NBA players have the highest salaries in the world, but the NFL spends the most money on players

Sporting Intelligence has released their annual survey of salaries for athletes in the top leagues around the world.

The study looks at the first-team pay for 348 teams across seven different sports in 18 different leagues around the world.The Oklahoma City Thunder are the new highest-paid sports team in the world, with players making an average of $US9.3 million during the 2017-18 season.

Thanks to a salary cap that is skyrocketing due to soaring television revenue, NBA teams have shot up the list in recent years. Of the 25 highest-paid teams in the world, 19 are from the NBA, and overall, the average NBA player makes 7.1 million, tops in the world, and up from $US6.4 million last year.

Samantha Less/Business Insider

Of course, NBA players have the distinct advantage of playing in a league with just 12 players on each active roster, which means the total amount spent on player salaries, ranks just third in the world.

Meanwhile, NFL players rank just sixth in the world with an average salary of $US2.7 million. But with 53-man rosters, NFL teams pay their players a total of $US4.6 billion, $US700 million more than any other sports league.

Interestingly, the top four sports leagues, in terms of total salaries paid to active-roster players, all reside in North America.

Samantha Less/Business Insider

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