Jose Colorado

Helping basketball players achieve their pro dreams.

Puerto Rican Basketball League Salary: Baloncesto Superior Nacional - BSN Wages (2021)

puerto rico basketball league salaries [chart]


Player Salary Ranges

$800 - $25,000 USD/per month

Most Commonly Reported Salary

$4,000 - $7,000 USD/mth

Lowest Reported Salary

$800 - $1,000 USD/mth

MAX Salary (Imports)

$125,000 USD/yr

MAX Salary (Puerto Ricans)

$40,000 USD/yr

Team Salary Cap (Soft)

$400,000 USD/yr

Team Salary Cap (Hard)

$550,000 USD/yr

Sources Referenced [Players, Media, Coaches, Agents]


Source :, Professional Basketball Players Survey Data [2021]

Puerto rican basketball league salary

Regarded as one of the best leagues in the Americas, the top overseas basketball players in Puerto Rico can expect to make $10,000 - $25,000 USD/per month.

Commonly players will make between $4,000 - $7,000 USD/per month however. The lowest salaries are $800 USD - $1,000 USD.

Based on our overseas basketball salaries study that examined 100+ leagues worldwide, this would put Puerto Rico in the higher-tier pay grade scale.

Puerto Rico's Basketball league, the BSN, has elite players with high overseas basketball wages.

How much do pro basketball players make in Puerto Rico?

While professional basketball players nowadays in Puerto Rico MAX out at roughly $20,000 - $25,000 USD/per month, that wasn’t always the case.

In fact, for years Puerto Rico’s BSN league operated without a salary cap in place resulting in salaries reaching as high as $50,000 USD/per month according to an ESPN report.

That all changed in the mid 2010’s when the league was looking to establish a stronger foundation for its teams moving forward.

According to BSN officials, team spending was:

  • Excessive

  • Unfair to smaller clubs (couldn’t keep up)

  • Unsustainable in the long-term

So to save teams from themselves, the league implemented a league-wide player/team salary cap.

Puerto rico bsn player and team salary caps

The BSN’s salary cap changes in the 2010s impacted all pro basketball players in Puerto Rico’s top league but native Puerto Ricans felt it the most.

In 2013, Puerto Rican player salaries MAXed out at $120,000 USD per/year. In 2021, it’s at $40k USD/per year - a 66% reduction.

In 2013, the BSN set the Puerto Rican individual player salary cap $120k USD/per season.

By 2018, that number was halved to $60,000 USD/per season.

From 2019 - 2021 it lowered once again to its current amount: $40k/per season.

Team salary caps also were reduced.

Here’s the progression:

timeline of puerto rico basketball bsn team salary cap



Player Salary Cap (USD)

Team Salary Cap (Soft)

Team Salary Cap (Hard)









2019 - 2021




*ESPN reports the BSN did not have a salary cap in place in the early 2010's - hence no data has been entered for the 2013 section of this.

But according to a 2021 report by Carlos Rosa Rosa of that may change in the near future.

That’s because the players are looking to increase their wages in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement.

In 2018, the BSN and the BSN Players Association agreed to a three-year deal.

That is set to expire in 2022.

Joel Ortiz Rivera of PrimeraHora reports the basic terms of the 2018 - 2021 were:

  • Player salary cap: $40,000 USD/per month

  • Team Salary Cap (Soft): $400,000 USD/per team

  • Team Salary Cap (Hard): $550,000 USD/per team

  • Luxury tax for any team exceeding $400k USD/per year

  • No differentiated pay scale (e.g. different salary limits for rookies vs. seasoned pros)

  • Min. age of entry to league: 16-years old

Puerto Rico’s BSN basketball league offers high salaries with elite talent.

What exactly the players are seeking this time around remains to be seen.

But if you’re interested in balling on The Island then this is something to follow.

But with all of these pay reductions being discussed:

Let’s be honest here.

$40K USD is still a fat pay cheque for only a quarter of a year’s work (4-5 months total).

So the BSN is still up there when it comes to overseas basketball salaries worldwide.

NBA players who played in Puerto Rico



BSN Team

Last Year Played in BSN

Michael Beasley

Cangrejeros de Santurce


Mario Chalmers

Indios de Mayaguez


Kenneth Faried

Leones de Ponce


Jose Juan (JJ) Barea

Cangrejeros de Santurce


Carlos Arroyo

Cariduros de Fajardo


OJ Mayo

Atleticos de German


Because of Puerto Rico’s high(er) overseas basketball salaries, its domestic pro league - Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN) - has managed to attract many NBA players including 2x NBA Champ Mario Chalmers, Michael Beasley and OJ Mayo.

Evidently then while - in theory - there may be a MAX limit on salaries, teams certainly can - and will - get creative with these higher-end players.

I am told by BSN coaches, an import/foreigner can take home a MAX of 20-25k/per month - or 5k/per week.

But there are ways around this.

That could take shape in:

  • Incentives & bonus structures

  • Private sponsors

  • Creative partnerships & perks (e.g. some teams have famous and powerful owners)

But this will depend on player - agent - team negotiations.

