Overtime Elite, explained: Best players, salaries, schedule & more for professional basketball league

[Sporting News] Overtime Elite, explained: Best players, salaries, schedule & more for professional basketball league

Overtime Elite is back for its second season, kicking off the new year with an exciting tournament in Atlanta starting on Thursday, Oct. 20.

To get the new season underway, OTE teams are hosting some of the most talented young high school players in the country for a slate of exhibition showcase games where fans will get to see the likes of Bronny James, Jared McCain, the Boozer twins, and many more.

With top NBA prospects like Amen and Ausar Thompson and young high school stars like Naasir Cunningham, Bryson Tiller, Tyler Smith and Jazian Gortman, OTE has plenty of players you'll want to catch throughout the season.

But what is OTE and how can you tune in to their 2022-23 season? The Sporting News has you covered below.

What is Overtime Elite?

Overtime Elite is a newly established league that gives the top prospects in the world an alternative path to reach the next level in basketball. 

Here's how it's described on OTE's website:

2019 was an enlightening year for Overtime, where our eyes were opened to the flaws in the system.

In May, we held a weekend-long event, the Overtime Takeover, where we hosted many of the country's top basketball players (and their families). Over the course of the weekend, we had a series of conversations with them where it became clear that the system was broken.

At the same time, we noticed that more and more top players were bucking the traditional path. They were changing schools, playing internationally, skipping college and training at home. The traditional path either doesn't work or isn't appealing for these players, so they're charting a new course.

That summer we began in-depth discussions with top prospects and their parents. We wanted to better understand what was happening and why.

OTE gives prospects the chance to fully focus on basketball while earning a salary as they try and reach the professional level, whether that is the NBA or playing overseas. OTE also offers a "scholarship" path, which allows prospects to maintain their college eligibility should they change their mind and want to take the NCAA route.

The league made its debut last year, with 2022-23 marking OTE's second season.

Who are the best players in Overtime Elite?

City Reapers: Amen Thompson, Ausar Thompson

The Thompson twins are the two best prospects OTE has to offer, as both 19-year-olds are expected to be top-10 picks in the 2023 NBA Draft. Amen and Ausar were ranked as five-star prospects in the Class of 2022 before declaring to take the OTE path instead of going to college.

Cold Hearts: Bryson Tiller, Tyler Smith

Tiller is a 6-foot-9 power forward who was the No. 5-ranked player in the Class of 2025 before declaring for OTE. Smith is a 6-foot-10 power forward who was a five-star recruit in the Class of 2023, with offers from elite schools like Baylor, Kansas and LSU.

YNG Dreamerz: Naasir Cunningham, Jazian Gortman, Alexandre Sarr

Cunningham was the No. 3 ranked player in the Class of 2024 with offers from a very impressive list of schools. The 6-foot-7 small forward piqued the interest of Duke, UCLA, Maryland, UConn, LSU and Creighton, among others, but chose to take the OTE route instead.

Gortman is a 6-foot-2 shooting guard who was a five-star recruit in the Class of 2022 with offers from schools like Kansas, Illinois, Texas, Wake Forest, Alabama, Florida and Miami.

Sarr is a 7-foot-1 center with wing skills who looks to be a future darling of NBA Draft Twitter. To learn more about him and his sky-high potential, check out TSN's Gilbert McGregor's profile of the OTE star.

How much do players in Overtime Elite get paid?

Overtime Elite players make a minimum of $100,000 per year, but salaries change based on the player.

For example, Jazian Gortman, who was a five-star recruit in his high school class, is reportedly earning $650,000 on his OTE deal.

As mentioned above, OTE also has a scholarship program that allows certain prospects an alternate route within the league to maintain college eligibility, receiving up to $100,000 to put toward tuition should they change their mind and want to play in the NCAA.

How many games are in the Overtime Elite's season?

According to the OTE website, the six teams in the league will play 15-18 regular season games before the playoffs begin on Friday, Feb. 17. The finals will be a best-of-five series starting on Friday, March 3.

Does LeBron James' son, Bronny, play in Overtime Elite?

No, Bronny does not play in the Overtime Elite league, but he is scheduled to play for California Basketball Club in the season kick-off tournament in Atlanta on the weekend of Thursday, Oct. 20.

Bronny's CBC team will play one game against the City Reapers, which has the two top prospects in OTE — Amen and Ausar Thompson.

How to watch Overtime Elite games

Overtime Elite games will be streamed on YouTube and across all of OTE's social channels.