Average player salary in the sports industry by league 2018/19

With each player taking home a handsome 7.77 million U.S. dollars every year, the NBA is the professional sports league with the highest player wages worldwide. In second place is the Indian Premier League, an annual cricket competition contested each year between eight franchises representing eight different Indian cities.

Big money in the NBA

Although the wages that players in the NBA take home are astronomical, the average annual salaries vary greatly from team to team. Whilst the Atlanta Hawks pay their players an average of 5.22 million U.S. dollars a year, Oklahoma City Thunder spent almost double that, with each of their stars taking home 10.33 million U.S. dollars annually. The top player on Oklahoma’s wage bill is point guard, Russell Westbrook, who takes home an annual salary of 35.7 million U.S. dollars. It seems that the club’s investment in their prized possession has paid off, as Westbrook is the Thunder’s all-time leading points scorer.

NBA salary cap

It may be surprising to hear that, although NBA players take home sky-high wages, there is actually a salary cap in place in the league. This cap limits the total money that teams can spend on their players in order to keep the playing field as level as possible. The salary cap in the 2018/19 season reached almost 102 million U.S. dollars per team, a considerable increase from the cap of just over 58 million U.S. dollars in the 2012/13 season.

Average annual player salary in the sports industry in 2018/19, by league

Average player salary in million U.S. dollars
La Liga2.9
Serie A2
Ligue 11.3
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Release date

November 2018



Survey time period


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