NBA’s Free Agent’s Relative Salary Increase

NBA’s Free Agent’s Relative Salary Increase

Content

While NBA’s salary cap continues to rise – 2016 every team has roughly $24 million more to spend, the projected cap for 2017 is something in-between $102 and $108 million – free agents (FA) take their opportunity to sign staggering contracts. The agreement of Mozgov and the Lakers for example attracted a lot of attention. But is he that bad of a deal for the LAL? I decided to not only trust in my own judgement, but do some simple dataset exploration.

It’s amazing how sometimes you can perform the whole exploratory data analysis life cycle inside Emacs – from the data retrieval to the publishing (as is done in this post). Initially I considered mentioning homoiconicity, since all my text is data – to be exact, though, the internal representation of an org-table is still a list and not what I look at in the buffer. Nonetheless, the excitement is quite similar. The process of getting messy data into shape took me a few minutes.

And these are the outcomes: Whiteside and Drummond are absolutely worth the dough, Conley is more of a surprise. Actually, there are a lot of big men on top of that list, will the small-ball dominance be a blip?

Table 1: NBA’s Free Agent’s Salary Comparison (Top 20)
Team Player Pos Age Contract (in y) Salary Total (in MM) Salary 2015-16 Salary 2016-17 Increase (in MM)
MIA Hassan Whiteside C 27 4 98 981348 24500000 +23.52
DET Andre Drummond C 23 5 130 3272091 26000000 +22.73
MEM Mike Conley G 29 5 153 9588426 30600000 +21.01
DAL Harrison Barnes F 24 4 95 3873398 23750000 +19.88
TOR DeMar DeRozan G 27 5 145 9500000 29000000 +19.50
WAS Bradley Beal G 23 5 120 5694674 24000000 +18.31
POR Allen Crabbe F 24 4 75 947276 18750000 +17.80
BOS Al Horford F/C 30 4 113 12000000 28250000 +16.25
ATL Kent Bazemore G/F 27 4 70 2000000 17500000 +15.50
ORL Bismack Biyombo C 24 4 72 3000000 18000000 +15.00
ORL Evan Fournier G/F 24 5 85 2288205 17000000 +14.71
POR Evan Turner G/F 28 4 70 3425510 17500000 +14.07
WAS Ian Mahinmi C 30 4 64 4000000 16000000 +12.00
CHA Nicolas Batum G/F 28 5 120 12235750 24000000 +11.76
DAL Dirk Nowitzki F 38 2 40 8333334 20000000 +11.67
MIA Tyler Johnson G 24 4 50 845059 12500000 +11.65
LAL Jordan Clarkson G 24 4 50 845059 12500000 +11.65
NOP Solomon Hill F 25 4 52 1358880 13000000 +11.64
HOU Ryan Anderson F 28 4 80 8500000 20000000 +11.50
LAL Timofey Mozgov C 30 4 64 4950000 16000000 +11.05

These are some teams I’m interested in that decided to offer their new signings a relative salary increase (with one exception). The table pretty much reflects the pecuniary space of these teams before the free agency:

Table 2: Average Salary Increase per signed FA
Team N FAs Average Increase
BOS 1 +16.25
MEM 4 +8.42
LAL 5 +7.12
MIA 7 +5.92
CHI 3 +2.72
SAS 3 +2.26
NYK 5 +0.92
GSW 5 +0.52
CLE 2 -2.00
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