View Full Version : Money Isn't Quite As Green In Europe As It Appears

09-17-2009, 10:21 PM

When Von Wafer and Linas Kleiza signed with Olympiakos during this offseason, many people looked at their departure to Greece as two role players signing with the highest bidder.

But what if the trend of professional players going to Europe for greater financial prosperity isn't what it seems on the surface?

When Wafer signed with Olympiakos, the deal was reported as being worth approximately $10 million. But when you factor in Greece's tax rate, which is approximately twenty percent for an individual with Wafer's income, his actual earnings decrease significantly.

Upon returning to the United States, which has a tax rate of nearly forty percent for a citizen with Wafer's salary, he will be expected to pay the twenty percent difference in rates out of his own pocket assuming he does his taxes correctly. So while it may seem as if Wafer is making much more money with Olympiakos, after paying that difference his deal is actually equivalent to a two-year, $5.6 million contract or $2.8 million per season.

In a recent interview, Wafer said that the offers he received from NBA teams were “not even close” to his deal with Olympiakos and that being able to “help [his] family out a lot more was pretty important.”

While his new contract is a significant raise from the $800,000 he was making last season with the Houston Rockets , it’s still not the large contract that was being reported and possibly less than Wafer expected when he signed the deal.

How could Von or a player in his situation not know all of the details before signing overseas? Because agents with their own agendas sometimes choose to leave out such crucial information as losing a significant chunk of his contract upon paying his taxes in the United States in order to secure a raise of their own.

When a player signs for a minimum contract in the NBA, an agent makes two percent of the deal. For all contracts above the minimum, an agent makes four percent.

But for contracts signed overseas, the player’s agent makes an astounding ten percent of the deal. If a player signs a two-year, $10 million contract with an NBA team, his agent will make $400,000 before taxes. But by persuading their client to sign the exact same contract in Greece, the agent now makes $1,000,000.

While most agents have their clients in mind and want what is best for them, there are some who may direct a player overseas just to help themselves. Some agents are paid hourly so sending a client overseas brings in the bulk of their income.

“I just hope that these players understand all of the motivations for the deal," one agent told ******. “Does [Josh] Childress know, for instance, what his agent made from that deal? Do they know exactly what their salary will be and that they’ll have to pay the difference in taxes between Greece and Amercia? If they do and everyone understands, it’s a great deal. If they do not, then I feel bad for the players involved.”

Kleiza is another example of a player who signed with Olympiakos this summer for a deal smaller than reported. The two-year, $12.2 million contract that the forward signed is actually the equivalent to a two-year, $9 million NBA deal after paying the difference in taxes. While this is still a very nice paycheck, it’s not the huge deal that has been repeatedly reported.

Players aren’t making the large amounts of money that are being reported and that’s important to address in order to stop the recent trend of players ditching the NBA for the cash.


dk why the link is starred out.. but its r-e-a-l-g-m

09-18-2009, 01:34 AM
they still make More then everyone on this forum combined

so good their making that much

09-18-2009, 02:06 AM
they still make More then everyone on this forum combined

so good their making that much

Uh, well, I won the lotto about 4 1/2 months ago worth around 34-36 million dollars...

lol jk

09-18-2009, 02:10 AM
Kinda interesting, but Wafer's 800k would also be taxed so he is making alot more still

09-18-2009, 09:22 AM
Its funny how 800 000 is not enough money per year to help his family out. Wow.

09-18-2009, 09:35 AM
Uh, well, I won the lotto about 4 1/2 months ago worth around 34-36 million dollars...

lol jk

You made a LOTTA people jealous for a few seconds :D.

.... I think the article is good. It's just pointing out that they may not make as much as we think or THEY think when going overseas... However, for a player to bring in an extra mil or two, even with taxes, they might not care. In terms of what a basketball player makes, we may think it's a big difference, but if you told me I could make a mil extra per year overseas, then it'd be hard not to take it. Especially when I'm just trying to make a name for myself still, like Wafer is.

09-18-2009, 11:12 AM
Wait so you have to pay U.S. taxes even if your working overseas and being paid in a different country/currency, what a total rip off....make money off nothing, perfect.

09-18-2009, 12:21 PM
i wonder if this journalist knows that in europe you sing contracts that get you AFTER TAXES money since the CLUB pays the taxes for you.

Basically if they say they give you ten million they GIVE YOU ten million then they pay your taxes so the club pays x millions like 15 and youreceive the 10 you were promised.

09-18-2009, 12:41 PM
Couldn't they also just become a resident/citizen there and not pay the US taxes?

09-18-2009, 12:48 PM
Anyone who understand taxes post here, how can the US impose an Income tax if the person in question does not earn his money here. Granted I understand for example some like Wesley Snipes he goes off to australia for 6 months shoots some scenes in australia comes back every couple weeks to get to see the states. But lets assume this guy doesn't not come back for at least 2 years wouldnt he be considered a temporary resident of greece? Hope someone can explain this to me so i understand it better

Dangerous Dan
09-18-2009, 12:55 PM
The way I understand it if you spend 10+ months outside the USA in a non US territory,earning $$ in a non us territory , your off the hook with US taxes .

09-18-2009, 04:18 PM
Just ask Carlos Delfino about playing in the Euroleague. I'll give you a hint, they didn't pay him.