One of the biggest factors that goes into every major high school basketball recruit’s decision is whether his college of choice will help prepare him to get to the next level – the NBA. In the end, the goal is to reach the league, and the higher he is drafted, the better.
Fans also love to argue about which programs are the best “NBA factories”. Of course, there are a number of methods you can use to derive your results. You can go by the number of draft picks over a certain time period, or the number of players currently in the NBA. We thought we’d try something a bit different. We took the salaries for each player (according to ESPN) in the NBA in 2012-2013 and totalled them up, by college.
Some of the results were surprising. Here’s what we found:
Surprisingly, Michigan State is the lone program from the Big Ten in the top 15. Carrying the load is Zach Randolph, who made $16.5 million this past season. Jason Richardson, Shannon Brown, Alan Anderson and Draymond Green round out the Spartans’ representation in the NBA. If Green keeps playing well for the Warriors, he’ll eventually get a much better payday ($850,000).
Marquette’s inclusion is another example of how one superstar, in this case Dwyane Wade, can land you on this list. Wade’s ridiculous salary (over $17 million) combined with modest (I realize how absurd the word sounds given the context) contributions from Wesley Matthews ($6.5 million) and Steve Novak ($4 million) accounts for almost all of the Golden Eagles’ NBA paychecks. Jimmy Butler could be the next to get paid after emerging in the 2013 playoffs.
Carmelo Anthony made over $19 million this season, which makes up more than half the total salary of former Orange stars. Wesley Johnson and Dion Waiters, two players who were both drafted No. 4 overall in different years (2010 and 2012, respectively), both made around $4 million as well. Donte Greene, Fab Melo and Kris Joseph account for the remainder.
Surprised? I was. The Bayou Bengals have four players in the NBA who made $6 million of more this past season – Tyrus Thomas, Marcus Thornton, Glen Davis and Brandon Bass. For a school that has only made the NCAA Tournament once in the past seven years (2009), the Tigers are certainly well-represented in the NBA.
Wake Forest has produced two of the biggest stars in the NBA today – Tim Duncan ($9.6 million) and Chris Paul ($17.8 million). Al-Farouq Aminu, James Johnson, Jeff Teague and Ish Smith also contributed to the Demon Deacons’ inclusion.
There are twelve UNC alums who made between $1.5 million and $3.5 million this past season. The only Tar Heel with a higher salary was Marvin Williams, checking in at $8.3 million. The two main reasons UNC isn’t higher? Their stars from the early 2000s are older and playing for league minimums (Stackhouse, Jamison) and their recent alums have mostly turned out to be average NBA players (Zeller, Hansbrough, Ellington).
For a school with only seven players in the NBA, Georgia Tech is sure getting a lot of bang for its buck. Chris Bosh ($17.5 million) is the main breadwinner, but Thaddeus Young, Jarrett Jack, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow and Will Bynum all made between $3 million and $9 million. Iman Shumpert is the seventh Yellow Jacket on the list, and he’ll eventually earn a higher salary with the way he’s played for the Knicks.
Texas has two superstars raking in the dough. Kevin Durant made more than $16 million, while LaMarcus Aldridge pulled in over $13 million. Daniel Gibson, Tristan Thompson and D.J. Augustin also made between $3 million and $5 million each. Avery Bradley ($1.6 million) could be in line for a salary boost soon as well.
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