Sunday Topic: Best Contract in the NBA?
Every Sunday, HOOPSWORLD’s analysts weigh in on an NBA-related topic. Get in on the debate by leaving your thoughts in a comment. Here’s this week’s Sunday Topic.
Two weeks ago, we discussed some of the worst contracts in the NBA from Joe Johnson’s $119 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets to Amar’e Stoudemire’s $100 million contract with the New York Knicks. Now, we’ll look at the opposite end of the spectrum.
“Who has the best contract in the NBA?”
“Ray Allen. This should be as easy as saying, ‘The best three-point shooter of all-time is making $3 million a year,’ but in case a more convincing argument needs to be made, all one needs do is look at the rest of the Miami payroll to determine just what a value Allen really is.
Because of the contracts Miami carries for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, they’re pretty limited by what they can do with the rest of their roster, yet somehow they’ve managed to spend around $6 million a year for Mike Miller, $4 million apiece for Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers and $3.75 million for Joel Anthony. Allen makes less than all those guys, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that, dollar-for-dollar, the HEAT are getting more out of Allen than pretty much any other player in the NBA.
He could’ve made twice as much (with a no-trade clause!) in Boston, but he turned it down to take less money for a serious shot at another ring. That desire to win put the league’s best value on the bench of the league’s best team.” – Joel Brigham
“Tony Parker. Most people still tend to think of Tim Duncan as the face of the San Antonio Spurs’ franchise, however over the last couple of seasons he has been slowly, yet surely, passing the reins. Duncan may be the household name, but night in and night out Parker is proving that the Spurs are really his team now.
Parker has done an admirable job of expanding his game just when his team needs him to do it the most. As Duncan nears the end of his career, it’s Parker who, more often than not, is making the big play at the end of a close game to win it for his team. This season, we’ve even seen him knock down clutch threes, which is not something he’s been known for up until now.
The amazing thing is that Parker comes in at just $12.5 million per season, and while that’s a lot of money, it’s less than players like Chris Paul, who is making $17.7 million this season and will be looking for even more next summer; Russell Westbrook, who is making $13.6 million in the first year of an expanding deal; and Deron Williams, who just inked a deal starting at $17.1 million. In that context, Parker is a steal, and he has more regular season wins and more championships to his credit than any of those players is likely to ever have.” – Bill Ingram
“Kyle Lowry. This past offseason, the Houston Rockets and Lowry parted ways amidst rumblings that Lowry wanted a change of scenery. The Toronto Raptors traded Gary Forbes and a first-round pick for the talented young point guard and in doing so got a much-desired upgrade over longtime starter and perpetual trade bait Jose Calderon.
In the third year of a four-year, $24 million contract, Lowry is averaging 23.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7 assists and 3.7 steals a game through the first three games of the season before suffering a sprained ankle in a recent game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While his status for the immediate future is up in the air, it does not change what a complete steal his contract is. If Lowry is able to get healthy again and continue putting up similar numbers, he should absolutely be an All-Star and in the conversation for MVP come April, all while being paid a scant $5,750,000 this season. Next season, Lowry will get a slight pay bump for the final year of his contract and the Raptors will owe him $6,210,000.” – Robert Wing
“Raymond Felton. Last season, Felton came into camp with the Portland Trail Blazers extremely out of shape. The lockout-shortened season was a disaster for Felton and the Blazers.
As his stock plummeted, the New York Knicks were able to buy low, landing a very solid point guard on a very reasonable four-year contract worth $14.9 million. Technically, Felton came to New York via sign-and-trade, but at $3.5 million for the first year, they got an absolute bargain in a starting point guard.
Through the team’s first two games, Felton has averaged 12.5 points and five assists while shooting 43.5 percent from the field. His numbers aren’t gaudy, but the Knicks are undefeated while outscoring their opponents by a league-high 18 points per game.
The Knicks are heavily invested in stars like Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire (currently out with a knee injury) and Tyson Chandler. Felton rounds out the starting lineup at a very reasonable salary.” – Eric Pincus
“Rajon Rondo. The Boston Celtics point guard is owed just $36 million over the next three years, which is a bargain considering he has emerged as one of the best point guards in the league.
When the Celtics inked Rondo to a five-year, $55 million extension in 2009, there were still plenty of questions about Rondo’s game and attitude. The Celtics are lucky they extended Rondo when they did because he would’ve been due for a big payday had they waited.
Other elite point guards have cost much more than Rondo. Deron Williams signed a $100 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets, Derrick Rose signed a $95 million deal with the Chicago Bulls and Russell Westbrook signed an $80 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Rondo will make just $11 million this season, which is less than all of those players as well as the previously mentioned Tony Parker, who will make $12.5 million.
Rondo’s contract is comparable to the recent extensions handed out to Ty Lawson (four years, $48 million), Stephen Curry (four years, $44 million) and Jrue Holiday (four years, $41 million), even though his play is comparable to the elite point guards like Williams, Rose and Westbrook.
Rondo is worth much more than $55 million, but the Celtics have him locked up on one of the best contracts in the league over the next three years. Rondo’s contract gives the Celtics flexibility to add pieces around their floor general so while he’s not making as much as his peers, he may end up with the better supporting cast as a result of his deal.” – Alex Kennedy
Who has the best contract in the NBA? Leave a comment below!