By: Scott Brock-Wilson
Here are the best team friendly contracts in the NBA.
Note: With the cap set to jump historic proportions in both 2016 and 2017, the market value for players in unknown. What we do know is the following contracts are steals under the current cap, and will look even better when the cap jumps.
All rookie contracts, expiring contracts, the Spurs, Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Smith, Paul Pierce
Stephen Curry: two years, $23 million
Let’s start with the most obvious: Stephen Curry. Curry, the reigning MVP, signed a 4yr/$44 million contract in 2013. He still has two years remaining on his deal where he is owed around $23.5 million. There is not much left to say about Curry; He is arguably (with Durant) the most gifted offensive player in the game, he is only 27 years old and he just added a World Championship to his resume. He will cash out with a big payday soon enough, but for now he allows the Warriors incredible cap flexibility.
Pau Gasol: two years, $15 million
Even though no one could have seen it coming, Gasol was the best signing of the 2014 free agency. He signed a deal for three years worth over $22 million with the Bulls. With two years and over 15 million dollars still owed to him, Gasol has already made the deal worth it for the Bulls. This past year he was selected as a starter for the Eastern Conference and was named to the all-NBA second-team. He led the Bulls in rebounding and blocks and was second in scoring. He also finished as the league leader in double-doubles at 54. Expect Gasol to continue to give the Bulls good value and to put up big numbers in the front court with Noah.
Isaiah Thomas: three years, $20 million
Thomas Signed a 4yr/$27 million contract last summer. Teams may have undervalued him due to his lack of size and defensive struggles. Thomas is a bargain. Not only is he locked up for the next three years for around $20 million, but his salary also decreases throughout the contract. He is 25, and will be in his prime at the end of this contract. With the Celtics, he showed off his scoring ability, averaging 19 points per game. He is an efficient scorer and can help the team win games (as seen by the Celtics record of 20-11 after they got him). His team friendly contract makes him a valuable trade asset for the future as well.
Jeff Teague: two years, $16 million
In 2013, Teague signed a 4yr/$32 million deal with the Hawks. With that deal, the Hawks were paying for the future, which is always a risk, and it paid off. Coming off a career year, when he made his first all-star team, Teague appears to still be improving. Teague’s PER has improved every year throughout his career and took the biggest leap this year increasing from 17.1 to 20.6. With 2yr/$16 million left on his deal, the Hawks expect teague to continue his upward trend as their deal looks better and better.
Brandan Wright: three years, $17 million
Wright signed a 3yr/$17 million deal this offseason with the Grizzlies. Now, one may say, that is a lot for the Grizzlies to pay someone that will be backing up one of the top three players at his position (Marc Gasol). However, Brandon Wright is a good investment, especially at this market price. Wright put up a stellar PER of 20.4 this past season, granted he only played 19 minutes per game. He is a good defender inside only allowing his opponents to shoot 42.3% from within 3 feet and a remarkable 35% from one foot or closer. Wright is a center that will do the dirty work; he will run the floor, block shots, and only take his shots when the team needs it. He is 27 and only improving. The Grizzlies got him at bargain considering he may be on the cusp of his prime.
Darren Collison: two years/$10 million
Shaun Livingston: two years/$11 million
Keep a look out for the Worst contracts in the NBA coming soon.