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Nets ‘Big Three’ highest paid trio in NBA history at $115 million this season

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It’s no surprise, but the Nets “Big Three” of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving is the highest paid trio in NBA history, as Hoopshype reports Monday.

[S]o far they have already made history in a way by becoming the highest-paid trio ever in the NBA with combined salaries of $114.8 million this year. That puts Harden-Durant-Irving almost $7 million ahead of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, which was the No. 1 all-time before the Harden four-way blockbuster trade.

For the record, Brooklyn is slated to pay its Big Three $120.3 million next season and $126.8 million in 2022-23 if all of them opt in.

Specifically, Harden will be the top earner this season, with a salary of $41,254,920, followed by Durant at $40,108,950 and Irving $33,460,350. KD and Kai sacrificed some salary in 2019 to permit the Nets to sign their friend and Team USA teammate D’Andre Jordan.

Harden is also part of the fifth highest paid trio in NBA history, the 2019-20 Rockets, while Durant is part of the 11th highest paid trio, the 2018-19 Warriors.

The Nets will be able to extend all three beyond 2023 this summer. It should be remembered that Harden reportedly turned down an extension worth $100 million over two years last year.

The Nets will likely pay luxury taxes of around $30 million this year, a total that would have been three times as high except for the decline in NBA revenues due to the pandemic. Joe Tsai has said he is willing to pay the luxury tax if the team is a championship contender.

Sean Marks gave a shoutout to Tsai in his interview with Michae Grady of the YES Network last Friday.

“Joe Tsai has been nothing but supportive in every form and fashion of how we’re tryin to build this,” said Marks. “And that’s great. To see his conviction to winning, his conviction to doing something that’s never been done in Brooklyn before. I know he’s excited about getting fans back in this building, Barclays, and so forth. To be quite frank, the borough deserves it.”

In Sportico team valuations out Monday, the Nets are valued at $3.4 billion, fifth highest, but the valuations were calculated prior to the Harden trade last week.