What if we just paid players what they were worth?

The current salary system has some major flaws. Certain players are doomed to be underpaid because it is not possible to pay them what they are worth (LeBron James and Dwight Howard for instance). Young players are immediately exploited (Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant). What’s more, none of this actually helps make teams competitive! So I had a crazy thought: what if we just paid players what they were worth?

Table 1: Player Salary for 2011 Season Based on Wins Produced

Rank Player Team Pos Games WP Pay($ in millions)
1 Kevin Love Minnesota PF 73 25.8 $45.6
2 Dwight Howard Orlando C 78 23.4 $41.4
3 LeBron James Miami SF 79 22.7 $40.2
4 Chris Paul New Orleans PG 80 21.4 $37.9
5 Dwyane Wade Miami SG 76 18.9 $33.4
6 Zach Randolph Memphis FC 75 16.5 $29.2
7 Pau Gasol LA Lakers C 82 16.3 $28.8
8 Blake Griffin LA Clippers FC 82 16.1 $28.5
9 Kevin Garnett Boston PF 71 15.0 $26.5
10 Kris Humphries New Jersey PF 74 14.8 $26.2
11 Steve Nash Phoenix PG 75 14.7 $26.0
12 Landry Fields New York SG 82 14.4 $25.5
13 Lamar Odom LA Lakers PF 82 14.3 $25.3
14 Rajon Rondo Boston PG 68 14.0 $24.8
15 Kevin Durant Oklahoma City FC 78 13.7 $24.2
16 Al Horford Atlanta C 77 13.6 $24.1
17 Jason Kidd Dallas PG 80 13.3 $23.5
18 Paul Pierce Boston SF 80 12.8 $22.6
19 Derrick Rose Chicago PG 81 12.4 $21.9
20 Gerald Wallace Charlotte-Portland SF 71 12.2 $21.6
21 Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City PG 82 11.9 $21.1
22 Andre Iguodala Philadelphia SF 67 11.7 $20.7
23 Tim Duncan San Antonio C 76 11.7 $20.7
24 Kobe Bryant LA Lakers SG 82 11.6 $20.5
25 Tyson Chandler Dallas C 74 11.6 $20.5
26 Manu Ginobili San Antonio GF 80 11.4 $20.2
27 Ray Allen Boston SG 80 11.1 $19.6
28 Deron Williams New Jersey-Utah PG 65 11.0 $19.5
29 Josh Smith Atlanta PF 77 10.8 $19.1
30 Andre Miller Portland PG 81 10.5 $18.6
31 Dirk Nowitzki Dallas PF 73 10.2 $18.0
32 Marcus Camby Portland C 59 9.9 $17.5
33 Nene Hilario Denver C 75 9.5 $16.8
34 Chris Bosh Miami PF 77 9.5 $16.8
35 Serge Ibaka Oklahoma City PF 82 9.4 $16.6
36 Andrew Bynum LA Lakers C 54 9.3 $16.5
37 Shawn Marion Dallas F 80 9.2 $16.3
38 Andrew Bogut Milwaukee C 65 9.1 $16.1
39 Kyle Lowry Houston PG 75 9.0 $15.9
40 Carmelo Anthony Denver-New York SF 77 8.9 $15.7
41 Marcin Gortat Orlando-Phoenix C 80 8.9 $15.7
42 Ronnie Brewer Chicago SG 81 8.8 $15.6
43 Tony Parker San Antonio PG 78 8.7 $15.4
44 Paul Millsap Utah PF 76 8.6 $15.2
45 Elton Brand Philadelphia FC 81 8.5 $15.0
46 Stephen Curry Golden State PG 74 8.5 $15.0
47 Jose Calderon Toronto PG 68 8.4 $14.9
48 Ramon Sessions Cleveland SG 81 8.4 $14.9
49 Joakim Noah Chicago C 48 8.3 $14.7
