Kudos and thanks to BallinEurope reader Agent, who recently crunched some numbers for basketball fans vis-à-vis the top salaries in European basketball for the 2011-12 season. In case you’re wondering why some top NBA names are seriously considering jumping the puddle, check out the findings below.

Using euros as the currency, and figuring for net income, i.e. after taxes, as of September 25th, 2011, the top 10 highest-paid players in European professional club basketball for the 2011-12 season are:

1 (tie). Mehmet Okur, Turk Telekom Ankara – €3.5 million net income
1 (tie). Deron Williams, Beşiktaş – €3.5 million
3 (tie). Nenad Krstic, CSKA Moscow – €3.0 million
3 (tie). Rudy Fernandez, Real Madrid – €3.0 million
5. Ersan Ilyasova, Efes Istanbul – €2.7 million
6. Juan Carlos Navarro, FC Barcelona – €2.5 million
7. Vassilis Spanoulis, Olympiacos – €2.4 million
8. Dimitris Diamantidis, Panathinaikos – €2.0 million
9 (tie). Mike Batiste, Panathinaikos – €1.9 million
9 (tie). Milos Teodosic, CSKA Moscow – €1.9 million

Now the key is to use the formula that NBA agents use for converting this into the equivalent salary in the NBA. They use 1.42 as a yearly average to convert euros to US dollars and a 2.0 mark is employed to convert the salary into gross income terms (again, before taxes), as NBA contracts are listed in gross terms. European contracts are listed in the amount of money earned after taxes are deducted, and the European clubs also cover tax and accounting fees for the players.

This figures in that NBA players have an average of local taxes deducted from all 30 NBA cities. (Yes, even players that playing in areas with no state tax still pay the local taxes from where they play a given game is played.) In North America, federal taxes are deducted and players pay their agent fees (as opposed to policy of most clubs in Europe, which pay agents for the players), NBA union fees, and fees for the NBA retirement fund.

So, you take the net euros income and multiply by 1.42 for average yearly conversion into US dollars and then by multiply by 2.0 to figure the net income difference as opposed to gross income contracts like in the NBA.

Then bonuses received by European players such as living quarters, car and/or driver, maids, expenses/utilities paid by the club, etc., may be added. These perks vary from club to club, but we can figure in that amount in addition to salary because NBA teams do not pay for such amenities.
The 2.0 multiplier is actually in most cases a conservative estimate as in most cases, it is actually even higher than double in terms of difference between gross and net income. Using these bonuses from particular clubs, applying multipliers, and rounding the figures (as is customary among NBA agents), we get the following as the top 10 NBA salary equivalents in European pro club basketball.

1. Deron Williams – $10.3 million per season NBA salary equivalent
2. Mehmet Okur – $10 million
3 (tie). Nenad Krstic – $8.9 million
3 (tie). Rudy Fernandez – $8.9 million
5. Ersan Ilyasova – $8.1 million
6. Juan Carlos Navarro – $7.5 million
7. Vassilis Spanoulis – $7.2 million
8. Dimitris Diamantidis – $6.1 million
9 (tie). Mike Batiste – $5.8 million
9 (tie). Milos Teodosic – $5.8 million

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