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, all the time

Over the past twenty-four hours I've read just about every forum thread, blog post, article and comment on the Andre Iguodala situation and there seems to be a common theme regarding the rumored 5 year/$72.6M contract he may or may not have been offered/negotiated/whatever. The theme is that the Sixers are paying for potential, rather than production.

This struck me as a bit odd, considering the guy is coming off a season in which he averaged 19.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.1 steals and 0.6 blocks. Those aren't exactly bad numbers, in fact, they're pretty impressive. If the Sixers are truly paying him on potential, what do you expect the guy to become? If he improves across the board, wouldn't he be a max-contract guy?

I thought taking a look at exactly where Iguodala matches up with the other players in the league, based on production, and comparing how much they make to Andre's rumored deal may shed some light on the situation. We'll take a look at the numbers after the jump.

We could break this down by points, rebounds, assists, shooting percentage, opposing player's PER, etc., but the simplest way to do it will be to use PER. I thought about using win shares, but I couldn't find a list of the top 40, only the top 20, so PER it is.

Iguodala's 19.05 PER was 35th in the league, among players who averaged more than 25 minutes per game, below we'll take a look at the average yearly salaries of the top 40.

  1. LeBron James (29.23 PER) - $15.77M/year
  2. Chris Paul (28.39 PER) - $17M/year
  3. Amare Stoudemire (27.61 PER) - $16.38/year
  4. Kevin Garnet (25.30 PER) - $20.29M/year
  5. Dirk Nowitzki (24.66 PER) - $19.8M/year
  6. Tim Duncan (24.41 PER) - $20.7M/year
  7. Manu Ginobli (24.34 PER) - $10.31M/year
  8. Kobe Bryant (24.31 PER) - $23.03M/year
  9. Chris Bosh (23.88 PER) - $15.78M/year
  10. Chauncey Billups (23.61 PER) - $12.63M/year
  11. Dwight Howard (22.98 PER) - $16.51M/year
  12. Al Jefferson (22.80 PER) - $13M/year
  13. Yao Ming (22.61 PER) - $16.38M
  14. Andrew Bynum (22.60 PER) - $3.27M/year (rookie contract)
  15. Carlos Boozer (21.96 PER) - $12.13M/year
  16. Pau Gasol (21.68 PER) - $16.45M/year
  17. Dwyane Wade (21.63 PER) - $15.78M/year
  18. Steve Nash (21.16 PER) - $12.69M/year
  19. Carmelo Anthony (21.16 PER) - $16.46M/year
  20. Kevin Martin (21.07 PER) - $11.1M/year
  21. Allen Iverson (20.92 PER) - $21.94M/year
  22. Deron Williams (20.82 PER) - $17.5M/year
  23. Caron Butler (20.73 PER) - $9.78M/year
  24. Jose Calderon (20.51 PER) - $8M/year
  25. Antawn Jamison (20.32 PER) - $12.5M/year
  26. Tony Parker (20.04 PER) - $12.55M/year
  27. David West (19.95 PER) - $8.69M/year
  28. Baron Davis (19.87 PER) - $13M/year
  29. Paul Pierce (19.68 PER) - $19.8M/year
  30. Brandon Roy (19.44 PER) - $4.07M/year (rookie contract)
  31. Corey Maggette (19.43 PER) - $10M/year
  32. Shawn Marion (19.32 PER) - $17.18M/year
  33. Andris Biedrins (19.18 PER) - $10.33M/year
  34. Josh Smith (19.08 PER) - $3.17M/year (rookie contract)
  35. Andre Iguodala (19.05 PER) - $14.52M/year (rumored)
  36. Monta Ellis (19.01 PER) - $11.17M/year
  37. Michael Redd (18.90 PER) - $17.04M/year
  38. Ron Artest (18.89 PER) - $8.45M/year
  39. Vince Carter (18.87 PER) - $16.7M/year
  40. Zydrunas Ilgauskus (18.76 PER) - $11.19M/year
Green = below average salary for slot
Blue = salary within $1M of average for slot
Red = above average salary for slot

And here are the averages (not including rookie deals)
  • 1-10: $17.17M
  • 11-20: $14.5M
  • 21-30: $13.75M
  • 31-40: $12.84M

So what does this tell us? First of all, the only metric used here was PER, to simplify things. In my opinion, PER doesn't credit individual defense nearly enough, so if I were making a list of the 40-best players in the league, it would differ from this list. That being said, this is a fairly good representation. According to the numbers, Iguodala's rumored contract would pay him the rate of a player ranked in the high teens/low twenties on the list above, which may not be a stretch when you take defense into account.

Based purely on the numbers, though, it does appear as though this deal is out-of-line.

As is usually the case with statistics, I started out with one goal in mind and came out finding a couple of other interesting topics of discussion. According to these numbers, the best contract in terms of +/- average salary/slot is Manu Ginobli, who is making $6.8M less than the average for slots 1-10 (not including rookie deals). The worst would be none other than Allen Iverson, who makes a whopping $8.19M above the average for slots 21-30.

Some bargains were had this Summer, especially the reported 5 year/$40M deal Jose Calderon signed ($5.75M below ave/slot).

Now, the question becomes can Iguodala move up 15-20 spots on this list with Elton Brand in place as the team's centerpiece? His shooting efficiency should go through the roof this season since he won't be the focal point of the opposing team's defense, but we also need to worry about the position change, which will probably cut into his rebounding numbers.

Statistical Note: These numbers are OK to use as a general guide, but they aren't gospel. I used the average yearly salary for the remaining years on the players' contracts. Since most contracts are back-loaded, this means a guy with only one year left on his deal will be overvalued, while someone who just signed a deal will be undervalued.
by Brian on Aug 7 2008
Tags: Andre Iguodala | Basketball | Free Agents | Offseason | Sixers |