Below you’ll find the estimated average yearly salaries for most of the head coaches in the NBA. Teams rarely disclose the exact amount that they pay their coaches, but sometimes they do make the base salary figure available. We’ve compiled as many as we could find, listed in order of highest to lowest paid.
Sources range from team releases themselves to reports on Twitter (from respected journalists only), however, we cannot guarantee their accuracy.
Gregg Popovich is currently the highest-paid coach in the league, but keep in mind that he is technically both the head coach and president of the Spurs, so his salary considers his duties for both positions. With the success Pop has had in San Antonio, he deserves every penny.
At this time we are unable to locate approximate salaries for Nate McMillan (Pacers), Earl Watson (Suns), Mike Malone (Nuggets), and Quin Snyder (Jazz).
List of NBA Head Coach Salaries from Highest to Lowest Paid
|Head Coach||Team||Approx. Salary|
|Gregg Popovich||San Antonio Spurs||$11,000,000|
|Doc Rivers||Los Angeles Clippers||$10,000,000|
|Tom Thibodeaux||Minnesota Timberwolves||$10,000,000|
|Rick Carlisle||Dallas Mavericks||$7,000,000|
|Stan Van Gundy||Detroit Pistons||$7,000,000|
|Scott Brooks||Washington Wizards||$7,000,000|
|Billy Donovan||Oklahoma City Thunder||$6,000,000|
|Jason Kidd||Milwaukee Bucks||$6,000,000|
|Dwane Casey||Toronto Raptors||$6,000,000|
|Frank Vogel||Orlando Magic||$5,500,000|
|Fred Hoiberg||Chicago Bulls||$5,000,000|
|Steve Kerr||Golden State Warriors||$5,000,000|
|Jeff Hornacek||New York Knicks||$5,000,000|
|Terry Stotts||Portland Trail Blazers||$5,000,000|
|Luke Walton||Los Angeles Lakers||$5,000,000|
|Dave Joerger||Sacramento Kings||$4,000,000|
|Mike D’Antoni||Houston Rockets||$4,000,000|
|Brad Stevens||Boston Celtics||$3,666,667|
|Alvin Gentry||New Orleans Pelicans||$3,437,500|
|Tyronn Lue||Cleveland Cavaliers||$3,000,000|
|Erik Spoelstra||Miami Heat||$3,000,000|
|David Fizdale||Memphis Grizzlies||$2,550,000|
|Kenny Atkinson||Brooklyn Nets||$2,500,000|
|Mike Budenholzer||Atlanta Hawks||$2,000,000|
|Steve Clifford||Charlotte Hornets||$2,000,000|
|Brett Brown||Philadelphia 76ers||$2,000,000|
|Nate McMillan||Indiana Pacers|
|Earl Watson||Phoenix Suns|
|Mike Malone||Denver Nuggets|
|Quin Snyder||Utah Jazz|
Even Average and Low-End NBA Head Coaches Make Out Better Than Most
Looking at the list above there are some surprises. Detroit is paying Van Gundy top money but he hasn’t returned the results they are looking for. Big money lured Fred Hoiberg away from Iowa State and yet that franchise has gone from contender to not even making the playoffs.
Steve Kerr looks like a solid deal, and I also like the job Erik Spoelstra and Brad Stevens have done on the breadcrumbs their franchise has given them. I’d expect those three to command major pay raises when it comes time to talk extension.
Even an average head coach is doing alright. The median stands at around $3.5 million per season. The lowest-paid head coach pulls in $2 million. Not bad when you play 82 games a year. That’s about $25,000 per game.