Lute’s recruits: Ex-Cats closing in on $1 billion in NBA salariesby Anthony Gimino on Jun. 21, 2011, under Arizona basketball, Sports
When Arizona’s Derrick Williams is selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft — with likely the No. 1 or No. 2 pick — it will start a new era for the Wildcats: He’ll be the first of Sean Miller’s recruits to move on to the next level.
But the meter is still running on Lute Olson’s former players … and that meter has passed three-quarters of a billion dollars in NBA salaries for the more than 30 ex-Cats who have (in many cases) gone from Lute to luxury.
Not counting money from endorsements, appearance fees, autograph shows, camps or any of that other stuff — strictly NBA salary — the grand total is approaching $770 million.
And that doesn’t include the very good living that several former Wildcats have made playing in leagues overseas.
There is still plenty of money on the books, too. Gilbert Arenas, now with the Orlando Magic, is still owed $62 million over the next three seasons, for example. The San Antonio Spurs are on the hook to Richard Jefferson for about $30 million over the next three years.
Andre Iguodala is in the middle of a six-year, $80 million contract. When that runs out after the 2013-14 season, he’ll be 30 years old — in line for another monster contract. In all, 11 former Wildcats were earning in the NBA last season. The meter is still running.
One day, it’s easy to see this all adding up to about $1 billion in NBA salaries for Olson’s players at Arizona.
Here is the breakdown (with current players in bold):
Sources: I have kept this database for several years, with the main source of information coming from the USA Today salary database and basketball-reference.com, as well as a variety of news stories and Tucson Citizen archives. The USA Today database and basketball-reference.com do not agree in all cases, but the differences are usually minor. Let me know in the comments section or at agimino (at) tucsoncitizen.com — if you see any corrections that need to be made.