Recently, Jon Nichols of Basketball-Statistics created a new advanced statistical metric called Value Rating %, which measures the relative value of a player's performance based on his Composite Score and salary. Nichols rates each player with a percentile-based ranking. The higher the percentage, the better. The purpose of this system is fairly simple - to determine which players are under or over valued based on their contract. It's best use, as was stated to me, is when comparing players with similar level contracts (second round picks vs. minimum veterans, mid-level exception guys vs. top rookies, etc). That's something to keep in mind.
Given what has been stated, I wanted to take a look at how each Orlando Magic player rated. For Part I of this mini-series, I analyzed the reserves.
Ed. note: These numbers are as of Feb. 21st. - ER
Rafer Alston: 26.36% ($4,900,000)
- I know that Alston isn't a reserve, per se, but he is for the purposes of this analysis. It's evident, by looking at the percentage, that Alston is a bit overpaid in correlation to his production on the court this year. At this point in his career, Alston is a fringe-starter at best and thus, shouldn't be netting the type of money he's seeing right now. Explains a bit why the Houston Rockets were willing to let him go via trade.
Tony Battie: 15.75% ($5,746,000)
- Among the Magic players listed, Battie carries the un-distinct honor of being the worst valued player on the team. The type of contract Battie is netting right now usually is reserved for an average starter in the NBA, yet he is nothing more than a reserve. Battie has been decent this season, but his current production is not worth it at his price tag.
Ed. note: Added Marcin Gortat as of March 9th, 2009.
Marcin Gortat: 97.43% ($711,517)
- It's no secret that Gortat has been a productive player when granted minutes, but now it's clear how valuable he is to the Magic. Gortat provides the best value on the team, when taking into account his production in correlation to his salary. Given that Gortat becomes a free agent at the end of the season, it's imperative that general manager Otis Smith does his best to re-up him. However, it will be difficult given that Orlando has to attempt to re-sign Hedo Turkoglu first.
Anthony Johnson: 73.71% ($1,910,000)
- Sporting a modest salary, it's safe to state that Orlando offered a reasonable contract to Johnson this past off-season. Despite receiving constant criticism from Magic fans, Johnson's performance this year indicates that he's offered up fair value for his price. Make no mistake, Johnson is nothing more than a bench player. But his production on the court falls in line, for the most part, with the money he's netting.
Tyronn Lue: 85.85% ($2,250,000)
- Lue, despite not earning any minutes right now with Orlando, is netting a contract comparable to his value as a player. For his career, Lue has always been a solid reserve and thus his money earned this year reflects that trend. Granted, even though Lue isn't sporting a "bad" contract, per se, he's been relatively useless since being traded to the Magic. Lue is gone after this season (expiring contract), so the problem will be a moot point in a few months.
Mickael Pietrus: 73.71% ($5,300,000)
- It's obvious that Pietrus has been having problems all season staying on the court, but when he has been playing, he's been okay. After starting the season strong, Pietrus has cooled off considerably since then. Orlando received criticism this past off-season for offering its entire Mid-Level Exception to Pietrus, and it's safe to say the critics are half-right. The fact Pietrus has been hurt many times this year lends credence to the argument at hand. However, Pietrus can be productive (when healthy). I'm aware that Pietrus' Value Rating % is too high. As I noted beforehand, the statistics provided are a week and a half old, so an update of the numbers would see a considerable dip in Pietrus' percentage.
J.J. Redick: 76.52% ($2,139,720)
- Redick is definitely a spot reserve at best, but the former Duke prodigy has his moments on the court (see Feb. 17th vs. Charlotte). Even though Redick should be used on a matchup-type basis, he's a useful player. As such, Redick has provided the Magic decent production at his price. Besides, shooters like Redick always have a place in the NBA.
Part II will be revealed on Wednesday, in which I'll take a look at the starters.