Overseas Basketball Players Salaries By Country

In recent years, playing overseas has become a more and more popular alternative to playing in the G League. By playing in overseas leagues, basketball players can potentially earn a higher salary than they would in the G League. There are also many other possible perks, including free housing, free use of car, tax-free income, and increased opportunities for endorsement deals. At this point, the one thing that everyone wants to know is: how much do basketball players make overseas?

CountryLeagueSalary Range (USD)Typical Average Salary (USD)
United StatesNBA$925,258 – $42,195,005 USD$7.7 million USD (2021-2022 season)
EuropeEuroLeague$57,000 – $1,700,000 USD$350,000 USD (estimated)
ChinaCBA$7,600 – $454,000 USD$68,000 USD (2019-2020 season)
JapanB.League$46,000 – $1,100,000 USD$210,000 USD (estimated)
AustraliaNBL$40,000 – $435,000 USD$100,000 USD (estimated)
South KoreaKBL$26,000 – $435,000 USD$90,000 USD (estimated)
SpainLiga ACB$30,000 – $750,000 USD$200,000 USD (estimated)
RussiaVTB United League$30,000 – $1,000,000 USD$125,000 USD (estimated)
TurkeyTBL$15,000 – $500,000 USD$70,000 USD (estimated)
FranceLNB Pro A$35,000 – $800,000 USD$200,000 USD (estimated)
BrazilBSL$20,000 – $150,000 USD$45,000 USD (estimated)

The salary of overseas basketball players depends on a number of factors such as their skill levels and the specific league and country he plays in. Unlike the NBA, most overseas basketball leagues do not make their salary information public. Based on anecdotal reports and rumors, overseas basketball players can expect to make anywhere from under $20,000 to well over $1 million per year.

To save you time, our staff here at Love At First Fit has combed through countless official and unofficial sources to compile a list of salary data for various professional basketball leagues around the world. In the rest of this article, we will look at these salary reports in detail. For those in a hurry, here is a summary of the salary data for various professional basketball leagues and you can see which league is the highest-paying overseas basketball league.

Europe – EuroLeague

PositionSalary Range (EUR)Salary Range (USD)
Top Player (MVP candidate)€1,200,000 – €1,500,000 EUR$1,400,000 – $1,750,000 USD
Star Player€500,000 – €1,200,000 EUR$585,000 – $1,400,000 USD
Starting Player€200,000 – €500,000 EUR$235,000 – $585,000 USD
Rotation Player€100,000 – €200,000 EUR$118,000 – $235,000 USD
Bench Player€50,000 – €100,000 EUR$59,000 – $118,000 USD

EuroLeague is a pan-European basketball league. It is widely considered to be the second best basketball league in the world, after the NBA. Its salaries are also among the highest in the world after that of the NBA.

Each year, EuroLeague involves competition of 18 top basketball teams coming from various countries in Europe and the Middle East. For the 2019 – 2020 season, 10 countries were represented in the EuroLeague – Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Germany, France, Serbia, Russia, Israel, and Lithuania.

EuroLeague teams, unlike NBA teams, do not disclose their players’ salary information. As a result, while you can know exactly how much Lebron James and James Harden of NBA make in salaries ($37.44 million and $38.20 million for the 2019 – 2020 season, respectively, in case you want to know), you can only rely on unofficial leaks, rumors, and guesses when it comes to EuroLeague salaries.

Based on these unofficial sources, the highest salary in EuroLeague for the 2019 -2020 season was offered by the Spanish team FC Barcelona to former NBA player Νikola Mirotic. Mirotic’s salary is estimated to be about $4.4 to $5.4 million. While that is a far cry from the NBA’s highest salary – Steph Curry’s $40.2 million – we are still talking about a very significant amount here.

The top 10 salaries in the EuroLeague are estimated to be in the $2 to $5 million range. But the recipients of those salaries are all the biggest superstars in the EuroLeague and their salaries are definitely the exception rather than the rule.

