Basketball Prospectus: Unfiltered Everything Else is Fluff.

July 8, 2010

The Cost of a Win

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Pelton @ 12:07 pm

One area where Basketball Prospectus is admittedly far behind our baseball brethren is the financial side of the NBA. Certainly, we understand the salary-cap implications of moves, which often drive NBA trades. As far as turning performance into dollars, however, there’s a lot more work to be done. I’ve been relying mostly on this study I did a few years back in considering free agency, but that takes more of a post-hoc look at the issue (if a team is going to buy a win in free agency, how much will it cost?) than something that can be used to evaluate contracts.

There’s more work to be done on the issue, but enter Tom Haberstroh, who used our WARP statistic to evaluate the contracts signed thus far and the market as a whole on Hardwood Paroxysm, finding a going rate of $2.23 million for one WARP, a substantial increase from last summer’s price ($1.49 million per WARP).

But there’s still plenty of time for the Grand Opening excitement to calm and the price will likely slide a bit.  The other capped max contracts have yet to be handed out (Wade, LeBron, and Bosh) and their contracts will actually drive the going rate downward since they’re not paid on the free market.  The near $1 million premium may drop down to $500K or $250K by the end of summer.

By the way, Haberstroh is using the older version of WARP, which is still available on our player pages (unfortunately, a server move has kept me from being able to update them as of yet). If you go by WARP 2, as I have in all my analysis of free agency, Steve Blake and Chris Duhon in particular look like better values.

While you’re at HP, I’d recommend scrolling over to read Matt Moore‘s epic thank you post, which clocks in at a mere 46 paragraphs. The hardest-working man in hoop blog business is joining’s new NBA blog, NBA Facts & Rumors.

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