College athletes are arguably the most exploited people in America, especially when you consider how much money top schools make in revenue, how much the NCAA makes in revenue, how much television networks make in revenue, and how much the top coaches get paid.
Take a look at how much these five NCAA basketball players would be making if they played in the NBA this season:
Texas forward Damion James is a great scorer and an even better rebounder. His numbers are a lot like Dwight Howard’s (17.3 PPG, 13 RPG), Al Jefferson’s (18.2 PPG, 9.6 RPG), and David Lee’s (19.1 PPG, 11.2 RPG). So how much would James be making if he played in the NBA?
Perhaps somewhere between David Lee’s $7 million per year and Dwight Howard’s $15 million per year. Maybe somewhere in the middle like Al Jefferson’s $12 million per year. And that’s while James plays eight less minutes a game than the pros!
Meanwhile, the Longhorns are riding James’ coattails atop the AP rankings and making a nice chunk of change from the merchandising.
Kentucky freshman John Wall is expected to be a future number one draft pick but meanwhile he is bringing in the dough for the Wildcats. Wall has stepped up in his very first year and helped Kentucky to their current number 2 slot in the AP poll while putting up numbers similar to those of Brandon Jennings (18 PPG, 6.2 APG), Russell Westbrook (15.9 PPG, 7.5 APG), and Baron Davis (16.2 PPG, 8.1 APG).
So how much would Wall be making if he were in the NBA?
Immediately he would make more than both Jennings, a rookie, and Westbrook, a second year player, are making (around $2.2 to $3.75 million) and eventually it would be more than Davis’ $12 million.
Scheyer leads number 6 ranked Duke University and is hoping to take them all the way through March but he’s not going to get a penny for his efforts (at least not until he comes to the NBA which makes up for the lack of college pay and thensome, but only for the players that actually make it into the NBA).
Scheyer’s numbers are similar to Gilbert Arenas’ 22.6 PPG and 7.2 APG, Andre Iguodala’s 18 PPG and 5.8 APG, and Derrick Rose’s 19.1 PPG and 6 APG.
In the NBA, Scheyer’s numbers would earn him close to what second year player Derrick Rose is making ($5.18 million) and eventually somewhere between Iguodala’s $12.2 million and Arenas’ $16+ million. Let’s just hope he doesn’t pull a gun on his teammate.
The Jayhawks’ center dominates the inside and helps the team out with double digit scoring numbers. In the NBA, this sort of talent is greatly rewarded as Marcus Camby (8.1 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 2 BPG), Samuel Dalembert (7.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.2 BPG), and Brandon Haywood (9.8 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 2.2 BPG) will attest.
Aldrich’s reward for rejecting more than three shots per game and snaring down all sorts of rebounds would be Haywood’s $6 million (on the low end) and more likely closer to Camby’s $9+ million and Dalembert’s $12 million.
Even the guys that don’t make as great an impact get paid in the NBA, so why don’t roleplayers like Wayns who comes off the bench for the number four ranked Wildcats. The freshman guard may be overlooked in Villanova but in the NBA he would be playing the role of someone like Donte Greene (8.5 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.2 APG), DeMar DeRozan (8 PPG, >1 APG, 2.8 RPG), or Arron Afflalo (8.4 PPG, 1.6 APG, 2.7 RPG).
It’s not as much as some of the others would make but that’s still somewhere between Greene’s $900,000 and DeRozan’s $2.3 million (which he is getting as a rookie).
And these numbers are only accounting for how these players are doing this season and how much money they are making from their team. Most of the top players mentioned above also have (or had, in Arenas’ case) huge endorsement and licensing deals that often bring young players more money than their contract is worth.
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