Highest Paid EuroLeague Players

PlayerPositionTeamSalary (EUR)Salary (USD)
Nando de ColoGuardCSKA Moscow€3,000,000 EUR$3,465,000 USD
Shane LarkinGuardAnadolu Efes€2,800,000 EUR$3,230,000 USD
Sergio RodriguezGuardAX Armani Exchange Milan€2,500,000 EUR$2,885,000 USD
Mike JamesGuardCSKA Moscow€2,400,000 EUR$2,770,000 USD
Vladimir MicovForwardAX Armani Exchange Milan€2,400,000 EUR$2,770,000 USD
  • EuroLeague salaries are generally lower than those in the NBA, but are still very competitive compared to other basketball leagues around the world.
  • The EuroLeague has a salary cap of €7.2 million EUR per team, which means that teams must manage their budgets carefully when signing players.
  • Salaries in the EuroLeague can vary widely depending on a player’s experience, performance, and position, with top players earning salaries in the millions of euros.
  • The EuroLeague is considered one of the top professional basketball leagues in the world, featuring many talented players from around the globe.

What about young basketball players from America who do not have NBA pedigrees on their resumes? How much can they make in EuroLeague? For non-star players like that, they can expect to get paid in the range of $65,000 to $100,000, depending on the team and the country. In many cases, the salaries are tax free and the teams also provide cars and apartments to the players.

China – CBA

PositionSalary Range (CNY)Salary Range (USD)
Top Player (MVP candidate)¥20,000,000 – ¥35,000,000 CNY$3,089,000 – $5,397,000 USD
Star Player¥8,000,000 – ¥20,000,000 CNY$1,236,000 – $3,089,000 USD
Starting Player¥3,000,000 – ¥8,000,000 CNY$464,000 – $1,236,000 USD
Rotation Player¥1,000,000 – ¥3,000,000 CNY$155,000 – $464,000 USD
Bench Player¥500,000 – ¥1,000,000 CNY$77,000 – $155,000 USD

Basketball is a very popular spectator sport in China. About 800 million people in China watched NBA content during the 2017 – 2018 season. That is more than 2 times the entire population of the USA. Needless to say, some NBA games have a bigger Chinese audience than an American one.

Given basketball’s popularity in China, it should not be a surprise that the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), China’s top basketball league, has a gigantic fan base of 450 million – the largest number of domestic fans among all professional basketball leagues anywhere in the world.

Having such a huge audience also means that CBA teams can afford to pay top dollar for their foreign imports. One sports agent estimated that foreign players in CBA are earning an average of $1 million per year while the biggest names can earn as much as $3 million per year. Better yet, the basketball teams in CBA also cover the Chinese income tax, so this salary is entirely tax free (American players would still need to pay their US income tax though.)

Highest Paid CBA Players

PlayerPositionTeamSalary (CNY)Salary (USD)
Joe YoungGuardNanjing Monkey Kings¥17,000,000 CNY$2,620,000 USD
MarShon BrooksGuardGuangdong Southern Tigers¥15,000,000 CNY$2,310,000 USD
Jeremy LinGuardBeijing Ducks¥15,000,000 CNY$2,310,000 USD
Donatas MotiejunasForwardShanghai Sharks¥13,000,000 CNY$2,000,000 USD
Jonathan GibsonGuardJiangsu Dragons¥12,000,000 CNY$1,840,000 USD

Among the most prominent Americans who have played in the CBA is Stephon Marbury, a former NBA player who became a superstar in China after he retired from the NBA. After 13 seasons in the NBA, Marbury moved to China in 2010. He ended up spending 8 years playing for 4 teams in the CBA. Finally retiring from the CBA in 2018, Marbury was reportedly getting paid about $2 million per year in China.

Stephon Marbury turned down 1.3 million from Boston Celtics, and signed with China’s Beijing Ducks for 2 million per year, in contrast to his 4 years 74 million max contract in NBA.

