How Much Do Overseas Basketball Players Make?

When we think of a basketball league, we think of the NBA. This professional basketball tournament attracts the attention of spectators from all over the world thanks to its spectacular matches.

It is every player’s dream to reach here. One reason is thanks to the salaries and benefits for NBA players. However, foreign basketball leagues are also gradually proving their potential and more and more players are joining here.

How Much Do Overseas Basketball Players Make? Foreign basketball players earn an average salary of between zero and $4 million per year.

There are many factors that affect the salary and amount that a foreign basketball player gets. If you still want to know more, continue reading this article

How Much Do Overseas Basketball Players Make

Overseas basketball salary

How much do foreign basketball players earn a year?

Although the number of players specified for NBA teams is limited, playing basketball abroad is ideal for players to find opportunities for themselves. Each country has its own rules and ways of paying its professional basketball players.

Many countries in Europe pay an average of $60k to $500k per season for a player playing in the top tier. Some Asian countries like Korea or Japan are also willing to pay similar amounts of $120k to $400ka per season.

China has the most generous payouts, ranging from $1 million to $3 million per season. The rest of the world pays a modest salary of $2k to $20k.

Remember, these numbers are only valid when you enter a top professional basketball division.

Through our research, we identified two key factors that influence the payment ability of players in foreign basketball leagues. These include:

  • The economic potential of the country.
  • The growth and popularity of basketball in that country.

To learn more about salaries in most foreign basketball leagues, check out this video.

Do foreign basketball players pay taxes?

For those who want to play basketball professionally abroad, you don’t have to pay taxes on your income. This is the most obvious difference between an NBA player’s contract and a foreign player’s contract.

The basketball player’s team is the unit responsible for paying taxes on that person’s income. The salary you see in the contract is what you can expect. Meanwhile, NBA players often pay half of their salary in related expenses and taxes.

8 Highest Paying Foreign Basketball Leagues in 2023

The salary of a professional basketball player in different leagues can fluctuate significantly. Not only that, the leagues present an income gap between the average player and the highest-paid player. To learn more about league-specific salaries, follow the next section.

#1. Chinese Basketball Association

Chinese Basketball Association

Chinese Basketball Association

The 2021-23 season marks the Chinese Basketball Association’s new salary cap agreement (C.B.A). Basketball clubs in the CBA can pay between 20-40 million yuan ($3-6.72 million) for Chinese players born in the country. Each team can have up to four foreign players whose salaries cannot exceed $7 million.

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Salary ranges are marked A to E, with D being the maximum salary. Generally, foreign players are compensated between 1 and 3 million dollars per year.

The season in the CBA has a short playing time of just six months. Compared to the marathon race that lasts 8 to 9 months during the European seasons, the competition conditions are good.

All the above reasons make the CBA one of the most attractive foreign basketball leagues in the world, apart from the NBA.

#2. Euro League

How Much Do Overseas Basketball Players MakeEuro League

The Euro League It is the dream destination of any professional basketball player abroad because of the premium remuneration. Average European basketball salaries ranging from $500k to $800k per season are quite impressive. Top players can earn a maximum salary of $4 million per season.

FC Barcelona’s Nikola Mirotic tops the list of the highest-paid basketball players in the EuroLeague, earning $4 million per year. He is followed by Anadolu Efes’ Shane Larkin at $3.7 million per year.

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The sponsor of this sports tournament is Turkish Airlines Euroleague. 16 teams are participating in the tournament. Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich, Anadolu Efes, Olympiakos, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Valencia Basket, Baskonia, Zalgiris, Zenit St. Petersburg, among others.

The EuroLeague schedule starts in October and ends in May every year.

#3. Spain ACB League

Spain Liga ACB How Much Do Overseas Basketball Players Make

ACB League

ACB League The Spanish Basketball League is the main professional basketball division in the system. It consists of 18 teams. The most prestigious tournament teams such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, ​​or Kirolbet Baskonia also compete in the Euroleague. These are also the best-paying teams for basketball players.

The average salary for a basketball player in ACB ranges from $250k to $500k per season. The highest-paid European basketball players are Walter Tavares and Sergio Lull. Pocketed more than $2 million per season.

Many ACB teams have one or more NBA players on their roster.

#4. Turkish Basketball Super League

Turkish Basketball Super League

Basketball Super League

Turkish is the best professional men’s basketball league in Turkey Basketball Super League (BSL). Top BSL contenders Fenerbahce Beko and Anadolu Efes also competed in the EuroLeague.

Each BSL team can recruit up to eight foreign basketball players and use up to six players in a match.

Salaries for foreign and non-Turkish players in the BSL typically range from $250k to $450k per season. The highest-paid player is Shane Larkin of Anadolu Efes, with a salary of $2.6 million before taxes.

