As we all know, going overseas to play basketball during the lockout is as much about getting pizaid as it is about staying in shape. Without paychecks coming in for the forseeable future, these guys need to do something to make money, and since there are a bunch of leagues who are happy to have an NBA talent infusion, overseas it is. Sense made.
But it’s not just players that are getting paid, no duh. Agents and some random “brokers” are stacking cash as well. And as it turns out, this overseas migration is even more profitable than playing in the NBA. From Ira Winderman at ProBasketballTalk:
Foremost, unlike NBA deals, where the agent cut is limited to four percent, agents typically claim 10 percent on overseas deals. At times, that percentage is split with an overseas agent.
“The agent fee is 10 percent, paid by the team, not paid by the player,” one agent said, requesting anonymity due to ongoing contentiousness in the process. “So if a player goes over and now he’s getting $100,000, there’s an agent fee of $10,000 that the team pays. Now, sometimes, that gets broken up, there’s a broker overseas, without even getting back into kickbacks.”
The agent, though, did get into kickbacks, noting it is not out of the question for an agent to request a 15-percent fee, so he still winds up with the 10 percent after paying off his overseas associate.
Another agent, who deals with mostly secondary-level talent, said the contracts signed by the players are for the full amount offered, unlike in the NBA, where agent and other fees are then removed.
“If it’s a $200,000 contract, he’s netting $200,000 in cash,” he said. “The team is paying the tax on that. So he’s getting $200,000 in cash. The agent is getting $20,000.”
There you go. That’s why you hear so many players “thinking” about playing overseas. They get straight cash homey, no taxes, plus their agents get a way bigger fee and they get it up front. As Lester Freamon always says, “Follow the money.” These guys know what I’m talking about.
Maybe you’ve been thinking that it’s crazy that so many guys are finding new places to play, since it didn’t happen this often in the 1999 lockout, but when you realize that agents are seriously banking off this, it’s easy to understand. Who doesn’t like making money?