The start of NBA free agency is always a great time to remember just how much money flows around the league.
Sure enough, it’s a period when you see some massive, jaw-dropping paychecks written.
On Thursday evening, Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets made history with a gigantic five-year, $264 million contract with his team – the biggest in NBA history.
He’s not the only star making some serious bank these days – and he’s not the only international star doing so.
3 of the 5 biggest contracts in NBA history belong to European players 🔥
Nikola Jokic 5-year, $264 million
Bradley Beal 5-year, $251 million
Giannis 5-year, $228.2 million
Stephen Curry 4-year, $215.3 million
Luka Doncic 5-year, $215.1 million pic.twitter.com/AL4ecetJEF
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 30, 2022
In fact, three of the five biggest contracts in the history of the league belong to European players.
Aside from Jokic with his bag, you’ve got Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks with a five-year, $228.2 million package and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks with a salary of five years and $215.1 million.
This is a sign that not only is the league spending a lot more money these days but also that international players are dominating the league.
Jokic, Antetokounmpo, and Doncic are just a few of the foreign-born superstars becoming multimillionaires because of their incredible skills.
This is no coincidence: the league has been trying to appeal to other countries for decades now.
That hard work from multiple NBA commissioners has paid off handsomely as many of the best guys balling today are from other countries.
And don’t expect this trend to slow down.
Over the next few years, the draft will be filled with young talent coming from Europe, Africa, and beyond.