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Does the NBA have the world's best athletes?

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Figures show NBA players are the highest-paid athletes (team sports) in the world.

Goran Dragic

Udonis Haslem hinted Dwyane Wade might return to Miami providing the price was right. If the new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) eliminated the maximum contract clause, the Heat could pay Wade whatever they desire, should Wade op-out of his current contract.

In the world of a new CBA with no salary limits for players, the Miami Heat could offer their fans the best sports entertainment package in South Florida. Elite athletes normally follow the money, and Miami would be the stage for their performances.

Just to see how lucrative a career in the NBA is for athletes who can make the grade, a recent study listed the top six team sports worldwide by average player salary in 2015.

  1. Basketball (NBA) $4,575,918
  2. Cricket (IPL) $4,330,799
  3. Baseball (MLB) $4,166,159
  4. Soccer (EPL) $3,822,003
  5. Hockey (NHL) $2,614,928
  6. American Football (NFL) $2,110,829

A youngster who might be good enough to consider a career in professional basketball, football, baseball or soccer would see the NBA offers him the richest deal in the world. The average salary in the NBA is twice that of the NFL. Something to think about before choosing life in the NBA versus NFL.

That may have not been true 50 years ago, before the advent of television and streaming Internet broke the barrier of small arenas, but today’s teenagers notice where the money flows to in the world of professional sports entertainment.

A Bleacher Report of the world’s ten most dominant athletes list two NBA (LeBron James, Stephen Curry), two soccer (Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi) and one football (Tom Brady) player. The media has taken notice of how physically gifted NBA players are.

A new CBA could sweeten the pot even more: players get fairly compensated, and franchise owners could boast they feature the best athletes in the entire world. The competition to earn a place on a NBA roster would become even more intense, and attract world-class athletes.

That leads to a higher quality product to offer viewers on a global scale, and more revenue. The cycle feeds on itself.

Under the current CBA Wade's return won't happen unless some salary room opens up as players leave Miami. A new CBA changes the landscape for South Florida sports, with chapters yet to be written.