NBA coaches' salaries: Who is the highest paid coach in basketball?

NBA coaches' salaries: Who is the highest paid coach in basketball?

Babu Tendu
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:27 PM

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world, with millions of fans tuning in to watch games every season. The league is home to some of the most talented athletes in the world, and the coaches who lead them play a critical role in their success. We will look at the NBA coaches' salaries.

NBA coaches' salaries
The NBA managers have a right to also compete for the high salary due to their good performances over the years. Photo by Scott Cunningham. (Modified by author).
Source: Getty Images

While NBA players are often the highest-paid individuals in the league, NBA coaches can also earn substantial salaries. We will examine the highest-paid NBA coaches, including their wages, managing accomplishments, and what sets them apart from their peers.

How much do NBA coaches make a year?

According to many publications on the internet, there are many speculated figures that the highest-paid coaches as said to earn in their career. However, we will list NBA coaches' salaries, precisely the top 10.

10. Tyronn Lue

Tyronn Lue earns a whopping $6.5 million per year. This places him among the top 10 highest-paid coaches in the league. Despite being a relatively young manager, he has already established himself as one of the game's most successful and respected coaches.

Highest paid coaches in NBA history
Tyronn Lue of the Los Angeles Clippers directs his team as they play the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter at Ball Arena on February 26, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Matthew Stockman.
Source: Getty Images

Lue's impressive managing record and ability to lead his teams to success have undoubtedly contributed to his high salary. His track record of taking groups to the NBA Finals and his reputation for being able to get the most out of his players make him a highly sought-after manager. He beats the highest assistant NBA coaches' salaries.

9. Rick Carlisle

Carlisle has an annual salary of $7.25 million. This high salary is a testament to his impressive coaching career, which includes leading the Dallas Mavericks to their first NBA championship in 2011. His success with the Mavericks consists of four trips to the playoffs and three division titles.

NBA player best salaries
Head coach Rick Carlisle of the Indiana Pacers is seen during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on March 6, 2023, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Michael Hickey.
Source: Getty Images

Carlisle's coaching style is characterised by his ability to adapt quickly to his players. He is known for his analytical approach and ability to break down opponents' defences to create scoring opportunities for his team. He earns one of the highest NBA coaches' salaries in 2023.

8. Jason Kidd

Today, as the manager of the Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd earns an impressive $8 million per year. This high salary reflects his success as a player and manager and his ability to lead teams successfully.

His focus on player development characterises Kidd's coaching style, and he is known for his ability to help players improve their skills and reach their full potential. He has a reputation for being a player-friendly manager who empowers his players to take ownership of their roles on the team.

7. Steve Nash

Today, Steve Nash is the manager of the Brooklyn Nets and is one of the highest-paid coaches in the NBA, earning a salary of $8 million per year. Despite being relatively new to coaching, Nash's extensive experience as a player and his reputation as one of the most significant point guards in NBA history make him a highly respected figure in the league.

Nash's managing style is characterised by his emphasis on team play and his ability to create a cohesive team culture. He is known for his ability to connect with his players and his focus on developing their talents.

6. Nick Nurse

Nick Nurse, currently the Toronto Raptors manager, has one of the highest current NBA coaches' salaries, with a yearly salary of $8 million. Despite having yet to gain pro player experience, Nurse's extensive coaching experience in Europe and the D-League has helped him establish himself as one of the best coaches in the league.

How much do NBA coaches make
Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors sets the play during the game against the LA Clippers on March 8, 2023, at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Adam Pantozzi.
Source: Getty Images

Nurse is known for his innovative managing strategies and ability to adapt his game plan to his opponents. He is a master of defensive scheming and has been credited with developing the Raptors into one of the best defensive teams in the league.

5. Mike Budenholzer

Mike Budenholzer is currently the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, earning a salary of $8 million per year. His coaching pedigree is impressive, having served as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich, where he won four NBA championships.

How much do NBA coaches make a year
Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks is all smiles during the second half of the game against the Orlando Magic at Fiserv Forum on March 01, 2023, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by John Fisher.
Source: Getty Images

Budenholzer's coaching style emphasises a high-scoring offence and a commitment to defence. He is known for his ability to develop young players and get the most out of his roster, as evidenced by the Bucks' championship run in 2021. However, his reputation has been marred by criticism that he needs to work on making suitable adjustments during the playoffs.

4. Erik Spoelstra

Under Spoelstra's leadership, the Heat won two NBA championships in 2012 and 2013, and he was named NBA Coach of the Year once in 2012. He is also known for his exceptional game preparation, in-game adjustments, and ability to build strong relationships with his players.

Assistant NBA coaches salaries
Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on February 27, 2023, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu.
Source: Getty Images

Spoelstra is among the highest-paid coaches in NBA history, earning $8.5 million annually. His success with the Heat has made him a highly sought-after coach, and he has been praised for his ability to lead his team through adversity and consistently make deep playoff runs.

3. Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers is among the highest-paid NBA coaches, earning $8.5 million with the Philadelphia 76ers. He is known for his ability to lead his teams to success, as evidenced by his numerous accolades, including Coach of the Year in 2000 and an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

Despite his success, Rivers has faced criticism for his inability to win in the playoffs in recent years. His tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers ended after several disappointing postseason performances, which left some questioning his coaching abilities. However, Rivers has continued to prove himself as a skilled coach, leading the 76ers to a top spot in the Eastern Conference standings in the 2020-2021 season.

2. Steve Kerr

Kerr was also recognised as NBA Coach of the Year twice, in 2015 and 2016. Under his leadership, the Warriors have set numerous records, including the most wins in a regular season with 73 in the 2015-2016 season. He is currently earning $9.5 million per year.

NBA coaches salaries in 2023
Steve Kerr looks on against the Houston Rockets during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game at Chase Center on February 24, 2023, in San Francisco, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson.
Source: Getty Images

Kerr is also known for his social activism and outspokenness on political issues. He's used his platform as a manager and public figure to speak out on issues like gun control, police brutality, and racial inequality.

In 2020, he spoke out against police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and has been a strong advocate for social justice reform. His contributions to the sport of basketball and beyond have solidified his place as one of the most respected and influential figures in the NBA.

1. Gregg Popovich

He earns a salary of $11.5 million. Popovich's salary reflects his immense value to the San Antonio Spurs organisation. In addition to his managing duties, he's also served as the team's President of Basketball Operations since 2003.

Current NBA coaches salaries
Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs smiles during the game against the Dallas Mavericks on February 23, 2023, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Photo by Glenn James.
Source: Getty Images

He has been instrumental in building and maintaining the Spurs' reputation as one of the league's most successful and respected franchises. His salary beats some of the NBA players' best salaries.

Despite his many accomplishments and accolades, Popovich remains focused on improving his team and helping his players succeed on and off the court. He is known for his ability to develop young talent and build winning teams through strong leadership, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of the game.

The NBA coaches' salaries are highly influenced by the manager's track record and the level of trust that a team has put in the manager to deliver them to greater heights. The best managers have had outstanding salaries to brag about recently.

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Babu Tendu
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