Highest-paid EuroLeague basketball players this season

The 2023-24 EuroLeague season is underway, and there have never been so many star players on the teams’ rosters. The competition has constantly grown, and with 18 teams playing each other twice a season, it is a format that looks like the NBA. The popularity of the league has spread wider than in Europe, and many players who have NBA offers on the table have chosen to play in the EuroLeague for many reasons, and one of them is certainly the paychecks they receive.

Highest-paid EuroLeague basketball players this season
Photo by Icon sport

Highest-paid players in EuroLeague

The money that the teams spend on players’ salaries is growing every year. The deals are usually no longer than 2-3 years, but the amount of money the top players can earn is mind-blowing. Let’s look at the highest EuroLeague salaries for the 2023-24 season.

1. Shane Larkin $4 million

This is the sixth season for Larkin in Anadolu Efes, and he is one of the players who led this team to back-to-back EuroLeague titles in 2021 and 2022. He was named into the All-EuroLeague First Team in 2022, and two years before had a 50-40-90 shooting percentage. Last season, Larkin averaged 16 points per game, and with Vasilije Micic going to the NBA this summer, Larkin’s role for the team is even more important, which makes him the highest paid player in the EuroLeague.

2. Kostas Sloukas $2.8 million

Kostas Sloukas joined Panathinaikos this summer, signing a deal that will pay him $2.8 million per season in the next three years. All that sounds great, but if we take into account that the point guard spent the last three seasons, and a total of 10 seasons, with Panathinaikos’ biggest rival, Olympiacos, makes this move scratchy. There have been very few occasions of players moving from one of these teams to the other, and knowing that Sloukas won three EuroLeague titles with the red and whites, makes this transfer one of the biggest in the history of the competition.

3. Kevin Punter $2.6 million

Punter joined Partizan in 2021 when Zeljko Obradovic took over the team. He has established himself as one of the best scorers in the EuroLeague, averaging 16.1 points per game last season. As his contract with the team expired, he had many offers on the table. News broke out that Punter would sign with Barcelona, but Partizan offered him $2.6 million per year to keep him. Punter is one of the fans’ favorites in Belgrade and even got Serbian citizenship. He accepted the offer, saying that he had unfinished business with Partizan.

4. Nikola Mirotic $2.5 million

Mirotic had a solid NBA career, splitting five seasons between Chicago, New Orleans, and Milwaukee. In 2019, he decided to join Barcelona and became the highest-paid EuroLeague player at the time. Mirotic won the EuroLeague MVP title in 2022 but failed to take the team to the title. After the team decided to limit its spending, they demanded Mirotic to accept a 50% pay cut, which he did not do and signed with Armani Milano for $2.5 million per year.

5. Darius Thompson $2.3 million

Darius Thompson was brought in Anadolu Efes as a replacement for Vasilije Micic, who went to the NBA and joined the Oklahoma City Thunder. The American point guard spent the previous season with Baskonia, where he averaged 12.6 points and led the league with 6.7 assists per game while shooting 38% from the field. He was also named to the All-EuroLeague Second team last year.

6. Willy Hernangomez $2.2 million

Willy Hernangomez decided to leave the NBA and sign for Barcelona this summer. He spent five seasons with the New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, and New Orleans Pelicans. Last season, the center averaged 6.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in 38 appearances for the Pelicans. Hernangomez was the key player on the Spanish team that won the 2022 EuroBasket and was named the MVO of the competition. He started his career at Real Madrid in 2011, and it was quite surprising to pick Barcelona as his new team, as Real Madrid was also interested in signing him. With a salary of $2.2 million, Hernangomez is the highest paid center in the league.

7-8. Tornike Shengelia $2.1 million

Shengelia is another player with previous NBA experience. The Georgian forward spent two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets and the Chicago Bulls. Last season, he joined Virtus Bologna coming from CSKA Moskow after the Russian team was not allowed to participate in the EuroLeague. Shengelia averaged 9.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. He was a free agent this summer with many offers on the table, but Virtus was determined to keep him and signed Shengelia on $2.1 million per season.

7-8. Juancho Hernangomez $2.1 million

Just like his older brother, Juancho came back to Europe after seven seasons in the NBA, playing for six different teams. He received limited playing time and was often moved from team to team, failing to adapt and prove his worth. Juancho signed a two-year deal with Panathinaikos this summer and will earn $2.1 million per year.

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