NBA head coaches make millions of dollars to coach the greatest players in the world, and as players make more and more money, so do coaches. While the highest-paid coach, Gregg Popovich, should be no surprise to anyone, some of the names on the list of highest-paid NBA coaches may surprise you. There are seasoned veterans who have had their share of winnings but also college coaches who needed lots of money to make the move to the NBA.
According to Sportskeeda, these are the highest-paid of them all.
Billy Donovan ($6 million)
Billy Donovan was the face of the Florida teams that swept the nation when Joakim Noah was leading the way. He famously agreed to become the coach of the Orlando Magic before backing away to return to the school years before the Thunder brought him on. Because of this, the Thunder were going to need to open their checkbooks, and they did.
Donovan had the disprivilege of joining the team right at the end of its title-contending years, and while he has kept the team afloat, the team could be trying to look elsewhere soon. Look for Donovan to possibly one day be the highest-paid NBA coach.
Scott Brooks ($7 million)
Scott Brooks had been a heavily-sought-after young coach when he took over for the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was under his guidance that the Thunder had their best years with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden.
When the Wizards brought Brooks on to take over for Randy Wittman, they had their young core of John Wall and Bradley Beal in mind as something similar.
Unfortunately for them, Wall has remained injured and the Wizards have hovered around mediocrity in recent years. Despite this, Brooks is paid very handsomely, though he could soon be looking elsewhere for a job.
Rick Carlisle ($7 million)
Rick Carlisle signed a five-year extension with the Mavericks this year. He is also the president of the NBA Coaches Union. Although Carlisle has seen his most success with the Dallas Mavericks. Carlisle helped lead the team to its only NBA championship in 2011, and his teams have rarely missed the playoffs before the Mavericks’ recent dry spell.
Carlisle has been with the Mavericks since 2008, making him the longest-tenured coach in the NBA behind Gregg Popovich. An avid piano player, he can probably afford to play the nicest keys around during his free time. So while he may not be the highest-paid NBA coach, Carlisle could be the most talented.
Doc Rivers ($11 million)
Coaching for the richest owner in professional sports has its benefits. Although the Clippers were coming to the end of the Lob City era in May of 2018, that did not stop Steve Ballmer from paying Doc Rivers some very good money.
Rivers extended with the Clippers for a contract reportedly worth $11 million a year. He is an NBA Champion and consistently gets his teams into the playoffs.
Now, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Doc Rivers has a chance to add to his trophy case as well. He has enough money to buy whatever he wants, but he recently joked that he regretted spending it on his daughter’s wedding, as his new son-in-law, Seth Curry, isn’t hurting for money, either.
The highest-paid NBA coach: Gregg Popovich ($11 million)
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Gregg Popovich is the highest-paid NBA coach. He has earned it. Since taking over the Spurs in 1996, Popovich has been one of the most celebrated coaches in the NBA.
Not only is he able to win with the likes of Tim Duncan and David Robinson, but Popovich has proven to have an enviable ability to discover new players and lead even the most depleted rosters into the playoffs.
Popovich is currently in the first year of a three-year extension, although he intends to take his future one year at a time. As far as spending his money, Popovich claims he spends ‘millions’ on team dinner, and he owns a heavily sought after winery, too.