With the NBA draft and early portion of NBA free agency behind us, the salaries for most professional Hoosiers in the upcoming 2019-2020 season have been solidified. Besides two NFL players and one in the baseball majors, former Indiana University players are earning their dough from basketball, which is to be expected.
Worth noting, the biggest jump on this list is Thomas Bryant, who recently signed a 3-year, $25 million contract with the Wizards. Despite not having a played a single game in the NBA, Romeo Langford already has a projected salary of around $2.8 million dollars.
The following list includes the top ten highest annual base-salaries of former Indiana University players in the 2019-2020 season. These do not include bonuses, incentives, or other endorsements.
*Denotes contracts where details have not yet been finalized or reported.
10. OG Anunoby (Salary: $2,281,800)
Toronto Raptors / 3-year contract / $5,879,760 total
As the first Hoosier to win an NBA title since Isiah Thomas, OG Anunoby is entering his third year of the NBA after being drafted 23rd overall in the 2017 NBA draft. Anunoby is still on his rookie contract, after the Toronto Raptors used their team option to resign OG Anunoby for a third year with salary of $2,281,800.
Upcoming in the 2020-2021 season, OG is projected to earn $3,872,215 according to Spotrac. OG Anunoby finally becomes a restricted free agent in 2021. The Raptors have an opportunity to extend OG for a fifth year with a qualifying offer of $5.6 million, but the franchise may have to pay a premium depending on what other teams offer OG during that free agency period.
9. Romeo Langford (Salary: $2,882,000*)
Boston Celtics / 2-year rookie contract / $5,908,000* total
Romeo Langford is the newest Hoosier to be added to this list as the final lottery pick of the 2019 NBA Draft. Each year, the salary for rookie players increase, which is why Romeo Langford was able to vault into the top ten of Hoosier salaries in the 2019-2020 season.
His contract details have yet to be published online, so his salary is estimated according to the RealGM Rookie Scale. In theory, Romeo Langford could sign for as little as $2,305,600 or as much as $3,458,400.
As with all rookie contracts, Romeo is on a two-year deal with the Boston Celtics. In the third and fourth years, Boston has a team-option to keep Romeo on the roster for around $3.1-4.5 million per year. Romeo Langford will then have a fifth-year qualifying offer (an offer that Boston can make to have the “rights” to match any offers given to Langford) in the neighborhood $6.5 million.
8. Nate Sudfeld (Salary: $3,095,000)
Philadelphia Eagles / 1-year contract / $3,095,000 total
Former Indiana Hoosier quarterback Nate Sudfeld signed his restricted free agent tender, which meant that he would take Philadelphia’s qualifying offer of $3,095,000. Sudfeld returns to the Eagles as the main backup for starting QB Carson Wentz, now that QB Nick Foles has been traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The 2016 sixth-round pick (selected by the Washington Redskins) has appeared in four-games in his career, including playoff games. Nate Sudfeld got the most minutes during the Eagles’ 2017 regular season final game, where he completed 19 of his 23 pass attempts for 134 passing yards.
7. Yogi Ferrell (Salary: $3,150,000)
Sacramento Kings / 2-year contract / $6,000,000 total
Yogi Ferrell has signed a two-year agreement with the Sacramento Kings, after a bit of a strange free agency in dealing with the Dallas Mavericks, a team that took a chance on him with one of the greatest 10-day contract performances in NBA history.
At first, it was reported that Yogi Ferrell and the Mavericks were closing in on a two-year $5.3 million deal. However, after “feeling uncomfortable,” Ferrell decided to look elsewhere and ultimately landed west with the Sacramento Kings.
With the Kings, Yogi had a guaranteed base salary of $3,000,000 last year, and he will be earning $3,150,000 in the second year of his contract if he is not waived by the Kings before July 4, 2019.
(Update July 4, 2019: According NBCS, league sources have confirmed Yogi’s salary for this upcoming year)
6. Kyle Schwarber (Salary: $3,390,000)
Chicago Cubs / 1-year contract / $3,390,000 total
World Series Champion Kyle Schwarber signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs back in January 2019, which avoid arbitration between him and the Chicago Cubs.That deal has been reported to be worth $3,390,000. Since joining the majors, Schwarber had been paid between $522,000 and $604,500 annually during his three years with Chicago.
