The “Yay Points!” Thesis

The Concept:

Scoring is the most dominant factor in influencing player pay, All-Star votes, Awards and draft position in the NBA.

Why it’s important:

This factor may be the single most important when it comes to NBA management. As teams have salary caps and limited draft picks, using them properly is key for having a good franchise. By focusing on one statistic and not properly assessing it many NBA teams are spending their money poorly. See, you knew there was a reason your team wasn’t doing well!


This concept has shown up repeatedly in the work of David Berri and Martin Schmidt. In Stumbling on Wins they discovered that a one standard deviation in points per 48 minutes — 5 points per 48 minutes — would yield an increase in salary of roughly $1.4 million. A standard deviation increase in any other stat was worth less than $1 million.

The same has been shown in regards to being voted to All-Star games, earning awards and draft position. [More needed here]

Ethan Sherwood Strauss came up with the name for this concept while noticing that the top scoring bench player was most likely to be voted Sixth Man of the Year.