5. ARIZONA ’97: $228,729,677 in NBA salaries.
Jason Terry, 37, is the lone survivor in the NBA from this team heavy on perimeter talent that conquered college basketball in 1997. Terry, Mike Bibby and Michael Dickerson went on to have successful pro careers. Miles Simon, the Most Outstanding Player of the 1997 Final Four, ended up playing more games in the CBA than in the NBA, though.
4. DUKE ’92: $233,853,021 in NBA salaries.
Grant Hill alone made over $140 million during a fantastic 19-year in the league. Christian Laettner was the only other Blue Devil to rake in serious money on a team that sent five players to the NBA.
3. CONNECTICUT ’04: $243,735,238 in NBA salaries.
This 2004 UConn championship squad had two of the first three players selected in the draft that year (Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon) and a 2005 lottery pick (Charlie Villanueva). That trio combines for $224 million in NBA salaries and zero All-Star appearances so far.
2. DUKE ’01: $301,179,962 in NBA salaries.
The 2001 champions would be at No. 1 already if not for the career-ending injury Jay Williams suffered one year after turning pro. With Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy still in the NBA, they are only a few months away from taking the top spot in this ranking.
1. KENTUCKY ’96: $307,068,705 in NBA salaries.
Now that was a deep team. Seven of the Wildcats that cut the nets down in 1996 had NBA careers, but no one had a better run with the pros than Antoine Walker, who went to the All-Star three times, won a championship ring and made $108 million on NBA contracts alone. Too bad he’s burned most of that money.
|NBA PLAYERS||NBA SALARIES|
|1. Kentucky ’96||7 (Tony Delk, Antoine Walker, Walter McCarty, Ron Mercer, Mark Pope, Nazr Mohammed and Derek Anderson).||$307,068,705|
|2. Duke ’01||5 (Shane Battier, Carlos Boozer, Chris Duhon, Mike Dunleavy and Jay Williams).||$301,179,962|
|3. Connecticut ’04||6 (Hilton Armstrong, Josh Boone, Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor, Charlie Villanueva and Marcus Williams).||$243,735,238|
|4. Duke ’92||6 (Bobby Hurley, Antonio Lang, Brian Davis, Christian Laettner, Grant Hill and Cherokee Parks).||$233,853,021|
|5. Arizona ’97||5 (Michael Dickerson, Mike Bibby, Miles Simon, Jason Terry and AJ Bramlett).||$228,729,677|
|6. Duke ’91||5 (Bobby Hurley, Antonio Lang, Brian Davis, Christian Laettner and Grant Hill).||$222,707,650|
|7. Syracuse ’03||2 (Carmelo Anthony and Hakim Warrick).||$179,551,217|
|8. Michigan State ’00||4 (Charlie Bell, Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and Jason Richardson).||$172,384,099|
|9. Florida ’07||6 (Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Chris Richard and Marreese Speights).||$169,477,085|