Who are the highest-paid coaches in the NBA? Heat’s Erik Spoelstra rises to top of list with historic contract

The Heat have made a historic commitment to head coach Erik Spoelstra.

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, the franchise announced that Spoelstra had signed a contract extension to remain with the organization. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski would later report that Spoelstra’s extension is for eight years and worth more than $120 million — the most committed money in North American coaching history.

Spoelstra, who was hired as Miami’s head coach before the 2008-09 season, has been with the organization since 1995. In 16 years at the helm, Spoelstra has led the Heat to six NBA Finals appearances and two NBA titles. He is now set to lead the franchise well into the next decade.

Here is how Spoelstra’s historic deal measures up with some of his peers in the NBA.

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Who are the highest-paid head coaches in the NBA?

While Spoelstra’s deal is record-breaking due to its overall figure, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has the highest annual figure of all NBA head coaches.

Ahead of the 2023-24 season, Popovich signed a five-year, $80 million contract extension with the Spurs. Popovich, 74, is also San Antonio’s president of basketball operations and has the possibility of fulfilling his contract through his executive role should he step down as head coach, per ESPN’s Andrew Lopez.

(Salary figures are from an earlier version of this list, updated with Popovich’s figure. It does not account for Spoelstra’s extension as it’s unclear how it impacts his existing contract.)

  Coach Average annual salary
1. Gregg Popovich $16 million
2. Monty Williams $13.08 million
3. Steve Kerr $9.5 million
4. Erik Spoelstra $8.5 million

Spoelstra’s average annual salary when his extension begins will be $15 million.

Longest-tenured NBA coaches

Popovich, who has been on the sideline in San Antonio for nearly 30 years, is the longest-tenured head coach in the NBA. Spoelstra is a distant second thanks to his 16 years leading the Heat while Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is the only other active head coach that has led the same team for 10-plus years.

  Coach Seasons First season with team
1. Gregg Popovich 28 1996-97 (Spurs)
2. Erik Spoelstra 16 2008-09 (Heat)
3. Steve Kerr 10 2014-15 (Warriors)
4. Michael Malone 9 2015-16 (Nuggets)
5. Taylor Jenkins 5 2019-20 (Grizzlies)

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Full list of NBA head coaches

Here are the coaches for all 30 NBA teams:

Team Coach
Atlanta Hawks Quin Snyder
Boston Celtics Joe Mazzulla
Brooklyn Nets Jacque Vaughn
Charlotte Hornets Steve Clifford
Chicago Bulls Billy Donovan
Cleveland Cavaliers J.B. Bickerstaff
Dallas Mavericks Jason Kidd
Denver Nuggets Michael Malone
Detroit Pistons Monty Williams
Golden State Warriors Steve Kerr
Houston Rockets Ime Udoka
Indiana Pacers Rick Carlisle
Los Angeles Clippers Tyronn Lue
Los Angeles Lakers Darvin Ham
Memphis Grizzlies Taylor Jenkins
Miami Heat Erik Spoelstra
Milwaukee Bucks Adrian Griffin
Minnesota Timberwolves Chris Finch
New Orleans Pelicans Willie Green
New York Knicks Tom Thibodeau
Oklahoma City Thunder Mark Daigneault
Orlando Magic Jamahl Mosley
Philadelphia 76ers Nick Nurse
Phoenix Suns Frank Vogel
Portland Trail Blazers Chauncey Billups
Sacramento Kings Mike Brown
San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich
Toronto Raptors Darko Rajakovic
Utah Jazz Will Hardy
Washington Wizards Wes Unseld Jr.

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