The other day I re-wrote my NBA player ranking algorithm so that it was more commiserate with my current Python skills. While my coding is significantly better, the basic idea was the same: take the available advanced analytics and determine who really are the most effective players in the NBA.
While I am more confident that this years version better identifies the best on court performances, I realize it only tells part of the story.
With all apologies to my 15 year old self, basketball is a business.
To that end, I decided to see if I could identify the players that were the best values. That is – what teams are paying vs. the return they are getting on the court.
The NBA PPR – Money Ball Edition
This list is based on my previous post outlining the players that are performing the best on the court this year as well as what teams are paying them. The money portion of this formula takes into account what teams have invested in a player this year per basketball-reference.com
I was thinking about maybe trying to figure it basic on guaranteed money over the course of a contract. That however brings in a few other variables that suggest yet another little project…
But I digress, Here are my 2018 NBA Best Values:
Nikola Vucevic is having a fantastic season ( 8th overall on performance alone ) on a reasonable salary, so this makes sense, but who saw Karl-Anthony Towns coming in at #2?
With three centers topping the list ( and 4 of the top 6 ) , it seems fair to say that this position is under-paid vs. actual performance in today’s NBA.
I realize that any list that ranks Bradley Beal and Stephen Curry evenly is suspect. However there is a good reason that Mr. Beal’s name is forever mentioned in trade talks – he is a very good player on a reasonable deal. Mr. Curry is a great player with the biggest guaranteed contract in the NBA at a whopping $166,476,240.
So in dollar value they are “Even Stephen” if you will…
I’ll check in at the end of the year to see how the list changes as it gets closer to the post season. As always, feel free to comment about how I am wrong 🙂