On Monday morning, Forbes announced their top 12 overpaid NBA players. According to their formula, these are the players who are “not producing at all or producing at a level that doesn’t justify their pay.”
So who’s atop the list? Our very own Carmelo Anthony! Melo currently has the league’s 12th-highest salary. Forbes’ analysis, which I’ll briefly explain in a minute, has Anthony on pace to produce minus 1.3 wins this season. In other words, OKC would be better off by not having him on the floor. Again, this is not me saying this, so don’t shoot the messenger.
Much of their theory with Anthony comes back to efficiency. He’s on pace to finish with the worst shooting and free throw percentages of his career. They also point out that his steals and assists as of January 19th would be career worsts, and his current rebounding numbers are below his career average. So what authors Brett Knight and David Berri are saying is that these numbers do not justify his $26,243,760 contract. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t, but it’s an interesting conversation nonetheless.
If you’re questioning the formula and logic of this, David Berri has been doing this for years and is without a doubt a well-established thinker in advanced metrics. For this particular piece, he used “Wins Produced,” which attempts to measure how much credit a player deserves for producing a win. It is also worth noting, that even though this article was published on January 23rd, all of these statistics are through January 19th. I.e., if your team has 10 wins through 41 games at that point, they will assume that the next 41 games will produce 10 wins as well.
For those curious about the rest of the list, Marc Gasol, Brook Lopez, Harrison Barnes, and Dennis Schroder rounded out the top five. In the interest of OKC fans, Serge Ibaka came in at no. 9, while Reggie Jackson was 12th.