In the NBA, the already hefty salary cap managed to earn another bump for the 2023/24 campaign. Now, teams have $135.021 million to play with for roster building. 

However, NBA head coach salaries don’t come into that cap. So, in theory, the potential pay for an NBA head coach is incredibly high. Do any of them earn close to the highest-earning player at $51.9 million? 

Unfortunately not. The men charged with bringing success, commanding these players on the court, and are the first to get sacked when things go wrong are well compensated, but nowhere near to the degree of Stephen Curry or Nikola Jokić. 

Even so, a 2021 list from Sportico still found that seven of the NBA’s highest-paid coaches made it into the top 25 across US sports. Since then, the top earner has received a pay raise. 

So, here’s a look at how much NBA head coaches make, including the average salary, top deal, and how they compare to the likes of the NFL’s big earners. 

What’s the Average Salary for NBA Head Coaches?

NBA players get their annual salaries and earnings publicized heavily by their teams as a part of competing in the league. NBA head coaches, on the other hand, don’t tend to have their earnings made public.

This means that exact figures are tough, if not impossible, to come by – especially as you need to see the salaries of all of the 30 NBA head coaches to find an average. 

The consensus across most outlets, though, is around $3.5 million for the 2021/22 season. Since then, we know that several coaches have received extensions and new deals. 

So, somewhere more towards $4 million may be closer to the real figure while the 2023/24 campaign is ongoing. At the very least, head coaches net $2.05 million each regular season. 

Even if you're looking to back a team that’s double digits down in the live betting, you can rest assured that the coach on the sideline will be taking home at least $25,000 that evening.

Who is the Highest-Paid NBA Head Coach?

Before the start of this season, Monty Williams of the Detroit Pistons was down as the highest-paid NBA head coach, earning $13.05 million per season over his six-year deal. 

Then, formerly the second-highest earner of the NBA head coaches, Gregg Popovich, netted a new five-year deal. This new contract lands the San Antonio Spurs boss $80 million or $16 million per season.

Popovich’s contract could be seen as cheating a little for this, though. His deal pays $16 million per season so that he can perform as the team’s head coach and the president of basketball operations. 

Funnily enough, at the time of writing, the two NBA head coaches making the most money lead the teams with the longest NBA odds to win the title this season, with both the Pistons and Spurs out at +100,000.

How Much Do NBA Head Coaches Make Compared to NFL Head Coaches?

The highest-earning NFL head coaches get paid more than any other major league head coach in US sports. As it stands, Bill Belichick reels in $20 million each year, which is a good $4 million more than Popovich. 

As far as average salaries go, the $6.6 million earned by NFL head coaches also eclipses that of NBA head coaches at around $4 million. 

This indicates – very roughly as hard figures aren’t made public for all head coach salaries – that NBA head coaches get paid 60.6 percent of an NFL head coach salary, and all while coaching 4.82x the number of regular season games as their gridiron counterparts. 

While the NBA is certainly on the rise across the US, the NFL remains the juggernaut. Its teams boast an aggregate value of over $160 billion, while the NBA’s teams clock in at around $120 billion, or 75 percent of that NFL figure. 

NBA head coaches make a good amount of money, and while the sums don’t rival that of the players and are a fair bit behind the NFL, an annual salary is still over $2 million at the very least.

*Credit for all images in this article belongs to Alamy*

Ben is very much a sports nerd, being obsessed with statistical deep dives and the numbers behind the results and performances.

Top of the agenda are hockey, soccer, and boxing, but there's always time for the NFL, cricket, Formula One, and a bit of mixed martial arts.