Japan – B.League

PositionSalary Range (JPY)Salary Range (USD)
Top Player (MVP candidate)¥50,000,000 – ¥120,000,000 JPY$450,000 – $1,080,000 USD
Star Player¥20,000,000 – ¥50,000,000 JPY$180,000 – $450,000 USD
Starting Player¥8,000,000 – ¥20,000,000 JPY$72,000 – $180,000 USD
Rotation Player¥4,000,000 – ¥8,000,000 JPY$36,000 – $72,000 USD
Bench Player¥2,000,000 – ¥4,000,000 JPY$18,000 – $36,000 USD

Highest Paid B.League Players

PlayerPositionTeamSalary (JPY)Salary (USD)
Nick FazekasForwardKawasaki Brave Thunders¥120,000,000 JPY$1,092,000 USD
Josh ScottCenterChiba Jets¥100,000,000 JPY$910,000 USD
Marc TrasoliniForward-CenterKawasaki Brave Thunders¥100,000,000 JPY$910,000 USD
Joel JamesCenterRyukyu Golden Kings¥100,000,000 JPY$910,000 USD
Ryusei ShinoyamaGuardKawasaki Brave Thunders¥90,000,000 JPY$819,000 USD

Australia – NBL

PositionSalary Range (AUD)Salary Range (USD)
Top Player (MVP candidate)$300,000 – $600,000 AUD$215,000 – $430,000 USD
Star Player$150,000 – $300,000 AUD$107,000 – $215,000 USD
Starting Player$80,000 – $150,000 AUD$57,000 – $107,000 USD
Rotation Player$60,000 – $80,000 AUD$43,000 – $57,000 USD
Bench Player$50,000 – $60,000 AUD$36,000 – $43,000 USD

The NBL is the top professional basketball league in Australia and New Zealand. While not as prestigious as the Spanish Liga ACB or the Turkish BSL, the Australian NBL is an up and coming basketball league that is quickly becoming a favorite overseas destination for aspiring players in the US. One reason is that unlike Spain, Turkey, or China, Australia does not present any language barrier to Americans.

Every team in the NBL can sign up to 3 foreign players — players born outside of Australia or New Zealand. Most American players in the NBL make somewhere in the range of $60,000 to $100,000 per year. A small number of bigger names can make more.

The minimum wage for roster players is about $40,000, while 1st time development players have a minimum wage of approximately $12,000. The teams also provide all players with health insurance and access to programs for mental health, career transition, and education. All told, the average total wage-and-support package for NBL roster players was about $100,000 for the 2018 – 2019 season.

Highest Paid NBL Players

PlayerPositionTeamSalary (AUD)Salary (USD)
Bryce CottonGuardPerth Wildcats$600,000 AUD$432,000 USD
Chris GouldingGuardMelbourne United$500,000 AUD$360,000 USD
Scott MachadoGuardCairns Taipans$450,000 AUD$324,000 USD
Cameron OliverForwardAdelaide 36ers$400,000 AUD$288,000 USD
Isaac HumphriesCenterAdelaide 36ers$400,000 AUD$288,000 USD

South Korea – KBL

PositionSalary Range (KRW)Salary Range (USD)
Top Player (MVP candidate)₩400,000,000 – ₩500,000,000 KRW$340,000 – $425,000 USD
Star Player₩200,000,000 – ₩400,000,000 KRW$170,000 – $340,000 USD
Starting Player₩100,000,000 – ₩200,000,000 KRW$85,000 – $170,000 USD
Rotation Player₩50,000,000 – ₩100,000,000 KRW$42,000 – $85,000 USD
Bench Player₩30,000,000 – ₩50,000,000 KRW$25,000 – $42,000 USD