50 Luol Deng Chicago SF 82 8.3 $14.7
51 LaMarcus Aldridge Portland FC 81 8.3 $14.7
52 Ty Lawson Denver PG 80 8.2 $14.5
53 Beno Udrih Sacramento PG 79 8.2 $14.5
54 Chuck Hayes Houston C 74 8.1 $14.3
55 Mike Conley Memphis PG 81 8.0 $14.2
56 Mike Dunleavy Indiana SG 61 8.0 $14.2
57 Raymond Felton Denver-New York PG 75 8.0 $14.2
58 Emeka Okafor New Orleans C 72 8.0 $14.2
59 Greg Monroe Detroit C 80 7.8 $13.8
60 Jrue Holiday Philadelphia PG 82 7.8 $13.8
61 Al Jefferson Utah C 82 7.8 $13.8
62 James Harden Oklahoma City SG 82 7.6 $13.4
63 Carlos Boozer Chicago PF 59 7.6 $13.4
64 Thabo Sefolosha Oklahoma City GF 79 7.5 $13.3
65 Shane Battier Houston-Memphis SF 82 7.3 $12.9
66 Chauncey Billups Denver-New York PG 72 7.3 $12.9
67 Kevin Martin Houston SG 80 7.3 $12.9
68 JaVale McGee Washington C 79 7.3 $12.9
69 Jason Richardson Orlando-Phoenix GF 80 7.3 $12.9
70 J.R. Smith Denver GF 79 7.2 $12.7
71 David West New Orleans PF 70 7.2 $12.7
72 Arron Afflalo Denver SG 69 7.1 $12.6
73 Dorell Wright Golden State SF 82 6.9 $12.2
74 Andrei Kirilenko Utah F 64 6.8 $12.0
75 Amir Johnson Toronto PF 72 6.7 $11.9
76 David Lee Golden State C 73 6.6 $11.7
77 Tracy McGrady Detroit G 72 6.5 $11.5
78 DeJuan Blair San Antonio FC 81 6.5 $11.5
79 Wesley Matthews Portland SG 82 6.4 $11.3
80 DeAndre Jordan LA Clippers C 80 6.3 $11.1
81 Rudy Gay Memphis SF 54 6.2 $11.0
82 Tony Allen Memphis PG 72 6.2 $11.0
83 John Wall Washington PG 69 6.2 $11.0
84 Hedo Turkoglu Orlando-Phoenix F 81 6.1 $10.8
85 Ed Davis Toronto FC 65 6.1 $10.8
86 Ryan Anderson Orlando FC 64 6.0 $10.6
87 Josh McRoberts Indiana FC 72 6.0 $10.6
88 Marc Gasol Memphis C 81 5.9 $10.4
89 Monta Ellis Golden State SG 80 5.9 $10.4
90 Jameer Nelson Orlando PG 76 5.8 $10.3
91 Jared Dudley Phoenix SF 82 5.7 $10.1
92 Samuel Dalembert Sacramento C 80 5.6 $9.9
93 D.J. Augustin Charlotte PG 82 5.6 $9.9
94 Reggie Evans Toronto PF 30 5.6 $9.9
95 Luke Ridnour Minnesota PG 71 5.4 $9.6
96 Toney Douglas New York G 81 5.2 $9.2
97 Marcus Thornton New Orleans-Sacramento SG 73 5.1 $9.0
98 Darren Collison Indiana PG 79 5.0 $8.8
99 Marvin Williams Atlanta SF 65 5.0 $8.8
100 Grant Hill Phoenix GF 80 4.9 $8.7
101 Taj Gibson Chicago PF 80 4.9 $8.7
102 Thaddeus Young Philadelphia PF 82 4.8 $8.5
103 Wilson Chandler Denver-New York SF 72 4.8 $8.5
104 John Salmons Milwaukee SG 73 4.7 $8.3
105 Jeff Foster Indiana C 56 4.7 $8.3
106 Eric Gordon LA Clippers SG 56 4.6 $8.1
107 Luis Scola Houston FC 74 4.5 $8.0
108 Rodney Stuckey Detroit PG 70 4.5 $8.0
109 George Hill San Antonio PG 76 4.4 $7.8
110 Devin Harris New Jersey-Utah PG 71 4.4 $7.8
111 Reggie Williams Golden State GF 80 4.4 $7.8
112 Joe Johnson Atlanta GF 72 4.3 $7.6
113 Nicolas Batum Portland F 80 4.3 $7.6
