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 II (the final segment) of this mini-series, I analyzed the starters.
Ed. note: These numbers are as of Feb. 21st. - ER
Dwight Howard: 63.98% ($13,758,000)
- Howard's VR % may seem low, and it is. However, it's important to note that the way this particular statistic works, it's almost impossible for a player like Howard to have a high VR % (given his salary). It's worth pointing out that Wade, who has a similar contract to Howard, has a VR % of 59.8%. In any case, Howard is an extremely valuable asset to the Magic. When you compare Howard's salary to players around the NBA, you'll quickly realize that he is a bit of a bargain for Orlando, when you consider the numbers he puts up at his price. Credit general manager Otis Smith for locking up, judiciously, an individual who's a top five player, an annual Defensive Player of the Year and MVP candidate, and a superhero. That's definitely getting bang for your buck.
Courtney Lee: 95.49% ($1,176,240)
- For once, the Magic were able to "hit" on a draft pick and so far, the early returns on Lee have been good. Lee hasn't been stuffing the stat sheet, so to speak, but he's certainly making his presence felt on the court. The rookie has been every bit the player Orlando envisioned him of being, and more. Lee has been able to step in and start for a championship-caliber team with almost no problems. Because of that, don't expect Lee to relinquish his role any time soon. People may be seeing Lee as the starting two-guard for years to come. All in all, Lee offers up the second-best value on the team when you take into account his modest production at a cheap price.
Rashard Lewis: 47.9% ($16,447,871)
- It's no surprise that Lewis is overpaid. The provided statistic simply cements that fact. However, it's interesting to clue in on how much Lewis is overpaid. Given the percentage, it's evident that Lewis is earning slightly more money than he should be netting. I only say slightly because one needs to take into account the small discrepancy created when factoring high salaries into the equation. Also, it isn't like Lewis is a complete bum either. He's an underrated player (9th in adjusted plus/minus this season) and a two-time All-Star. There are plenty of bad contracts out there for players who are worse than Lewis. Is Lewis deserving of eight figures? Yes, but he's more a $10-11 million type of guy.
Jameer Nelson: 79.42% ($7,700,000)
- Many critics questioned general manager Otis Smith granting Nelson such a "generous" extension last season (especially after the Lewis signing), when it appeared as though he didn't deserve it. Well, it looks like Smith may have the last laugh (for now) because Nelson's contract looks like a bargain at this point, given the numbers he was putting up this season. As long as Nelson can continue his high level of play next year, then Smith should be applauded for making a Spurs-like move (locking an All-Star caliber player at an affordable price). The talk may not be that Nelson is overpaid. The talk may soon be that Nelson is underpaid.
Hedo Turkoglu: 75.24% ($6,864,200)
- Before his breakout season last year, it appeared as though Turkoglu also sported a contract he may not have deserved. However, fast-forward to now, and there's no doubt that Turkoglu could be considered one of THE most underpaid player in the NBA when you take into account his intangibles and statistical production. The question soon will be, how much will Turkoglu net beginning next year? Turkoglu has stated that he's looking at earning $10 million per year, however, given the state of the economy and free agency this off-season, he may not see that kind of money (nor should he, to be honest). In any case, for now, Turkoglu offers up excellent value.