Next year, Kyle Schwarber could again be up for arbitration depending on how the offers shake out from the Chicago Cubs.
For those unaware of baseball’s arbitration process, players between their third and sixth years are eligible for an arbitration process if they meet a certain criteria. The arbitration process allows the players and the baseball team to have an opportunity to review their salaries with other comparable players in the league. For more detailed information on the arbitration process, you can check out MLB’s definition online.
5. Rodger Saffold (Salary: $3,500,000)
Tennessee Titans / 4-year contract / $44,000,000 total
In March 2019, Rodger Saffold signed a $44 million contract with the Tennessee Titans that included $22.5 million in guaranteed salary. Out of all contracts signed this past year by former Hoosiers, Rodger Saffold takes the cake with the largest overall contract.
The former Los Angeles Ram has nine years under his belt, all of which were spent with the Rams organization after being drafted by them in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Despite a smaller base salary for the 2019-2020 season, expect Rodger Saffold to propel on this list for 2020 as his base salary increases to $9.5 million in 2020.
According to Spotrac, Saffold has earned over $37 million during his times with the Rams organization, and he will have career earnings of over $81 million if he completes this four-year deal with the Titans.
4. Thomas Bryant (Salary: $7,936,508*)
Washington Wizards / 3-year contract / $25,000,000* total
After a breakout season with the Washington Wizards, Thomas Bryant was a priority for the Wizards to resign during this recent NBA free agency window. Bryant and the Wizards wasted no time in getting a deal ready for both parties to agree on. Once the clock struck, the Wizards got Thomas Bryant locked in within the first hour of free agency.
According to reports, Bryant signed a three-year contract worth $25 million, all of which is guaranteed. His salary is estimated by Spotrac to be just a hair shy of $8 million, but that figure will increase over the course of the next two years for an average annual salary of $8.3 million.
Bryant is an interesting case study to compare with OG Anunoby’s situation. Despite being drafted in the second-round of the same draft, Thomas Bryant benefited by being waived by the Los Angeles Lakers, and then being picked up by the Washington Wizards. In turn, he was released from his rookie contract obligations and the Lakers no longer had the team-option rights to keep him around at a much lower salary.
3. Eric Gordon (Salary: $14,057,730)
Houston Rockets / 4-year contract / $52,886,489 total
The 11-year NBA veteran is on his final year of a four-year contract, valued at a total of almost $53 million. Eric Gordon signed a four-year deal with the Rockets, after exercising a $15.5 million player option to play another year with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2015-2016.
In his career, it is estimated that 2007 Indiana Mr. Basketball will have earned over $122 million throughout his 12 seasons in the NBA.
2. Cody Zeller (Salary: $14,471,910)
Charlotte Hornets / 4-year contract / $56,000,000 total
Cody Zeller is currently on a four-year contract totaling $56 million with the Charlotte Hornets, a contract that was completed in October 2016. Zeller’s salary will increase to $15,415,730 in the 2020-2021 season, which is the final year of his four-year agreement with the Hornets. The fourth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft becomes a free agent in 2021.
In just a blink of an eye, Cody Zeller already has six seasons under his belt where he has averaged a career 8.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Charlotte Hornets.
1. Victor Oladipo (Salary: $21,000,000)
Indiana Pacers / 4-year contract / $85,000,000 total
Victor Oladipo is currently the highest paid professional Hoosier with an annual salary of $21 million. His contract is a four-year contract that was signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder, totaling a whopping $85 million over that period.
The Pacers have one more year of Victor Oladipo before they have to renegotiate with the two-time NBA All Star in 2021, when Victor Oladipo becomes an unrestricted free agent.
As the number two overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Oladipo signed a two-year $9.74 million contract with the Orlando Magic after the draft. Orlando exercised the rookie team option in both 2014 and 2015 before finally trading Oladipo to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016, where Oladipo signed his massive contract.
According to HoopsHype, Oladipo is the 38th highest paid player in the league for the upcoming season and he will be the 14th best-paid guard.
(Featured Photo: Brian Munoz/Getty Images)