract showcases the Thunder’s appreciation for Adams’ contributions and his importance to their roster.

8. Clint Capela – Atlanta Hawks

Clint Capela - Atlanta Hawks


  • Contract: $90 million  
  • Contract year: 5

Clint Capela, a skilled rebounder and rim protector, secured a five-year contract worth $90 million with the Atlanta Hawks. Capela’s defensive presence and ability to finish at the rim have been crucial to the Hawks’ recent playoff runs. 

This contract solidifies Capela’s role as a key contributor to the Hawks’ continued growth and competitiveness in the Eastern Conference.

9. Jusuf Nurkic – Portland Trail Blazers

Jusuf Nurkic - Portland Trail Blazers


  • Contract: $48 million  
  • Contract year: 4

Jusuf Nurkic, a versatile big man, signed a four-year contract worth $48 million with the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Nurkic’s ability to score in the post and contribute on the defensive end has made him an integral part of the Trail Blazers’ lineup. This contract reflects the Trail Blazers’ recognition of Nurkic’s value and his importance to their frontcourt rotation.

10. Myles Turner – Indiana Pacers

Myles Turner - Indiana Pacers


  • Contract: $72 million  
  • Contract year: 4

Myles Turner, a shot-blocking specialist, secured a four-year contract worth $72 million with the Indiana Pacers. 

Turner’s ability to protect the rim and stretch the floor with his three-point shooting has made him a valuable asset for the Pacers. This contract demonstrates the Pacers’ commitment to Turner’s development and his role in their long-term plans.

Significance of the Top 10 Biggest NBA Center Contracts

These contracts represent a strategic investment in the present and future of teams, recognizing the pivotal role that centers play in the game of basketball.

Check out some of the significant aspects of the top 10 biggest NBA center contracts below. 

Financial Commitment

The top 10 biggest NBA center contracts underscore the substantial financial commitment teams are willing to make to secure the services of elite centers. 

These contracts often reach astronomical figures, reflecting the importance and impact that these players have on their teams’ success.

Valuing Dominant Centers

The size of these contracts demonstrates the value placed on dominant centers in the NBA. Centers who excel in scoring, rebounding, defense, and playmaking are highly sought after, as they provide a significant advantage in the paint and contribute to overall team performance.

Building around a Center

Securing a top-tier center through a significant contract allows teams to build their roster around a strong inside presence. 

Centers often serve as the focal point of an offensive system, attracting attention from opposing defenses and opening up opportunities for their teammates.

Competitive Edge

Teams with a highly paid center can gain a competitive edge, as these players possess unique skill sets that can significantly impact the outcome of games. 

Whether it’s rim protection, interior scoring, or setting screens, dominant centers can tilt the balance in favor of their teams and elevate their chances of success.

Franchise Stability

Long-term center contracts provide stability to NBA franchises. By securing a talented center for multiple years, teams can establish a foundation around which they can build and plan for the future. 

These contracts often represent a commitment to the development and growth of the player and the team’s long-term objectives.

Influence on Market Value

The top 10 center contracts can influence the market value of other centers in the league. When a player signs a significant contract, it sets a benchmark for future negotiations and can impact the salaries of other centers seeking new deals. 

This dynamic can reshape the financial landscape of the NBA and drive player compensation across the league.


Who currently holds the largest NBA center contract?

As of the latest data available, the player with the largest center contract is Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. In 2021, Jokic signed a five-year extension worth a whopping $207 million, making him the highest-paid center in NBA history.

Are these contracts guaranteed or subject to performance-based incentives?

Most NBA contracts, including those of centers, are guaranteed. This means that the player will receive the full amount of money agreed upon, regardless of their performance on the court. 

However, some contracts may include performance-based incentives that can provide additional financial rewards based on individual or team achievements.

Which NBA center has signed the longest contract?

The honor of the longest center contract in NBA history goes to Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. In 2021, Embiid signed a four-year extension worth $196 million, keeping him with the 76ers through the 2026-2027 season.

How do these center contracts compare to contracts of players in other positions?

NBA center contracts tend to be among the most lucrative in the league. While other positions, such as point guards or small forwards, may also command significant contracts, the sheer size and impact of centers often result in larger financial commitments from teams.

Can NBA teams afford these massive contracts without exceeding the salary cap?

NBA teams operate under a salary cap, which sets a limit on the total amount they can spend on player salaries. However, teams have various mechanisms, such as Bird rights or exceptions, that allow them to exceed the salary cap to re-sign their own players. 

Additionally, teams often strategize and make roster moves to create cap space and accommodate these high-value contracts.


Being a dominant NBA center comes with both on-court responsibility and financial reward. The top 10 biggest NBA center contracts showcase the immense value these players bring to their teams. 

From Nikola Jokic’s record-breaking deal to Joel Embiid’s lengthy contract, these centers have secured their positions among the highest-paid athletes in the league. 

As the NBA continues to evolve and player salaries soar, it will be fascinating to see how these contracts shape the future of the game and the financial landscape of professional basketball. Thank you for your time. 

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Morgan Wolf

Journalist with experience covering the intersection of sports with business. Demonstrated expertise in digital, video and social media content covering major sports including soccer, NBA, NFL, MLB, tennis and Olympic sports. But basketball is his passion. Specialties: expert for sports related content management LinkedIn