Starting Salaries For A Professional Basketball Player

The starting salary of an NBA player is set by the collective bargaining agreement at $473,604 for the 2010-2011 season.

A first-year National Basketball Association player doesn’t need to worry about money, relatively speaking, but in other professional leagues he won’t be as lucky. An NBA player in his first year of service in the league will make a minimum of $473,604 in the 2010-2011 season. In the Development League, rookie salary is about about $12,000. In Europe, the salary for rookie players under contract with teams in the Euroleague, the elite pro basketball league, is about $100,000.


As mandated by the collective bargaining agreement, an NBA rookie will make a minimum of $473,604 for the 2010-2011 season. The starting salary in 2011-2012 was agreed upon to be $490,180. The minimum an NBA player can make depends on his years of service. For example, after playing for one season, the minimum salary rises to $762,195 in 2010-2011 and $788,872 in 2011-2012. That number increases to what is referred to as the veterans minimum. After 10 years in the NBA, a player makes a minimum of $1,352,181 in 2010-2011 and $1,399,507 in 2011-2012.


The National Basketball Association Development League is, essentially, a minor league for the NBA. Players here are paid very small amounts of money, much of which is often provided by the NBA. D-League salaries start at around $12,000 and hit a ceiling of $25,500. While some American players choose the D-League because it is based in the United States, other decide that it is not enough money to support themselves and instead go to Europe.

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The starting salaries of players in the Euroleague, the elite professional basketball league in Europe, is around $100,000. NBA players have been known to go to Europe, and vice versa, though generally are not compensated as well. However, that has changed in recent times as Josh Childress signed a $20 million multi-year contract in 2008 and Linas Kleiza signed a $12.2 million deal in 2009. Both have since returned to the NBA, Childress now playing for the Phoenix Suns and Kleiza for the Toronto Raptors.


In comparison to their peers, first-year NBA players earn around the same amount of money as those in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. In MLB, according to its collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Union, the minimum salary of during the 2010 season was $400,000. In the NHL, the minimum salary was $500,000 for the 2010-2011 season.