On the radio today I heard that the Jazz’s very own Joe Johnson has the second highest career earnings of any Forward in NBA history at $210,061,971. Johnson is primarily a scorer and has scored 20,033 career points. That is $10,485.80 per point for Joe’s career. It got me thinking, based on 2016-17 production, who were the league’s most overpaid and most underpaid players? Here’s the breakdown.
Big Names, Big Salaries, Small Production
It’s tough to put Dirk on here because he is an all-time great who gave his team a “hometown discount” the previous two seasons (making around $8M per year). That said, for playing in just 54 games and scoring just 769 points, Dirk’s pay dramatically outpaced his production. Dirk made $32,509.75 per point this season.
As a subpar rebounder for his position (6.8 rpg) and a mediocre rim protector (1.3 bpg), Horford also averaged just 14.0 points per game on a career-low 47.3 percent from the floor. That breaks down to $27,878.15 per point or a whopping $57,198.28 per rebound. Horford’s a little overpaid as last season’s top free agent.
Wade held out in Miami and wasn’t happy when the Heat offered him what he thought was a low-ball offer. The Bulls paid him what he wanted and now he finds himself as one of the most overpaid players in the game. Wade scored just 1,096 points on a career-low 42.4 percent from the floor. In other words, Wade earned $21,167.88 per point.
Mo Money, No Production
Parsons was supposed to be a key piece for an aging Grizzlies team. Instead, Parsons played in just 34 games and scored just 210 points. That’s a remarkable $105,317.86 per point. Parson’s is used to being overpaid. Parsons has earned $54,843,000 for his 5,086 career points, for $10,783.13 per point for his career.
Deng has had a nice NBA career, but he wasn’t great about earning his money this year. Deng earned $42,352.94 per point this year.
Biyombo is primarily a rim protector so maybe we shouldn’t hold his $35,196.69 per point against him, but his $186,813.19 per blocked shot seems excessive.
Crabbe scored a huge deal last summer and rewarded the Blazers by starting just seven games and scoring 845 points at a rate of $21,893.49 per point.
Monroe went from part of the Bucks’ promising young core to not starting a single game and scoring just 951 points. Good for $18,029.27 per point.
Jokic burst onto the scene this season and earned a big future payday, but this season he earned just $1,112.61 per point. The Nuggets can enjoy his cheap productivity for two more years of Jokic’s second-rounder rookie contract.
The Greek Freak scored at a freakishly cheap rate this season, earning just $1,634.95 per point. Based on his production in so many other categories (leading his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks), I’d say he earned his money this season.
McCollum’s scoring production was cheaper than any of his teammates this season at $1,752.63 per point. By contrast, Lillard, McCollum’s backcourt mate, earned over seven times more, at $12,019.97 per point.
Gobert is not known for his scoring, but his points came efficiently and inexpensively, earning $1,865.69 per point. He also earned $9,912.56 per blocked shot. By contrast, Al Horford earned thirty-one times more, at $308,604.65 per block.
Any 2,000-point season is an accomplishment, but to do it to the tune of $2,891.88 per point is a complete steal. Towns has positioned himself nicely for a large pay-day very soon.
Thomas had a career year and his cheap production offset some of Horford’s expensive production. Thomas’s $2,995.51 per point helped earned the Celtics the number one seed in the East. That’s money well-spent.