Regardless of whether you’re MAXing out as a foreigner or local (Puerto Rican), the top dollars will be reserved for:

  • Puerto Rican national team members

  • Established BSN names (6+ years experience in the BSN)

  • Former NBA players

  • Puerto Ricans/imports who have proven themselves in top leagues elsewhere

According to an official BSN league report, only 26 Puerto Ricans earned $40,000 or more in 2018.

Of those 26, 17 of them had multi-year contracts.

One last important point:

Multiple players across different teams in the BSN reported being treated exceptionally well.

With additional benefits such as:

  • Trainers

  • Physio therapists

  • Recovery pool/tools

  • Sponsored merchandise

  • Cars

…and much more.

Best Puerto Rican Basketball Players

Some of Puerto Rico’s best homegrown pro basketball players got their start in the BSN before heading to the NBA including Carlos Arroyo and JJ Barea.

Other Boricua greats such as Renaldo Balkman and Shabazz Napier (national team) returned to their homeland to play later in their careers.

Side note:

Phil Jackson also got his big coaching break in Puerto Rico’s BSN league:

  • Piratas de Quebradillas (1984 - 1987)

  • Gallitos de Isabela (1984 - 1986)

His coaching journey in overseas basketball/minor leagues prior to the Chicago Bulls is a fascinating one.

There is a lot of value in much of his teachings.

I highly recommend any of his books for die-hards and serious coaches out there.

Jackson’s time in the BSN was even featured on ESPN’s The Last Dance.

That’s likely because the coaching legend shared some juicy stories including a wild tale of opponents smearing chicken blood on team benches prior to games.

As I’ve written before, expected the unexpected when it comes to overseas basketball!

What basketball team did Bad Bunny buy?

Off the court Puerto Rico’s BSN basketball league has attracted some huge names such as international recording star, Bad Bunny.

He became the co-owner of Los Cangrejeros de Santurce in 2021.

Soon after, fellow Puerto Rican singer and star, Anuel AA took charge of Los Capitanes de Arecibo.

In case you are unfamiliar with them:

In Latin America these guys are huge.

We’re talking Drake huge in North America.

Everyone knows them.

Everyone eats out of the palm of their hands.

So to have such strong ownership teams in the BSN has to be encouraging for future projections of the league.

Yes, it creates great visibility and publicity for the league.

But it also enables potential sponsorship and financial kick-backs that otherwise likely wouldn’t have existed.

And if that wasn’t good enough:

Future Hall-of-Fame baseball player, Yadier Molina, and his wife also own a BSN club in Los Vaqueros de Bayamon.

As of 2021, a quarter of the BSN teams (3/12) are under star-studded ownership groups.

Is Puerto Rico good at basketball?

All of this begs the question(s):

Just how good are Puerto Ricans at basketball and how are they able to attract such big stars?

Puerto Rican basketball first came into the international spotlight when its national team stunned Team USA 92-73 at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

But the Island has long been a basketball powerhouse producing 15 NBA players and having one of the top professional leagues in the Americas (BSN).

Puerto Rican basketball is elite, allowing for higher basketball wages.

As of late 2021, Puerto Rico ranks No.19 in the world for the men’s FIBA rankings.

Of the 20 best basketball countries in the world currently, only Slovenia (2.1 Million) has a smaller population than PR (3.19 Million).

In terms of its professional league:

The BSN is certainly in the running for the most competitive summer league in the world (the CEBL is another strong candidate).

Running for roughly 4-5 months, many former NBA players have made their way to the BSN.

Some have excelled.

Others stunk.

In other words:

This is not an easy league to get into.

So unless you are an elite talent that has:

  • National team experience

  • NCAA experience

  • High-level overseas pro experience

  • NBA experience

…then it will be difficult to crack a roster.

Quick story:

When I was playing in El Salvador’s LMB league - considered a lower tier Americas league - there were a number of Puerto Ricans playing.

Some were scoring champions.

Others were First-Teamers.

A few were even champions.

They still couldn’t crack a BSN roster.

So unless your player profile fits that of a high-end hooper, then I’d suggest looking elsewhere to begin.

Then you can eventually build your way up to The Island.

Basketball champions league americas: puerto rico

Unsurprisingly, due to Puerto Rico’s high-level, it is a participant in the Basketball Champions League of the Americas.

This event is an annual club competition that pits the best clubs in Latin America against one another.

That means the top teams from:

  • Argentina

  • Colombia

  • Brazil

  • Venezuela


Lots of eyeballs.

Lots of opportunities!

So even if you can’t crack a BSN roster then you could still potentially get noticed by a BSN team if you were playing on another roster.

In fact:

I’ve written about this method before.

This happened to one of my teammates when we were playing in the BCLA in 2017.

He had been trying to get into another league outside of El Salvador for years.

After his showing at the BCLA, a team was interested and offered him a contract.


So there you have it.

The Baloncesto Superior Nacional of Puerto Rico.

One of the top overseas basketball leagues in the Americas and maybe even in the entire world.

Basketball wages are high, seasons are short and competition is fierce.

And it’s all under some beautiful island weather.

What overseas basketball player wouldn’t be interested in such an adventure?

Did you play in Puerto Rico’s pro basketball league?
What was it like?
Comment below!

Jose Colorado is a 6-year professional basketball player helping others achieve their dreams of pro basketball with a proven and tested approach to overseas basketball.