114 Danny Granger Indiana F 79 4.3 $7.6
115 Rudy Fernandez Portland SG 78 4.2 $7.4
116 Carlos Delfino Milwaukee SF 49 4.2 $7.4
117 Jodie Meeks Philadelphia SG 74 4.2 $7.4
118 Evan Turner Philadelphia GF 78 4.2 $7.4
119 Brandon Bass Orlando PF 76 4.2 $7.4
120 Trevor Ariza New Orleans SF 75 4.1 $7.3
121 Antonio McDyess San Antonio PF 73 4.1 $7.3
122 Ben Wallace Detroit C 54 4.1 $7.3
123 Brandon Jennings Milwaukee PG 63 4.1 $7.3
124 Luc Mbah a Moute Milwaukee PF 79 3.9 $6.9
125 Chris Andersen Denver C 45 3.9 $6.9
126 Matt Barnes LA Lakers F 53 3.8 $6.7
127 Amare Stoudemire New York C 78 3.8 $6.7
128 Baron Davis Cleveland-LA Clippers PG 58 3.7 $6.5
129 Tayshaun Prince Detroit SF 78 3.6 $6.4
130 Vince Carter Orlando-Phoenix GF 73 3.6 $6.4
131 Anderson Varejao Cleveland C 31 3.6 $6.4
132 Chase Budinger Houston SF 78 3.5 $6.2
133 Mike Miller Miami SG 41 3.5 $6.2
134 Omri Casspi Sacramento SF 71 3.4 $6.0
135 Kenyon Martin Denver PF 48 3.4 $6.0
136 Richard Jefferson San Antonio SF 81 3.4 $6.0
137 Paul George Indiana SF 61 3.4 $6.0
138 Jordan Farmar New Jersey PG 73 3.3 $5.8
139 Brandon Rush Indiana SG 67 3.2 $5.7
140 J.J. Redick Orlando SG 59 3.2 $5.7
141 Trevor Booker Washington PF 65 3.2 $5.7
142 Keith Bogans Chicago SG 82 3.2 $5.7
143 Josh Childress Phoenix SG 54 3.2 $5.7
144 Andris Biedrins Golden State C 59 3.2 $5.7
145 Jason Thompson Sacramento PF 75 3.1 $5.5
146 Courtney Lee Houston SG 81 3.1 $5.5
147 Mike Bibby Atlanta-Miami-Washington PG 80 3.1 $5.5
148 Jason Terry Dallas SG 82 3.1 $5.5
149 Louis Williams Philadelphia PG 75 3.1 $5.5
150 Tyreke Evans Sacramento SG 57 3.0 $5.3
151 Chris Wilcox Detroit FC 57 3.0 $5.3
152 Gerald Henderson Charlotte SG 68 2.9 $5.1
153 Derrick Favors New Jersey-Utah PF 78 2.9 $5.1
154 Ersan Ilyasova Milwaukee FC 60 2.8 $5.0
155 Gary Neal San Antonio SG 80 2.7 $4.8
156 Sasha Vujacic LA Lakers-New Jersey SG 67 2.7 $4.8
157 Kirk Hinrich Atlanta-Washington PG 72 2.7 $4.8
158 Earl Watson Utah PG 80 2.7 $4.8
159 James Jones Miami SG 81 2.7 $4.8
160 Alonzo Gee Cleveland-San Antonio-Washington SG 56 2.6 $4.6
161 Danilo Gallinari Denver-New York F 62 2.6 $4.6
162 Patrick Patterson Houston PF 52 2.5 $4.4
163 Shaun Livingston Charlotte PG 73 2.5 $4.4
164 Quentin Richardson Orlando SG 57 2.3 $4.1
165 Omer Asik Chicago C 82 2.3 $4.1
166 Stephen Jackson Charlotte GF 67 2.3 $4.1
167 Dominic McGuire Charlotte SF 52 2.3 $4.1
168 Jose Barea Dallas G 81 2.3 $4.1
169 Brad Miller Houston C 60 2.3 $4.1
170 Hakim Warrick Phoenix PF 80 2.3 $4.1
171 J.J. Hickson Cleveland C 80 2.2 $3.9
172 Matt Bonner San Antonio PF 66 2.2 $3.9
173 Kyle Korver Chicago GF 82 2.2 $3.9
174 Tyrus Thomas Charlotte PF 41 2.2 $3.9
175 Corey Maggette Milwaukee SF 67 2.2 $3.9
