The 20 Most Cost-Efficient NBA Seasons in the Last 10 Years
Sports is about winning and basketball is about winning, but both can also be about money.
Like with all professional sports, the NBA is a business. It's for this reason that teams are so cautious with handing out lucrative contracts. The majority of the time, it takes experience and production for a player to earn a big, long-term deal.
Before doing so, players tend to out-play their existing deal -- rookie contract or otherwise. During that point in time, players tend to return a lot more than what their salary might indicate.
In recent years, which players have done that the most?
As much as anything, Basketball Reference's win shares is probably the best determination for single-season success. For more on what win shares is, you can check out this calculations page, but the skinny is that win shares is an estimate of the number of wins a player contributes over the course of a season.
The other factor in the equation is compensation. Quite simply, we'll account for that using each player's salary (according to Basketball Reference) for that particular season. We'll then divide salary by win shares to get an estimated cost per win share (WS). The lower the cost, the higher up the list a player is.
To narrow the search down to only the most productive performances, each player had to have at least 10.0 win shares on the regular season. In doing so, the search spit out 130 names from the past 10 years. Here, we established the top 20 most cost-efficient seasons.
We'll get to the player who has provided the most bang for his team's buck, but let's start with number 20 and work our way there.