You’ve probably heard that Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony dropped 90 points in his past two games, leading his club to victories over Miami and Atlanta. Only mild surprise there: the focal point of the Knicks’ offense all season, Anthony ‘s 28.1 points per game trails Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant for the league lead by a just a whisker. Except, Anthony isn’t Durant. Despite making about $2.7 million more this season, he isn’t even close. Durant gets his points taking four fewer shots per game than Anthony does (18 vs. 22). He shoots 50.5% from the floor to Anthony’s 44%. Durant averages 4.4 assists per game compared to Anthony’s 2.6, and 7.9 rebounds to Anthony’s 6.4. As the new breed of statistical analysts like to point out, a primary scorer using extra shots to get his points means fewer shots for others (and hence fewer chances for additional points for the team). Assists lead directly to points, and every rebound gives your team a possession, which means a chance to score. Durant, in short, is an efficient player whose numbers translate into wins for his club. The same is true for LeBron James, Chris Paul and Tim Duncan. But not for Carmelo Anthony. And that’s why, at a 2012-13 salary of $19.4 million, Anthony tops our list as the NBA’s most overpaid player. Following closely behind: Charlotte Bobcats’ guard Ben Gordon ($12.4 million; -2.1 win shares), Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson ($19.75 million; 1.5 win shares) and Orlando Magic guard Helo Turkoglu ($11.8 million; -0.6 win shares). The pattern is pretty clear- scorers that don’t do other things well and that don’t shoot a solid percentage from the field tend to be overvalued. TheNBAGeek.com, website of Southern Utah economics professor David Berri, attempts to translate players’ efficiencies into what’s known as win shares – largely how many possessions a player gains for his team during a typical game, and how many of his own scoring opportunities he’s cashing in. The model probably isn’t perfect, but the gist of it makes sense – a player taking a lot of shots to score while doing little in the way of passing or rebounding isn’t helping to win many games.
Forbes list of the NBA's most overpaid playersUPDATED 9:59 AM HST Apr 06, 2013