176 Rashard Lewis Orlando-Washington F 57 2.1 $3.7
177 Keyon Dooling Milwaukee PG 80 2.1 $3.7
178 Jamario Moon Cleveland-LA Clippers SF 59 2.1 $3.7
179 Jeff Teague Atlanta PG 70 2.0 $3.5
180 Eric Bledsoe LA Clippers PG 81 2.0 $3.5
181 Anthony Parker Cleveland GF 72 1.9 $3.4
182 Roy Hibbert Indiana C 81 1.9 $3.4
183 Marquis Daniels Boston SF 49 1.9 $3.4
184 Mario Chalmers Miami PG 70 1.9 $3.4
185 Earl Boykins Milwaukee PG 57 1.9 $3.4
186 Jarrett Jack New Orleans-Toronto PG 83 1.9 $3.4
187 Kwame Brown Charlotte C 66 1.9 $3.4
188 Joey Dorsey Toronto C 43 1.9 $3.4
189 Kurt Thomas Chicago C 52 1.9 $3.4
190 Eric Maynor Oklahoma City PG 82 1.9 $3.4
191 Julian Wright Toronto SF 52 1.8 $3.2
192 Tyler Hansbrough Indiana PF 70 1.8 $3.2
193 Brendan Haywood Dallas C 72 1.8 $3.2
194 Daequan Cook Oklahoma City SG 43 1.8 $3.2
195 Jerryd Bayless New Orleans-Toronto PG 71 1.7 $3.0
196 Shelden Williams Denver-New York FC 59 1.6 $2.8
197 Shaquille O’Neal Boston C 37 1.6 $2.8
198 Boris Diaw Charlotte FC 82 1.6 $2.8
199 Nazr Mohammed Charlotte-Oklahoma City C 75 1.6 $2.8
200 Anthony Morrow New Jersey GF 58 1.6 $2.8
201 Sam Young Memphis SF 78 1.5 $2.7
202 Jon Brockman Milwaukee PF 63 1.5 $2.7
203 Ron Artest LA Lakers SF 82 1.5 $2.7
204 Shannon Brown LA Lakers SG 82 1.5 $2.7
205 Tiago Splitter San Antonio C 60 1.4 $2.5
206 D.J. White Charlotte-Oklahoma City PF 47 1.4 $2.5
207 Francisco Garcia Sacramento SF 58 1.4 $2.5
208 Antawn Jamison Cleveland PF 56 1.4 $2.5
209 Derrick Brown Charlotte-New York SF 49 1.4 $2.5
210 Austin Daye Detroit F 72 1.4 $2.5
211 Darrell Arthur Memphis PF 80 1.4 $2.5
212 Chris Douglas-Roberts Milwaukee SG 44 1.3 $2.3
213 Al-Farouq Aminu LA Clippers SF 81 1.3 $2.3
214 O.J. Mayo Memphis SG 71 1.3 $2.3
215 Zaza Pachulia Atlanta C 79 1.3 $2.3
216 Daniel Gibson Cleveland PG 67 1.3 $2.3
217 Andray Blatche Washington FC 64 1.3 $2.3
218 Jamal Crawford Atlanta SG 76 1.2 $2.1
219 Peja Stojakovic Dallas-New Orleans-Toronto SF 33 1.2 $2.1
220 Channing Frye Phoenix FC 77 1.2 $2.1
221 Manny Harris Cleveland SG 54 1.2 $2.1
222 Eddie House Miami PG 56 1.2 $2.1
223 Damien Wilkins Atlanta SF 52 1.2 $2.1
224 Aaron Gray New Orleans C 41 1.1 $1.9
225 Jordan Hill Houston PF 72 1.1 $1.9
226 C.J. Watson Chicago PG 82 1.1 $1.9
227 Anthony Tolliver Minnesota C 65 1.1 $1.9
228 Ronny Turiaf New York C 64 1.1 $1.9
229 Bill Walker New York SF 61 1.0 $1.8
230 Kendrick Perkins Boston-Oklahoma City C 29 1.0 $1.8
231 Luther Head Sacramento SG 36 1.0 $1.8
232 Andres Nocioni Philadelphia SF 54 1.0 $1.8
233 C.J. Miles Utah GF 78 0.9 $1.6
234 Drew Gooden Milwaukee C 35 0.9 $1.6
235 Ben Gordon Detroit SG 82 0.9 $1.6
236 Spencer Hawes Philadelphia C 81 0.8 $1.4
