10 most valuable contracts in the NBA

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May 29, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) look for a rebound during the second half in game five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Since it’s a relatively dead time of the year for NBA news, I’ve got to figure out a way to keep the NBA fans entertained, right? That’s why I jumped in a topic that’s always been interesting to me in the past:

The value of contracts.

No NBA contract is created equal, although there are strict requirements to make it so players make nearly the same amount. Rookies are paid on a wage scale that increases every season, but has team options, so teams can cut those contracts, if they wish.

There is a maximum salary in the NBA, as you well know. Well, the common sense behind that idea is flawed. Players should be paid what they are worth to the penny, rather than having 20 players in the league make the max. Obviously, all those 20 players are not as good as each other. Someone has to be the best, so they should be paid more, right?

That was my logic in trying to find out what were  the ten most valuable contracts in the NBA. The lower the contract, the easier it is to have a valuable contract because the team is paying less but getting more “bang for their buck.” The higher the contract, the more pressure is on that player to have good production. To give you some context, that was my thinking heading into this. A player with a higher contract, then, would have to be really successful to be more valuable than lower contracts. Ya dig?

For reference, I use Player efficiency Rating (PER) when trying to rate players. Basically, PER is a per-game productivity score that is pace-adjusted and minutes-adjusted per player. It allows people to compare achievements in statistical categories by putting them in one number, according to John Hollinger who created PER.

It’s not the best stat to use all the time, but in this case, I think it serves the purpose.

Without further ado, here are the ten most valuable contracts in the NBA:

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