Highest Paid KBL Players

PlayerPositionTeamSalary (KRW)Salary (USD)
Ricardo RatliffeCenterMobis Phoebus₩1,500,000,000 KRW$1,334,000 USD
Aaron HaynesForwardUlsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus₩1,000,000,000 KRW$889,000 USD
Charles RhodesForwardSeoul SK Knights₩900,000,000 KRW$800,000 USD
Ricardo PowellForwardGoyang Orions₩700,000,000 KRW$622,000 USD
David SimonForwardSeoul SK Knights₩600,000,000 KRW$533,000 USD

Spain – Liga ACB

PositionSalary Range (EUR)Salary Range (USD)
Top Player (MVP candidate)€600,000 – €2,500,000 EUR$695,000 – $2,895,000 USD
Star Player€240,000 – €600,000 EUR$277,000 – $695,000 USD
Starting Player€80,000 – €240,000 EUR$93,000 – $277,000 USD
Rotation Player€48,000 – €80,000 EUR$56,000 – $93,000 USD
Bench Player€24,000 – €48,000 EUR$28,000 – $56,000 USD

Liga ACB is the top professional basketball division of the Spanish basketball league system. The top teams in Liga ACB such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia also compete in EuroLeague. Teams in Liga ACB offer among the highest basketball salaries in Europe.

The typical, non-star salaries at Liga ACB are thought to be in the $130,000 range. If a player plays for a top Liga ACB team such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, or Valencia, he can expect to earn substantially more.

Highest Paid LigaACB Players

PlayerPositionTeamSalary (EUR)Salary (USD)
Nikola MiroticForwardBarcelona€4,000,000 EUR$4,788,000 USD
Alex AbrinesGuardBarcelona€2,700,000 EUR$3,229,000 USD
Sergio LlullGuardReal Madrid€2,500,000 EUR$2,991,000 USD
Tornike ShengeliaForwardBaskonia€2,200,000 EUR$2,635,000 USD
Vincent PoirierCenterReal Madrid€2,000,000 EUR$2,394,000 USD

European leagues that are typically regarded as on the same level as Liga ACB include HEBA A1 in Greece, Lega Basket Serie A in Italy, and VTB United League in Russia. Expect the salaries in these leagues to be on the same level as that in Liga ACB – in the range of $130,000 for non-stars.

Russia – VTB United League

PositionSalary Range (RUB)Salary Range (USD)
Top Player (MVP candidate)₽60,000,000 – ₽80,000,000 RUB$810,000 – $1,080,000 USD
Star Player₽20,000,000 – ₽60,000,000 RUB$270,000 – $810,000 USD
Starting Player₽10,000,000 – ₽20,000,000 RUB$135,000 – $270,000 USD
Rotation Player₽5,000,000 – ₽10,000,000 RUB$68,000 – $135,000 USD
Bench Player₽3,000,000 – ₽5,000,000 RUB$40,000 – $68,000 USD

Highest Paid VTB United League Players

PlayerPositionTeamSalary (EUR)Salary (USD)
Mike JamesGuardCSKA Moscow€3,000,000 EUR$3,591,000 USD
Nando De ColoGuardCSKA Moscow€2,500,000 EUR$2,991,000 USD
Shane LarkinGuardAnadolu Efes Istanbul€2,500,000 EUR$2,991,000 USD
Jordan MickeyForwardKhimki Moscow Region€2,000,000 EUR$2,394,000 USD
Will ClyburnForwardCSKA Moscow€2,000,000 EUR$2,394,000 USD

Turkey – TBL

PositionSalary Range (TRY)Salary Range (USD)
Top Player (MVP candidate)₺1,000,000 – ₺3,000,000 TRY$118,000 – $354,000 USD
Star Player₺500,000 – ₺1,000,000 TRY$59,000 – $118,000 USD
Starting Player₺250,000 – ₺500,000 TRY$30,000 – $59,000 USD
Rotation Player₺150,000 – ₺250,000 TRY$18,000 – $30,000 USD
Bench Player₺100,000 – ₺150,000 TRY$12,000 – $18,000 USD

The Basketball Super League (BSL) is the top professional basketball league in Turkey. Top teams in the BSL such as Anadolu Efes and Fenerbahçe Beko also compete in EuroLeague. Each BSL team is allowed to sign up to 8 foreign players and can play up to 6 foreign players in each game.

