Stephen Curry: Five surprising players who have bigger salaries than the MVP

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Stephen Curry is reportedly going to be named Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season; is there really any surprise? 

The Golden State Warriors point guard has improved so much since the 2014-15 campaign that he was even in contention to be named Most Improved Player. He averaged 30.1 points per game and attempted 11.2 threes a night, connecting with 5.1, as the Dubs finished the season with a 73-9 record. 

However, NBA contracts are a funny thing, and despite being the best player in the league for the past two seasons, he is only on the 54th highest salary in the association in 2015-16.

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The 28-year-old stands to earn a max contract when his current deal with Golden State expires in 2017, but having agreed to a four-year, $44 million rookie scale contract extension in 2012, his salary right now is not exactly superstar standard. 

With that in mind, here are five players you would not believe earn more than the three-point king's current $11,370,786. To put it into context, he is only the fifth highest earner on the roster in California.

Nikola Pekovic

Montenegrin big man Nikola Pekovic has been with the Minnesota Timberwolves since 2010 and signed a five-year, $60 million deal in 2013. 

Since moving to the States, he has career averages of 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds. The season before his current deal, he averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per 31.6 minutes a night.

He suffered an Achilles injury in 2015 and was limited to just 12 appearances - three starts - for the Wolves during 2015-16. His current salary is $12,100,000 but he will earn less than Curry next season as the guard's deal increases to $12,112,359. 

Khris Middleton

After being drafted by the Detroit Pistons, Khris Middleton was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013. His rookie scale deal expired in 2015 and he signed a five-year, $70 million contract, with a player option for the fifth year.

He is by no means a bad player, but for him to be earning more than the reigning MVP is ludicrous. He averaged 18.2 points and 4.2 assists per game as the Bucks missed out on the playoffs this season.

Having moved to shooting guard, he has a bright future ahead and Milwaukee is in a great position as one of the up and coming teams. He currently earns $15m-a-year - over $1m more than Curry.

Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson has played a big role in crashing the boards for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they have kicked off the playoffs with an 8-0 run.

After a stalemate that saw him miss training camp, the preseason, and the FIBA Americas Championship he resigned with the Cavs on a five-year, $82 million contract before the campaign began. On a team stacked with talent, he is earning a considerable paycheque. 

He currently earns $14,260,870 a year and that will increase to $18,539,130 by 2019-20, despite producing a stats line of 7.8 points and nine rebounds per game during the regular season.


Nene is a veteran of the league having been drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 2003. He has been with the Washington Wizards since 2013. 

The Brazilian is an unrestricted free agent in the summer after his five-year, $67 million contract expired. However, he still earned $13m this season. 

He will have to take a significant decrease in his salary having posted 9.2 points and 4.5 per night during his 57 games throughout the campaign.

Roy Hibbert

Another big man who is an unrestricted free agent in the summer. Roy Hibbert has been with the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2015-16 season and is unlikely to be kept on. 

He played 81 games as the Purple and Gold finished on a franchise-worst 17-65 and averaged just 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per 23.2 minutes a game. 

Despite his low output, he took home $15.5m through the season. He will have to take a significant cut if he wants to remain an NBA player for the 2016-17 campaign.

Stephen Curry
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Western Conference

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