USA TODAY International Edition
$ 2.5 billion free agency pay could go long way elsewhere
Roughly $ 2.5 billion in contract money has been handed out to NBA players since free agency began July 1.
Two. Point. Five. Billion. Dollars.
There was James Harden’s record four- year, $ 170 million contract extension that will push his earnings to $ 228 million through the 2022- 23 season; Stephen Curry’s five- year, $ 201 million deal that was the richest in NBA history; and $ 100 million- plus deals made with players including Blake Griffin and Gordon Hayward.
Now that the free agency dust has settled a bit, we did some research to find some of the most outrageous things — hypothetically speaking — $ 2.5 billion could buy. THE BURJ KHALIFA Dubai’s 2,717- foot, 160- story tower — renowned for being the tallest building in the world — features residences, swimming pools, corporate suites and a hotel designed and developed by Giorgio Armani. Although you couldn’t purchase the entire building in its current state, the construction price tag was $ 1.5 billion. A TRIP TO THE MOON ... AND BACK SpaceX founder Elon Musk said he’s planning to send two paying passengers around the moon at some point in 2018. Musk didn’t specify the cost of the trip, but Business Insider priced it at about $ 300 million. EVERY SEAT AT THE SUPER BOWL ... The average ticket for a seat at Super Bowl LI went for approximately $ 5,000. There are 72,220 seats at NRG Stadium. Give or take a few million, of course, but that would make the price of every seat combined worth roughly $ 360 million. ... AND EVERY COMMERCIAL According to USA TODAY’s Ad Meter, 66 commercials aired during Super Bowl LI between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. Companies paid an average of $ 5 million for each commercial. The total? $ 330 million. A B- 2 SPIRIT While Northrop Grumman’s B- 2 stealth bombers aren’t exactly available for purchase to civil- ians, each one — the United States Air Force currently has 20 — costs about $ 2 billion. THE MONA LISA Though many experts have deemed Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa priceless, it was assessed at $ 100 million in 1962 — the highest known insurance valuation for a painting, according to Guinness World Records. Taking inflation into account, the price tag would be more than $ 800 million today. A SUPER YACHT The estimated cost of the Eclipse — a 530- foot yacht owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich — ranges from $ 400 million to $ 1.5 billion. She’s rumored to be equipped with bulletproof glass, a military- grade missile defense system, an anti- paparazzi laser shield, two swimming pools and a mini- submarine. ONE NBA FRANCHISE ( OR MORE) The only franchises in the NBA worth more than $ 2.5 billion are the Knicks ($ 3.3 billion), Lakers ($ 3 billion) and Warriors ($ 2.6 billion), according to the annual list released by Forbes in February. That leaves 27 other teams up for grabs.