237 Goran Dragic Houston-Phoenix PG 70 0.8 $1.4
238 Anthony Randolph Minnesota-New York PF 40 0.8 $1.4
239 Steve Blake LA Lakers PG 79 0.8 $1.4
240 Martell Webster Minnesota SF 46 0.8 $1.4
241 Dahntay Jones Indiana SG 45 0.8 $1.4
242 Charlie Villanueva Detroit PF 76 0.7 $1.2
243 Matt Carroll Charlotte SG 54 0.7 $1.2
244 James Johnson Chicago-Toronto F 38 0.7 $1.2
245 Von Wafer Boston SG 58 0.7 $1.2
246 James Posey Indiana SF 49 0.7 $1.2
247 Erick Dampier Miami C 51 0.7 $1.2
248 Vladimir Radmanovic Golden State PF 74 0.7 $1.2
249 Greivis Vasquez Memphis SG 70 0.6 $1.1
250 Carlos Arroyo Boston-Miami PG 64 0.5 $0.9
251 Craig Smith LA Clippers PF 48 0.5 $0.9
252 Will Bynum Detroit PG 61 0.5 $0.9
253 Richard Hamilton Detroit GF 55 0.5 $0.9
254 Ryan Gomes LA Clippers SF 76 0.5 $0.9
255 Chris Kaman LA Clippers C 32 0.5 $0.9
256 Eugene Jeter Sacramento PG 62 0.5 $0.9
257 Maurice Evans Atlanta-Washington SG 73 0.5 $0.9
258 Raja Bell Utah SG 68 0.4 $0.7
259 Gordon Hayward Utah SF 72 0.4 $0.7
260 Joel Przybilla Charlotte-Portland C 36 0.4 $0.7
261 Marco Belinelli New Orleans GF 80 0.4 $0.7
262 Shawne Williams New York PF 64 0.4 $0.7
263 Zydrunas Ilgauskas Miami C 72 0.4 $0.7
264 Louis Amundson Golden State PF 46 0.4 $0.7
265 Mo Williams Cleveland-LA Clippers PG 58 0.4 $0.7
266 Cartier Martin Washington SF 52 0.3 $0.5
267 Marreese Speights Philadelphia C 64 0.3 $0.5
268 Caron Butler Dallas SF 29 0.3 $0.5
269 Corey Brewer Dallas-Minnesota SG 69 0.2 $0.5
270 Wesley Johnson Minnesota GF 79 0.2 $0.5
271 Willie Green New Orleans SG 77 0.1 $0.5
272 Leandro Barbosa Toronto SG 58 0.1 $0.5
273 T.J. Ford Indiana PG 41 0.1 $0.5
274 Gary Forbes Denver SF 63 0.1 $0.5
275 Brandon Roy Portland SF 47 0.1 $0.5
276 DeShawn Stevenson Dallas GF 72 0.1 $0.5
277 DeMar DeRozan Toronto GF 82 0.0 $0.5
278 Al Thornton Golden State-Washington F 71 0.0 $0.5
279 Juwan Howard Miami PF 57 -0.1 $0.5
280 Quincy Pondexter New Orleans SF 66 -0.1 $0.5
281 Nick Collison Oklahoma City C 71 -0.1 $0.5
282 Luke Harangody Boston-Cleveland PF 49 -0.1 $0.5
283 Larry Sanders Milwaukee PF 60 -0.1 $0.5
284 Randy Foye LA Clippers SG 63 -0.2 $0.5
285 Acie Law Memphis-Golden State PG 51 -0.2 $0.5
286 Jared Jeffries Houston-New York PF 42 -0.4 $0.5
287 Chris Duhon Orlando PG 51 -0.4 $0.5
288 Mickael Pietrus Phoenix-Orlando SF 57 -0.5 $0.5
289 Derek Fisher LA Lakers PG 82 -0.5 $0.5
290 Patrick Mills Portland PG 64 -0.5 $0.5
291 Jeff Green Boston-Oklahoma City PF 75 -0.5 $0.5
292 Brian Cardinal Dallas PF 56 -0.5 $0.5
293 Gilbert Arenas Orlando-Washington G 70 -0.6 $0.5
294 DeMarcus Cousins Sacramento C 81 -0.6 $0.5
295 Semih Erden Boston-Cleveland C 41 -0.6 $0.5
296 Sonny Weems Toronto SG 59 -0.6 $0.5
