EuroLeague's Top Earner: Meet the Highest-Paid Basketball Star

Europe has seen a big rise in basketball this past few years. There are even NBA stars who were born and raised in Europe. European players used to have trouble struggling at the highest levels, but that’s no longer the case.

Eurobasketball has been getting better both in team games and around the world. Another big reason for this comeback is the Euroleague. This article goes into more depth about that league and looks at how much some of its best players make.

Euroleague: Europe’s NBA Equivalent

The Euroleague has played a important role in elevating the status of European basketball. Week after week, the strongest European teams compete in this prestigious league. It’s not a surprise that Luke Doncic, who was with Real Madrid at the time and is now a star player for the Dallas Mavericks, won the Euroleague MVP award in 2018. This makes us wonder how salaries in the Euroleague compare to those in the NBA.

The 2023 Euroleague Top Highest-Paid Players

There is a big difference between the Euroleague and the NBA when it comes to the 10 best-paid players. Remember that these numbers only show the players’ base pay and don’t include any possible bonuses, which can be pretty big in some cases.  

The Euroleague features some lucrative contracts, although the highest-paid players in Europe earn less than their NBA counterparts. Let’s take a look at the podium of the top contracts in the Euroleague.

  1. Vasilje Micic – Anadolu Efes
  • Serbian guard Vasilje Micic boasts a $3.3 million per season contract with Anadolu Efes, making him one of the highest-earning players in the Euroleague. His contract runs until 2024, and there’s a buyout clause that could pave his way to the NBA.
  1. Shane Larkin – Anadolu Efes
  • Former NBA player Shane Larkin has been with Anadolu Efes since 2018 and recently signed a two-year extension. His new contract is valued at $4 million per season, reflecting his significant contributions to the team.
  1. Nikola Mirotic – FC Barcelona
  • Montenegrin-Spanish forward Nikola Mirotic tops the list with a salary of $5 million per year. His high earnings are a result of Barcelona’s efforts to bring him back to Spain, following his stints in the NBA.

Salaries and Success in the Euroleague

As we look at the salaries of Euroleague players, we may wonder whether these hefty contracts lead to success on the court. Interestingly, the Final Four participants in Kaunas provide some insight. While Barcelona and Munich have players among the top earners, the perennial European Powerhouses Real Madrid and Olympiacos have managed to perform well without having players in the top salary rankings. This underscores that success in the Euroleague is not solely determined by financial investments.

As basketball has grown in Europe, so has pay in the Euroleague. However, it is still not as high as pay in the NBA. Three players in the league who make a lot of money are Micic, Larkin, and Mirotic. There are other reasons why they make so much money besides their contracts. People in Europe love to play basketball, and they have for a long time.