According to a source at BSL, the salaries for non-Turkish, foreign players at BSL are generally in the $250,000 to $450,000 range but can go above $1 million.

Highest Paid Turkey TBL Players

PlayerPositionTeamSalary (TRY)Salary (USD)
Jared BrownridgeGuardTurk Telekom₺4,000,000 TRY$450,000 USD
James Blackmon Jr.GuardBesiktas₺2,750,000 TRY$309,000 USD
Moustapha FallCenterPinar Karsiyaka₺2,500,000 TRY$281,000 USD
Chris WrightGuardGalatasaray₺2,300,000 TRY$258,000 USD
Sam DekkerForwardTürk Telekom₺2,200,000 TRY$247,000 USD

France – LNB Pro A

PositionSalary Range (EUR)Salary Range (USD)
Top Player (MVP candidate)€400,000 – €800,000 EUR$462,000 – $924,000 USD
Star Player€150,000 – €400,000 EUR$173,000 – $462,000 USD
Starting Player€70,000 – €150,000 EUR$81,000 – $173,000 USD
Rotation Player€40,000 – €70,000 EUR$46,000 – $81,000 USD
Bench Player€20,000 – €40,000 EUR$23,000 – $46,000 USD

Highest Paid LNB Pro A Players

PlayerPositionTeamSalary (EUR)Salary (USD)
Nando De ColoGuardASVEL€2,500,000 EUR$2,991,000 USD
William HowardForwardASVEL€1,200,000 EUR$1,435,000 USD
David LightyGuardAS Monaco€1,000,000 EUR$1,196,000 USD
Alain KoffiCenterElan Béarnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez€900,000 EUR$1,076,000 USD
Lahaou KonatéGuardStrasbourg€800,000 EUR$956,800 USD

Brazil – BSL

PositionSalary Range (BRL)Salary Range (USD)
Top Player (MVP candidate)R$500,000 – R$800,000 BRL$94,000 – $150,000 USD
Star PlayerR$250,000 – R$500,000 BRL$47,000 – $94,000 USD
Starting PlayerR$100,000 – R$250,000 BRL$19,000 – $47,000 USD
Rotation PlayerR$50,000 – R$100,000 BRL$9,400 – $19,000 USD
Bench PlayerR$20,000 – R$50,000 BRL$3,800 – $9,400 USD

Highest Paid BSL Players

PlayerPositionTeamSalary (TRY)Salary (USD)
Shane LarkinGuardAnadolu Efes Istanbul₺5,000,000 TRY$563,000 USD
Vasilije MicicGuardAnadolu Efes Istanbul₺4,000,000 TRY$450,000 USD
Bryant DunstonCenterAnadolu Efes Istanbul₺3,500,000 TRY$394,000 USD
Chris SingletonForwardFenerbahçe Beko Istanbul₺3,000,000 TRY$338,000 USD
Jan VeselyForwardFenerbahçe Beko Istanbul₺3,000,000 TRY$338,000 USD

Europe – Lower Tier Leagues

Besides the top national leagues, different European countries have various 2nd and 3rd and 4th tier professional basketball leagues. For example, in addition to its top-tier league Liga ACB, Spain has the 2nd tier LEB Oro, the 3rd tier LEB Plata, and the 4th tier Liga EBA. In addition to its 1st tier Basketball Super League, Turkey has the 2nd tier Basketball First League (TBL), 3rd tier Basketball Second League (TB2L), and the 4th tier Men’s Regional Basketball League (EBBL).

These lower tier leagues are easier to get into, but they also pay significantly less. Salaries in these leagues vary, but they are generally in the $1,000 to $3,000 per month range. Some may even pay less than $1,000 per month.