297 Linas Kleiza Toronto SF 39 -0.7 $0.5
298 Solomon Jones Indiana PF 39 -0.7 $0.5
299 Carl Landry Sacramento-New Orleans PF 76 -0.8 $0.5
300 Jason Smith New Orleans FC 77 -0.8 $0.5
301 Nate Robinson Boston-Oklahoma City PG 59 -0.8 $0.5
302 Yi Jianlian Washington PF 63 -0.8 $0.5
303 Joey Graham Cleveland SF 39 -0.8 $0.5
304 Christian Eyenga Cleveland SF 44 -0.9 $0.5
305 Jason Maxiell Detroit PF 57 -0.9 $0.5
306 A.J. Price Indiana PG 50 -0.9 $0.5
307 Kevin Seraphin Washington PF 58 -0.9 $0.5
308 Timofey Mozgov Denver-New York C 45 -0.9 $0.5
309 Sebastian Telfair Minnesota PG 37 -0.9 $0.5
310 Nenad Krstic Boston-Oklahoma City C 71 -0.9 $0.5
311 Donte Greene Sacramento SF 69 -0.9 $0.5
312 Nick Young Washington GF 64 -1.0 $0.5
313 Francisco Elson Utah C 62 -1.1 $0.5
314 Xavier Henry Memphis SG 38 -1.1 $0.5
315 Samardo Samuels Cleveland PF 37 -1.1 $0.5
316 Al Harrington Denver PF 73 -1.1 $0.5
317 Wayne Ellington Minnesota SG 62 -1.1 $0.5
318 Michael Beasley Minnesota SF 73 -1.2 $0.5
319 Jordan Crawford Atlanta-Washington SG 42 -1.2 $0.5
320 Rasual Butler Chicago-LA Clippers GF 47 -1.3 $0.5
321 Ekpe Udoh Golden State PF 58 -1.5 $0.5
322 Joel Anthony Miami C 75 -1.6 $0.5
323 Dante Cunningham Charlotte-Portland PF 78 -1.6 $0.5
324 Stephen Graham New Jersey SG 59 -1.6 $0.5
325 Robin Lopez Phoenix C 67 -1.7 $0.5
326 Josh Powell Atlanta PF 54 -1.7 $0.5
327 Johan Petro New Jersey C 77 -1.7 $0.5
328 Travis Outlaw New Jersey SF 82 -1.7 $0.5
329 Nikola Pekovic Minnesota PF 65 -1.7 $0.5
330 Glen Davis Boston FC 78 -1.8 $0.5
331 Jason Collins Atlanta C 49 -1.9 $0.5
332 Jonny Flynn Minnesota PG 53 -1.9 $0.5
333 Ronnie Price Utah SG 59 -2.0 $0.5
334 Aaron Brooks Houston-Phoenix PG 59 -2.1 $0.5
335 Brook Lopez New Jersey C 82 -2.7 $0.5
336 Ryan Hollins Cleveland C 70 -3.1 $0.5
337 Darko Milicic Minnesota C 69 -3.4 $0.5
338 Andrea Bargnani Toronto C 66 -7.0 $0.5

The above table looks at all players that played more than 500 minutes last season. I gave every player approximately $1.7 million per win (the $2.1 billion the players got in BRI last season divided by the total wins available 1230). If a player was worth less than 0.3 Wins Produced (the threshold for the league minimum) I just gave that player the league minimum. This was because unfortunately we can’t ask bad players to pay back the team.

Fun Notes

  • Kevin Love, Dwight Howard and LeBron James could be worth over $40 million on the open market!
  • Despite his slightly off year Chris Bosh was still worth the money.
  • Even if we capped how much bad players could be paid, the NBA would have given out $31 million to players producing 0 or fewer wins!
-Dre

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