Most NBA teams have already had at least one $100-million-dollar man. The Sacramento Kings are one of only a handful of teams who have not. Not yet, anyway.
The other teams, if interested, include the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets (per Spotrac).
Having never drafted a max-contract caliber player who spent a decade-plus in Sacramento and having not yet made a marquee signing during the NBA’s current age of inflated contracts, most of the Kings’ highest-career earners during their time with the team arrived via trade.
That is expected to change with De’Aaron Fox’s five-year, $163 million extension set to kick in during the 2021-22 season. But for now, here are the five players who have been paid the most by the Kings through the 2020-21 season (per Spotrac):
5. Harrison Barnes
Before the Kings recently opened up the checkbook for Fox and Buddy Hield, one of the most lucrative contracts the front office handed out was to Barnes. The veteran sharpshooter signed a four-year, $85 million deal during the summer of 2019 after the Kings acquired him in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks earlier that year. Still with two years and nearly $40 million remaining on that contract, Barnes has already banked $53,434,952 from the Kings.
The production may not always seem to justify the price tag when it comes to Barnes, and the franchise reportedly had some instant buyer’s remorse after making the deal. During his two-plus seasons in Sacramento, Barnes has averaged 15.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 39 percent on 4.1 3-pointers per game. But 3-and-D specialists with championship experience like Barnes command a pretty penny on the open market.
4. Mike Bibby
Mike Bibby’s game-winning shot against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of the epic 2002 Western Conference Finals put the Kings one victory away from the NBA Finals.
They never got that win, but Bibby got his pay day, signing a seven-year, $80 million deal that summer.
First acquired in a trade with the Vancouver Grizzlies in 2001, the former No. 2 overall pick spent six-plus seasons in Sacramento, earning $56,674,893. He averaged 17.6 points and 5.4 assists per game during his tenure, running the point during what was the most successful and entertaining stretch in franchise history. A stretch Bibby recently called the best time of his life.
3. DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins’ tenure in Sacramento was as tumultuous as it was lucrative.
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2010 draft spent his first six-and-a-half seasons in Sacramento, earning $56,862,500 -- losing some of it along the way to fines, costly technical fouls and a few suspensions. Cousins in 2013 signed a four-year, $65 million extension with the Kings, but that would be his last big pay day despite All-NBA-level production that made him seem destined for a max deal. Cousins averaged 21.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game during his time in Sacramento, including a career-best 27.0 points per game the season the Kings traded him to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The four-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist became an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and has landed nothing more than one-year deals and 10-day contracts following some injury-plagued seasons while bouncing from the Warriors to the Lakers to the Rockets to the Clippers. Cousins’ earnings have dropped considerably since developing into one of the best Kings draft picks in team history.
2. Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay has had a long and productive career in the NBA, playing for four teams. Of those four, he was paid the most by the Kings.
Gay was acquired in a 2013 trade with the Toronto Raptors and soon signed a three-year, $40 million extension. The former No. 8 overall pick spent three-and-a-half seasons in Sacramento, averaging 19.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game and earning $62,942,692 before opting out of his deal and signing with the San Antonio Spurs. That grand total is higher than every other member of the Sacramento Kings not named Chris Webber.
1. Chris Webber
C-Webb got many C-Notes from the Kings. And it was money well spent.
Before Chris Webber arrived in Sacramento in 1998, the Kings hadn’t won a playoff series since 1981, winning more than 40 games in a season just once in that time frame. Webber turned the franchise around during what became a Hall of Fame career.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 draft had a disappointing start to his career after signing a 15-year, $74 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. Webber spent just one season in Golden State before being dealt to Washington, where he’d play four seasons before being traded to Sacramento. During six-and-a-half seasons in Sacramento, Webber became a four-time All-Star, transforming the Kings into must-see TV and instant title contenders that won 55-plus games in four straight seasons. That included the 2001-02 Kings team, which won 61 games (most in franchise history) and came within one victory of advancing to the NBA Finals.
Webber averaged 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game while with the Kings. In 2001, he signed what was at the time the second-largest contract in NBA history by inking a seven-year deal for roughly $120 million. He was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in the middle of that contract, but not before getting paid a well-earned total of $93,562,500 from Sacramento.
Webber is the king of Kings both on the court and at the bank.