Top 10 most expensive contracts in Europe – there is no Swede, but there is still CSKA
Eurohoops has published a list of the highest paid players in Europe. In the first place, despite a significant reduction in wages, for the third year in a row was Nikola Mirotić from Barcelona. The first three were predictably broken into by MVP of the last Euroleague season Vasily Mitsich , but Alexey Shved for the first time since 2018 remained outside the rating.
This year the list of the most expensive contracts is as follows:
1. Nikola Mirotić (Barcelona) – $ 4.5 million a year
2. Shane Larkin (Anadolu Efes) – $ 3.7 million
3. Vasile Mitsich (Anadolu Efes) – $ 3 million
4. Nikola Milutinov (CSKA) – $ 2.5 million
5. Jan Vesely (Fenerbahce) – $ 2.3 million
6. Walter Tavares (Real) – $ 2 million
7. Nando de Colo (Fenerbahce) – $ 1.9 million
8-11. Tornike Shengelia (CSKA) – $ 1.8 million
8-11. Costas Slukas (Olympiacos) – $ 1.8 million
8-11. Nick Calates (Barcelona) – $ 1.8 million
8-11. Corey Higgins (Barcelona) – $ 1.8 million
The first step is to pay attention to the absence of the Swede. Three years ago, he was the highest paid player in the Euroleague with a $ 4 million contract. A year later, Mirotić removed him from the first line, and before last season, the Swede was in third place, but with $ 2.5 million. Then the defender signed a new contract. with Khimki, and the coronavirus pandemic primarily influenced the serious salary cut. However, this summer the top scorer and Euroleague assistant was forced to replace the financially troubled Khimki with CSKA Moscow, where, according to Eurohoops, they receive a very modest salary.
This makes his transition even more profitable for Muscovites. They not only signed the strongest Russian player to a problematic position, but also managed without exorbitant amounts in his contract. You can count on the club to have enough funds to sign a top playmaker.
Another soldier who remained out of the rating this year is Mike James . Of course, he is a CSKA player only formally. The defender was suspended from matches in March and was playing out the season at the Brooklyn Nets. But the American continues to complicate the financial situation at the Moscow club. Neither the management nor the player himself are interested in his return. In the worst case, CSKA will have to pay a penalty of $ 5 million to James. He recently returned to the location of the capital team, and now the parties are continuing negotiations to terminate the contract. For this reason, Eurohoops did not take James into account when compiling the rating, although last summer he shared the third line with Shved and team-mate Nikola Milutinov.
Milutinov remains in the top 5 and will receive the same $ 2.5 million. His first season in Moscow, of course, did not go well at all. Due to a shoulder injury, he was out of action on January 29, and then underwent surgery and missed the rest of the season. But Nikola is a quality performer, the most useful center of the 2019/20 season in the Euroleague. And if his recovery was successful, he will still have time to bring real benefit to the team.
The second player representing CSKA in the ranking, instead of James, was Tornike Shengelia . In the second year of the contract, his salary increased to $ 1.8 million. Shengelia confidently entrenched himself in the starting lineup, and, despite periodic injuries, played the most minutes in the Euroleague. In the VTB United League, he, along with Will Cliburn, became the most productive player in CSKA. Tornike made a particularly big contribution to the victory over UNICS in the final series. But $ 1.8 million, which is the same as Higgins and Calathes from Barcelona … A bit too much. Let’s see how he performs in the next season.
Let’s go back to the first three. Nikola Mirotić becomes the highest paid player in Europe for the third time in a row . Of course, the star striker remains Barcelona’s undisputed leader. As the most productive player in the team, at the end of the season he got into the symbolic fives of the Euroleague and the national championship, where, moreover, he was recognized as the MVP of the final series. But this year he will receive almost $ 1 million less than last – 4.5 instead of 5.4 million. The exact amount remains unknown, but Mirotić’s salary is guaranteed to be reduced. And this is not surprising – this year, Barcelona’s debt obligations exceeded one billion euros. Of course, the debt situation mostly concerns the football team. But the management, apparently, are trying to save money on everything. And Mirotic’s record contract was not bypassed.
Shane Larkin remains in second place in the list of players with the most expensive contracts.from “Anadolu Ephesus”. He is working out the second year of his well-deserved agreement for $ 7.7 million. But the third place was taken by another newly-minted Euroleague champion, MVP of the last season, Vasily Mitsich. This summer, there were rumors of his return to the NBA. Serb, the rights to which belong to Oklahoma, were interested in Chicago, but the Turkish club did its best to keep the defender. As a result, they managed to agree on the extension of the agreement for another three years. In July, the insider Nemanja Zhorich reported that Mitsich should earn € 16.65 million by 2024 – that is, almost $ 20 million. But this information, apparently, does not correspond to reality. Perhaps, in the coming years, Mitsich will be entitled to larger sums. But once this season he will receive only $ 3 million, it will definitely not reach 20.
In general, the presented rating does not differ much from last year’s. AC Milan players Malcolm Delaney, Sergio Rodriguez and Nicolo Melli missed the top ten, but are slightly less than the 8-11. Alexey Shved (CSKA), Sergio Llul (Real Madrid) and Mike James (CSKA) dropped out of the top 10 compared to last year. The Swede case was mentioned above, they decided not to include James in the rating due to the fact that he would not play in CSKA uniform, and Llul agreed to cut salaries due to the coronavirus pandemic and game regression.
There are apparently fewer and fewer players with major contracts in Europe. Last year, despite the coronavirus pandemic, none of the top 11 basketball players received less than $ 2 million. Now only the first six managed to overcome this mark. Even record holder Mirotić lost almost 20% of his salary. It is not known what surprises to expect from the upcoming season. Maybe someone will appear who will play enough for a larger contract, or for whom the European teams will be ready to fork out. Be that as it may, there is very little left to wait – the Euroleague draw starts on September 30th.