By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
With the season upon us and some of the main transfers being completed at the end of the summer, the annual tradition of presenting the Top10 EuroLeague salaries had to be delayed. And that’s a good thing cause more time usually means better info on a EuroLeague market that after two peculiar years due to the pandemic, returned pretty much to normality with all the players on the list getting at least $2 million per season and six of them getting this number. So pretty much we have a tie between the 5th and the 10th spot on the list.
This “normality” in some cases means more money than expected, as happened with Shane Larkin who emerges as the biggest winner of the summer market, while Milos Teodosic is back on the list and Italy is once again a big money destination.
The numbers mentioned in this post are calculated in US dollars for comparison reasons with NBA salaries. Plus several EuroLeague countries don’t use euros as their currency and the numbers represent net salaries. Especially this year, the two currencies are practically the same, so if you want to talk about Euros, nothing really changes.
Remember that net numbers in Europe are tricky since taxation is different depending on the country. However if you want to compare with NBA salaries, where half the money goes to IRS, just multiply each Euroleague contract by two and you will get a pretty accurate idea.
1. Nikola Mirotic $5M (Barcelona)
Nikola Mirotic still has the top contract in Europe. Per some sources the right net number for this year, the last of his contract, is even bigger, closing to $5,5M on a record deal, in which the exact details were a mystery from day one. Still, the Mirotic deal will go down as the biggest ever in European basketball, rivaled only by the $20 M three-year contract of Josh Childress with Olympiacos, signed back in 2008. It was the price that Barcelona had to pay in order to lure him back to Europe and pretty much the money that Mirotic would get in the NBA market, from the Utah Jazz who had a contract waiting for him.
2. Shane Larkin $4M (Anadolu Efes)
In theory, Efes had decided to cut money this summer and maybe start rebuilding. That was the initial chatter during that season, but everything changed when the team made it again to the Final Four. Billionaire club president Tuncay Ozilhan had decided to keep spending and when Efes managed to get back-to-back titles, the mood in Istanbul was on an all-time high. With Vasilje Micic thinking about leaving for the NBA, locking Shane Larkin in Istanbul became a priority. So not only he stayed but got a raise on a two-year contract which will pay him in total $8M for the next two seasons. His previous salary was $3,7 M per season.
3. Vasilje Micic $3,3M (Anadolu Efes)
Micic entered the $3M club last year and he remains there with a solid raise. He totally deserves the paycheck and his contract expires in the summer of 2024. And yes, there’s an NBA buyout, but a comparable NBA contract to what Micic makes in Europe should be around $6M. That’s why he is not eager, financially wise, to leave Istanbul and any NBA opportunity would have to make him feel comfortable at every level in order to make the jump.