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The Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics are about to face off in the NBA Finals. The Celtics were expected to be here, their 64-18 record a reflection of their dominance all season. The Mavericks might be a bit of a surprise to some viewers. The team finished as the 5th seed in the Western Conference and had to knock off the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Minnesota Timberwolves without having homecourt advantage in any series.

Regardless of how they got here, we should have a great series on our hands. Before the action tips off on the court, let’s take a look at the ten highest earners in the series.

Luka Dončić — $40,064,220

The Mavericks traded for Dončić during the 2018 NBA Draft. Since then, he’s evolved into one of the top players in the league. He finished this season with a career-high in points, assists, and three-point percentage, and his 33.9 points per game led the entire NBA. For his strong play, Dončić once again earned All-NBA First Team and All-Star honors, ending up third in MVP voting. Dončić could sign the largest contract in NBA history next offseason. For now, he’ll have to settle for being the highest earner of the NBA Finals.

Kyrie Irving — $37,037,037

When the Dallas Mavericks traded for Kyrie Irving last year, some fans and analysts thought it was a move that reeked of desperation and would lead to the demise of the Dončić-era Mavericks. After all, Irving had forced his way out of Cleveland, unceremoniously left Boston, and his unwillingness to get vaccinated prevented him from taking the floor for key games with the Brooklyn Nets. After the Mavericks had a late-season slide and fell out of the playoffs entirely, it looked like the haters might be right. Turns out it’s tough to immediately jell with new teammates. After a full season in Dallas, Irving has looked like his vintage self, making smart plays, using his quickness to outwit defenders, and having a ton of fun along the way.

Jrue Holiday — $36,861,707

What a season it’s been for Jrue Holiday. He started the summer with the Milwaukee Bucks, the team he won a championship with in 2021 (he also owns one of the coolest passes in NBA Finals history). Then, Holiday was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the Damian Lillard trade. He found his way to Boston, and his on-court IQ and hard-nosed defense have made him immediately likable among the Celtics faithful. Now, he’s looking for his second title in four years—and the Celtics are relying on his veteran leadership to help them get there.

Kristaps Porziņģis — $36,016,200

The Celtics traded for Porziņģis in the offseason, sending away longtime beloved Celtic Marcus Smart. The move stung the team’s fans at first, but Porziņģis has shown why he’s been such a tantalizing player since entering the league. There aren’t many 7’2″ guys who can score 20 points a game while shooting 37.5% from downtown. Porziņģis’s size and skillset create a lot of mismatches for Boston, but they’ve had to spend much of this postseason without him. He suffered a strained left calf in Game 4 of the first-round matchup with the Heat and has missed every game since.

Luka Dončić (L) and Jayson Tatum (Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Jayson Tatum — $32,600,060

With five straight All-Star appearances to his name, Jayson Tatum is probably the biggest name on the Celtics. His scoring dipped a bit from last season—he topped 30 points a game in 2022-23 and dropped to 26.9 this year—yet he still finished sixth in MVP voting and made both All-NBA First Team and the All-Star roster.

Jaylen Brown — $31,830,357

It might be a bit surprising to see Jaylen Brown so far down the list, considering he signed the largest contract in NBA history last summer. But that extension won’t kick in until next season, when Brown will receive a healthy raise to $49.7 million. He’ll also earn a whopping $65.6 million in the final year of the deal, more than double what he’s making this year. He was an All-Star this season and is currently posting playoff career-highs in points and field goal percentage.

Derrick White — $18,357,143

The Celtics acquired Derrick White at the trade deadline two years ago, and he’s quickly become a fan favorite in Boston. He was a key contributor to the team’s trip to the finals in 2022, and he has one of the best playoff game-winners in recent memory. White is the last Celtic on this list; outside of Al Horford (making $10 million this year), no one else on the Celtics has a salary above $4.1 million.

Tim Hardaway Jr. — $17,897,728

Tim Hardaway Jr. has been a key piece of previous Mavs teams and put together another decent regular season, posting 14.4 points and shooting 35% from three en route to ninth place in Sixth Man of the Year voting. However, Hardaway Jr. hasn’t had much success these playoffs. He’s shooting below 40% from the field, and his 4.6 points per game are nearly 10 below his regular season average. He aggravated an ankle injury in the second round, and that’s hampered his performance on the court.

P.J. Washington — $16,847,826

The Mavericks traded for P.J. Washington at this year’s trade deadline. In return for Washington, the Mavs gave the Charlotte Hornets Grant Williams—a major acquisition for Dallas last summer—and Seth Curry, plus a top-two protected 2027 draft pick. Washington was solid during the regular season and has ramped it up in the playoffs, which is the first postseason appearance of his five-year career. Washington is scoring 13.6 points per game and shooting 36% from deep, and his trolling game is among the best in the league.

Daniel Gafford — $12,402,000

Alongside Washington, Daniel Gafford was the other major trade deadline acquisition for the Mavericks. Dallas sent Richaun Holmes and a 2024 first-round pick to the Washington Wizards to acquire Gafford, who has been a catalyst for the Mavs at the center position. He’s started every game this postseason, and though his numbers have dipped slightly from the regular season, he’s still been a great defensive presence and a consistent lob threat. And here’s a fun fact: If the Mavs end up winning the NBA Finals, they’ll have won more games than the Wizards won THE ENTIRE YEAR. Safe to say, Gafford is thrilled to be out of D.C.

Need even more NBA Finals action? Check out our breakdown of the head coaches.

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