​While the Premier League’s new wealth of riches has seen an influx of financial gains to new signings, across the Atlantic those monetary figures are being made to look like pocket change.

This upcoming season the disparity between the NBA and the Premier League is only set to get bigger with the likes of Kevin Durant’s sporting earnings dwarfing that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, for example.

Here, Sportsmail explains how the game of basketball has inflated players wages that only their footballing counterparts can dream of.

So what is exactly happening in the NBA?

The upcoming 2016-17 NBA season sparks a new eight-year TV deal with media broadcasters ABC , ESPN and TNT worth an astonishing £18.2billion ($24bn) through to the end of the 2024-25 campaign. Over this period the NBA will earn close £2.3bn per year – a significant rise from their previous eight-year deal of £705m per annum.

The rise in the TV earnings will filter down to the 30 franchises within the NBA thus meaning a larger budget to entice possible targets – i.e. players.


LeBron James will become a free agent on Friday which allows him to negotiate contracts with the major franchises. He did not exercise his player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers for next season but is expected to remain at the team and is eligible for a maximum salary of roughly £22.6m per season.

Reigning MVP Stephen Curry is currently on a relatively low contract (£9.1m) at the Golden State Warriors – although he will expect a considerable rise when it expires.

How does this compare to the Premier League?

It was only last year that England’s top flight announced their biggest TV rights deal in history.

Starting this upcoming term until the end of the 2018-19 season, the Premier League will earn £5.1bn over this period in domestic rights from Sky and BT – equating to £1.7bn a year.

So what does the impact of the NBA’s new deal mean for franchises?

Spend, spend, spend. NBA teams have a salary cap of £69m to splash on their roster – a rise of £15m. The 30 teams all have a minimum of £63m to spend meaning some players are given inflated salaries just to make sure they reach their expenditure quota.

And what about the players?

It’s an eye-watering market for the players who are benefitting from mind-blowing offers that have never been seen before.

For example, Evan Turner has swapped life at the Boston Celtics for the Portland Trail Blazers after more than quintupling his salary.

Last season, Turner earned £2.7m with the Celtics but his new £58m four-year deal in Portland will see that increase to £14.5m per term or £279,000 per week.

The Russian center was a bench player for the newly-crowned NBA champions the Cleveland Cavaliers earning £3.7m per year.

However, the 29-year-old will now pocket £48m over four years with the Los Angeles Lakers, at £12m per annum; despite the fact they held the second overall worst record last season.

How does those fees compare with the Premier League?

Not favourably for England’s top flight or football’s highest-paid players in general. Considering that Mozgov is now playing for the second worst team his weekly wage is £230,000.

Man United new boy Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Premier League’s highest earner, is on £260,000 per week.

Why are the players earning so much?

Anticipating gigantic contracts to players, NBA commissioner Adam Silver warned Players Association president Michele Roberts that the league increased the salary cap gradually when the new television contract came.

Sadly for the 54-year-old, his pleas fell on deaf ears with the Players Association replying with a resounding no – thus, the mammoth influx of wages.

And has any of Adam Silver’s predictions happened?

Yes. Aside from the astonishing wages offered to players, an imbalance of the talent has happened too.

Kevin Durant was the lucrative free agent this summer before he decided to swap the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors.

The 27-year-old’s move to the Oracle Arena gives coach Steve Kerr a tantalising starting five next season, which will include Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and reigning MVP Stephen Curry – who are All-Stars.

The increased salary is to blame for this super-team creation. Despite their stardom Thompson and Curry are currently on relatively low deals at the Warriors – although they will expect considerable rises when they expire.

Couldn’t something have been done before?

In 2011 the NBA regular season was shortened from 82 to 66 games due to a lockout between the owners and the players. Known as the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations eventually fell in favour of the latter.

The main issues dividing both sides were the division of revenue and the structure of the salary cap and luxury tax. Owners proposed to reduce the players’ share of basketball related income (BRI) from 57 per cent to 47 per cent, but the players countered with 53 per cent.

In the end, the CBA revenue saw players receive 51.2 per cent of BRI in 2011–12, with a 49-to-51 band in its subsequent years.

So what now?

The quality of the NBA has been criticised by former players – who believe that the number of teams who can win the Finals will only diminish.

While that is yet to be seen, one for thing is for certain – players with little impact on their team are set for a financial windfall over the next eight years.

Culled from The Nation Newspaper