#5. Russian VTB United

Russian VTB United

VTB United

The VTB United It is the premier national basketball league in Russia. They offer an excellent average salary between $200k and $450k per year. Depending on the player’s status, the maximum payout for a foreign basketball player is $4 million.

In fact, the highest-paid players in Europe now come from Russia. Alexey Shved, Nikola Milutinov, and Mike James make $2.5 million per season.

It is worth noting that Alexei Shved played in the NBA for three years before returning to Russia. The Brooklyn Nets are currently hiring Mike James as a free agent.

Given their stature and reputation, we can easily see why the average Euro basketball salary is so high.

#6. German Basketball Bundesliga

Germany Basketball Bundesliga

Basketball Bundesliga

German Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) is another foreign league that pays the players well. They have 18 teams with budgets under $10 million. Bayern Munich is the team with the most significant budget of $25 million.

Playing overseas in the BBL brings in an average salary of $100K to $350K per season. NBA first-round superstars like Greg Monroe can pocket nearly $1 million per season.

#7. Italian Lega Basket Serie AItalian Lega Basket Serie A

Lega Basket Serie A

Basketball is, surprisingly, a very popular sport in Italy. The Lega Basket Serie A (Serie A) is the biggest tournament with 17 teams participating. Each team offers an average salary of $180K to $350K per year per foreign basketball player.

Players with superstar status will be offered higher salaries. Sergio Rodriguez is the highest-paid basketball player in Serie A. He gets $2 million a year, the highest salary in the league.

#8. France LNB Pro a

France LNB Pro A


Founded in 1921 with 18 teams LNB Pro A is still France’s most prestigious basketball tournament. Defending champion ASVEL is also the most successful team in the game.

A foreign basketball player can earn an average salary between $80k and $200k per season at LNB. ASVEL’s AJ Slaughter was the highest-paid basketball player for the 2019-20 season with $300,000.

Many successful NBA players such as Ian Mahinmi and Tony Parker have emerged from the club in the past 15 seasons. The league is considered one of the most financially secure places to play professional basketball overseas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do basketball players get paid overseas?

Yes, basketball players can get paid to play basketball overseas. Many countries have professional basketball leagues that pay their players, and there are also international competitions like the FIBA World Cup and the Olympics that offer prize money.

How much do top overseas basketball players get paid?

The salaries of top overseas basketball players can vary widely depending on the league and the country they are playing in. For example, players in the Chinese Basketball Association can earn several million dollars per year, while players in smaller European leagues may only earn a few thousand dollars per month.

How much does Iceland basketball pay?

The salaries for professional basketball players in Iceland can vary depending on the team and the league. According to some sources, players in the Icelandic Premier League can earn between $1,500 and $4,000 per month.

How much do semi-pro basketball players get paid?

Semi-pro basketball players generally do not earn as much as professional basketball players, but their salaries can still vary depending on the league and the team. In some semi-pro leagues, players may receive a small stipend or a percentage of the team’s profits.

Is it hard to make it in overseas basketball?

Making it as a professional basketball player overseas can be difficult, as there is often intense competition for roster spots and limited opportunities for international players. However, many players have successfully made the transition to playing overseas, and it can be a rewarding career path for those who are willing to work hard and persevere.

Who pays the most in overseas basketball?

The Chinese Basketball Association is known for offering some of the highest salaries for overseas basketball players. However, salaries can also vary widely in other countries and leagues depending on factors like the team’s budget, the player’s skills and experience, and the league’s popularity.

Can you try out for overseas basketball?

Yes, it is possible to try out for overseas basketball teams. Many teams hold open tryouts or invite players to attend training camps, and there are also scouting agencies and player agents who can help connect players with opportunities to play overseas.

How much do NBA players make in China?

NBA players who play in China can earn large salaries, with some players earning several million dollars per year. However, it is worth noting that the salaries in the Chinese Basketball Association are subject to a salary cap, so not all players earn the same amount.

Does the NBA recruit internationally?

Yes, the NBA has a long history of recruiting international players. In recent years, the number of international players in the NBA has been steadily increasing, with players from countries all over the world making their mark on the league.

How much did Brittney Griner make in Russia?

Brittney Griner, an American professional basketball player, played for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the Russian Women’s Basketball Premier League. The exact amount she was paid is not publicly available, but it is believed that she earned a high six-figure salary for her time with the team.

Final thoughts

With an average NBA salary of $6.2 million per year, the NBA league is a mecca for professional basketball players. However, they can still find attractive opportunities in foreign teams as basketball becomes more and more popular. While receiving attractive salaries, they are subjected to many expectations and pressures from the team and fans.

If you want to become the highest-paid NBA player or overseas player, the prerequisite is that you have consistent form and continuous learning.

Thanks for reading!

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