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Dollars For Wins

How much was Andre Iguodala really worth this season? How about Elton Brand, Jrue Holiday or (gulp) Jason Kapono? There's no hard and fast way to calculate that, but someone decided to take a stab anyway. A post on The Wages of Wins Journal on this very subject made the rounds yesterday, so let's discuss today.

First things first. If you couldn't care less about the math behind this, or how reliable the stats may be, just skip down to the horizontal line below, that's where we'll talk about the Sixres. If you are interested, read on. WoW's key metric is wins produced. They base most of their logic on their own formula for calculating what constitutes a win, and honestly their system isn't exactly well received in the NBA statistics community (if you happen to attend the Sloan MIT Conference next year, I wouldn't bring a copy of Wages of Wins to discuss during one of the breaks). That being said, wins produced is an available metric, and there are a large number of people who believe in it (unfortunately, a large number of the believers have a whole creationist devotion to the stat, so it can be difficult to talk to them).

Anyway, with the fine print out of the way, here's what the writer did. First he took the players' share of Basketball-Related Income from last season, divided that number by the total number of wins to come up with a dollar amount per win. Then he took each player's Wins Produced and multiplied it by the calculated value of a win. He then took each player's actual salary and compared it to the calculated dollar amount of his wins produced to see if he was worth his contract, and how he compared to other players around the league. Anyway, check it out here, and then we'll talk about the relative value of the Sixers'.

OK, so here are the numbers for the Sixers:


As you can see, Jrue was the best value on the team, and the 25th best value in the entire league, which really isn't much of a surprise considering he was good and on his rookie contract. Kapono was the biggest waste of money, which also makes sense. What will probably surprise a lot of people (and also completely devalue the entire exercise because any stat that says he's good must be wrong), is Andre Iguodala's performance. Even with his "inflated salary" Iguodala was still an extremely strong value, number 41 in the league, when you consider how many guys are still on rookie contracts is nothing to sneeze at. Elton Brand had a decent WP (8.2 wins), but it wasn't enough to overcome his enormous salary.

As a whole, the Sixers ranked 12th in the league and outperformed their payroll by about $2.2M. Cleveland was dead last, Chicago was first, Dallas was in the red by $14M and ranked 24th.

Again, this exercise is only meaningful if you put any stock into WP as a catch-all metric. If you're into simple math, the Sixers had the 10th highest payroll in the league, and the 14th-best record.

I clipped the above image from a much larger image here so be sure to check out the original post for a better understanding of the work they put into it.
by Brian on Jul 6 2011
Tags: Advanced Stats | Basketball | Sixers |