View Full Version : Sporting News: 10 Most Underpaid Players

09-13-2012, 01:43 PM

I thought this could lead to a good discussion on we think are the most underpaid players in the league (not counting players on their rookie contracts, since those salaries are predetermined based on the CBA).

Agree with this list? Disagree? Whom else do you think could be considered as the most underpaid players in the league?

Every summer, deals aplenty are signed in the NBA that cause much hand-wringing among the observer class, deals that will predictably leave teams in difficult financial situations down the road. Less often, a player signs a deal that is surprisingly reasonable, and though those don’t get nearly as much attention, there are a fair number of players who are underpaid.

(Note: We have excluded players who are first-round picks still operating on their rookie contracts, since those contracts are predetermined by the collective-bargaining agreement.)

1. Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves.

Pekovic might be the best NBA player most fans don’t know about. That is probably going to change. Once he got himself settled into the lineup, Pekovic was outstanding, averaging 15.4 points and 8.5 rebounds as a starter. As a second-round pick, he will make $4.8 million this year, and he’s eligible for a qualifying offer next year.

2. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors.

Lowry has spent most of his career sharing point-guard duties, playing the role of tough-minded, high-energy bench player behind the likes of Mike Conley and Aaron Brooks. At long last, Lowry has established himself as a starter, and though he is not a high-assist playmaker, he is productive offensively, a very good defender and an effective outside shooter. At two years and $12 million, he is a steal.

3. Lou Williams, Atlanta Hawks.

As the Philadelphia 76ers reshaped their roster to emphasize Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday and now, Andrew Bynum, there was no interest in keeping Williams. That shouldn’t diminish the fact that Williams has established himself as one of the best sixth men in the league, leading Philly with 14.9 points in 26.3 minutes per game last season. Credit the Hawks for scooping up the Atlanta native with a very cap-friendly three-year, $15.5 million deal.

4. Antawn Jamison, Los Angeles Lakers.

Jamison was obviously not worth the $15 million he made in Cleveland last year. But even at age 35, he showed that he is still a creative scorer (17.2 points per game) who can knock down 3-pointers. For that, the Lakers are paying just $854,000 for the year (he’ll make a total of $1.3 million). Jamison’s minutes and production will be limited, but he should be very effective in the time he gets.

5. Elton Brand, Dallas Mavericks.

We shouldn’t think of Brand as underpaid, of course. He was jettisoned, too, as part of the Sixers’ revamp, but he was let go through the amnesty clause, meaning he still is getting paid by Philadelphia. From the Mavs’ standpoint, though, Brand is a godsend, a very capable big man who can play power forward and center, and who will cost only $2.1 million for this year.

6. Carl Landry, Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors were very surprised to see that, after the dust of this year’s free-agent season had settled, Landry remained unsigned. They were able to sign him to a two-year, $8 million deal, giving them a starting-quality forward who can serve as a backup for David Lee. In his career, the ultra-efficient Landry has averaged 12.1 points on 53.5 percent shooting.

7. Paul Millsap, Utah Jazz.

Thanks to a front-loaded contract offer that the Portland Trail Blazers hoped would scare off Utah, Millsap will enter the final year of his deal owed just $8.1 million. Averaging 16.6 points and 8.8 rebounds, Millsap was nearly an All-Star last year, and if the Jazz decide they want to make a move to free up playing time for Derrick Favors, teams will be lined up to trade for Millsap.

8. Mike Dunleavy, Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee didn’t make a splash when Dunleavy was signed last summer, but he bounced back from a litany of injuries to provide steady scoring off the bench, averaging 12.3 points on 47.4 percent shooting. If he stays healthy, he should have much the same role this season, and for just $3.7 million over one year, the Bucks would welcome a repeat of those numbers.

9. Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies.

Allen is not much of an offensive contributor and he will be 31 in January. He is still among the best perimeter defenders in the league, though, an anchor for one of the NBA’s top defenses. He will be a free agent next summer, but until then, the Grizzlies have him for just $3.3 million.

10. Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat.

OK, so he is not really the top 10 point guard he thinks he is. But Chalmers has shown he can pick up the slack when things are not going well for the Heat’s stars. Miami has long seemed reluctant to count too much on Chalmers, but last year, he earned more trust and chipped in 9.8 points, shooting 38.8 percent on 3-pointers. He has one year left at $4 million, and will assuredly get a bump in pay when he hits free agency.

09-13-2012, 02:29 PM
Pretty solid list. The whole Amnesty clause doesn't make it really fair though, seeing as there's people on the list making so much money but from multiple sources

09-13-2012, 02:35 PM
Milsap is fine at $8M. A guy of his caliber should be receiving 8-10M annually. He's underpaid in relative to overpaid guys in this league at that position, but if you look at just Paul Milsap the player, 8M is fine. I don't see a problem with that salary.

09-13-2012, 02:39 PM
Brand is being paid a gazillion dollars on another deal, why is he here?

09-13-2012, 02:42 PM
Brand is being paid a gazillion dollars on another deal, why is he here?

2 mil for Brand is crazy..He wasnt worth the 15 mil a year or whatever he was making before but id say hes worth 7 or 8 at least

09-13-2012, 02:44 PM
i would put gortat in here too.
about 7 milion a year for a center of his caliber is underpaid in relation to what other centers make.

09-13-2012, 02:52 PM
2 mil for Brand is crazy..He wasnt worth the 15 mil a year or whatever he was making before but id say hes worth 7 or 8 at least

Brand will be paid $18 million this upcoming season, due to getting his amnesty money, and the $2.1 from his new deal. He shouldn't be anywhere near this list.