EuroLeague | The Top 10 salaries
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The custom of releasing the Top 10 EuroLeague salaries had to be postponed this year because the season has already begun and several of the major moves were finished at the end of the summer. And that’s excellent news since more time usually means better information on the EuroLeague market, which after two odd years caused by the pandemic, has pretty much returned to normal with all the players on the list earning at least $2 million every season, with six of them exceeding this amount. So, the fifth and tenth positions on the list are essentially tied.
As was the case with Shane Larkin, who emerged as the largest winner of the summer market, Milos Teodosic is back on the list, and Italy is once more a popular tourist destination, this “normality” can sometimes translate into more money than expected.
The figures in this article are calculated in US dollars to allow for salary comparisons with the NBA. Additionally, a number of EuroLeague nations do not use the euro as their official currency. Thus, the figures reflect net salaries. Since the two currencies are essentially equivalent, especially this year, nothing much changes when discussing euros.
Keep in mind that net statistics in Europe are challenging because national tax systems vary. However, multiplying each Euroleague deal by two will give you a fairly realistic picture of how much each salary in the NBA would be if it weren’t for the fact that half of the money goes to the IRS.
1. Nikola Mirotic $5 million (Barcelona)
In Europe, Nikola Mirotic continues to hold the top contract. The correct net figure for this year, the last of his contract, is reportedly considerably higher, closing to $5,5M on a record deal, the specifics of which were unknown from the start. Nevertheless, the Mirotic contract will go down as the largest in European basketball history, only surpassed by Josh Childress’s 2008 $20 million three-year agreement with Olympiacos. It was essentially the amount of money Mirotic would receive in the NBA market from the Utah Jazz, who had a contract waiting for him, and the price Barcelona had to pay to entice him back to Europe.
2. Shane Larkin $4M (Anadolu Efes)
Theoretically, Efes had made the decision to cut costs this summer and perhaps begin rebuilding. That was the initial talk during that season, but when the squad advanced to the Final Four once more, everything changed. The mood in Istanbul was at an all-time high when billionaire club president Tuncay Ozilhan chose to keep spending. Efes was able to win back-to-back championships. Vasilje Micic considering a move to the NBA made keeping Shane Larkin in Istanbul a top priority. He not only decided to stay, but he also received a raise on a two-year deal that will pay him $8M over the course of the following two seasons. His prior yearly pay was $3,7m.
3. Vasilje Micic $3,3M (Anadolu Efes)
Micic joined the $3M club last year, and thanks to a healthy salary, he is still a member today. His contract expires in the summer of 2024, so he earns the money in full. A comparable NBA contract to what Micic earns in Europe should be approximately $6M, despite the fact that there is an NBA buyout. Because of this, he is not financially keen to move away from Istanbul, and any NBA opportunity would need to make him feel at home at every level for him to make the switch.
4. Milos Teodosic $2,1M (Virtus Bologna)
See who’s returned! Milos Teodosic received a contract extension last summer that would finish at the end of this season. He joined Virtus when he got back from the NBA in the summer of 2019. Teodosic, a 35-year-old guard, is still one of the highest-paid players in Europe and the highest-paid player on the Virtus roster because Virtus had to pay a premium to keep him in the EuroLeague.
5. Will Clyburn $2M (Anadolu Efes)
The 2019 EuroLeague Final Four MVP joined the reigning Anadolu Efes winners and received the appropriate compensation for his services. Despite having previously played for CSKA, this is Clyburn’s highest wage to date, as he officially joins the $2 million club for the first time. And this money was wisely spent for Efes.
6. Mike James $2M (Monaco)
After protracted negotiations, Mike James and the club were able to reach an agreement at the $2M mark. Monaco wanted to keep him. Both parties appear satisfied with the final salary, which is higher than Monaco’s first $1,8 million offer to James but less than the $2,5 million he received before leaving CSKA. Monaco has secured their team’s leader past this season thanks to his contract, which runs out in the summer of 2024.
7. Nicolo Melli $2 (Milan)
You might recall that Meli and Malcolm Delaney narrowly missed the cut last year because their combined net worth at the time was just under $1,8 million, according to Eurohoops sources. This is no longer the case, and Melli is not the only Milan player earning this amount of money. After all, he still ranks among the best players in Europe and returned from the NBA with a three-year contract to help Milan reclaim the top spot in the EuroLeague.
8. Kevin Pangos $2 (Milan)
That’s the second Italian player who makes the list with a pay package that is nearly equal to Melli’s. He had a fantastic season with Zenit St. Petersburg back in 2020–21, which he traded for an NBA shot with the Cavaliers on a minimal salary after spending a lot of time in the G-League, so it made perfect sense for him to leave the NBA and return to Europe.
9. Tomas Satoransky $2 (Barcelona)
The Czech guard also returned from the NBA after a strong six-year stint, and he was given a deal slightly greater than Nick Calathes’ predecessor, Barcelona, had. This price tag is not too bad for Barcelona, given that Satoransky could get an NBA contract if he desired.
10. Toko Sengelia $2 (Virtus Bologna)
The move that best demonstrates the increasing stakes in Italian basketball is this one. There are indeed four players from Italian teams on the list, including two from Virtus and two from Milan. So basketball has returned permanently to Italy. Toko, who had his sights set on the NBA but finally decided to stay in the EuroLeague with such a salary, played a crucial role in bringing Virtus Bologna back to the EuroLeague.
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