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The Top 25 Players in the NBA ranked by Cost per Point

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Who’s the most efficient NBA superstar when it comes to cost per points scored and time spent on the floor? 

While I was covering the LA Clippers vs Golden State Warriors game for Starting5online last Thursday night, a fan asked me who would be the best player to have on your team if you were ranking them on a cost per point basis. Essentially if you were using the Moneyball concept to build your team, which NBA superstars would you want on your roster.

While I had some ideas on who would be in this group based on their 2016–17 contracts, I wasn’t sure and thought i’d look into things a bit further.

To make things more interesting, I took the Top 25 players as listed across ESPN, Bleacher Report and The Washington Post prior to the season kicking off, and applied the cost per point rankings to these players.

The rankings are based on players salaries for the 2016–2017 NBA season, and take into account the following through March 5th:

  • Games played
  • Average points per game
  • Average minutes on the floor

From this we are able to determine the most cost effective effective players when it comes to points scored, as well as per minute played.

The Top 25 Players in the NBA ranked by cost efficiency

1 – Giannis Antetokounmpo $2,152 per point ($1,406 per minute)

The Greek Freak comes in as the most cost efficient player in the NBA. With a contract of less than $3M this season, the Bucks superstar has been putting up some of the best numbers in the NBA and if often the first name mentioned when people are asked who they would pick if they were starting a team from scratch.

2 — Karl Anthony Towns $4,005 per point ($2,619 per minute)

Similar to Giannis, Karl Anthony Towns forms a part of the next generation of NBA superstars, and as it stand the Minnesota Timberwolves are currently sitting on the second best contract in the NBA.

3— Stephen Curry $8,140 per point ($6,026 per minute)

One the final year of his current contract, Stephen Curry is currently one of the best value for money superstars in the NBA. This is all set to change at the end of this season, but in the meantime the Warriors are reaping the benefits of Curry’s contract.

4 — Kyle Lowry $9,398 per point ($5,684 per minute)

At $12M this season, Kyle Lowry is great value for money for the Raptors. His cost per minute on the floor is even greater than his cost per point in comparison to Curry, and he’s a major part of the Toronto organization.

5 — DeMarcus Cousin $10,490 per point ($8,380 per minute)

DeMarcus Cousins is surprisingly efficient when it comes to cost per point, and given his recent move to New Orleans which will limit his earning potential over the coming years, DeMarcus is going to remain great value for money.

6— Kawhi Leonard $12,068 per point ($9,374 per minute)
7 — John Wall $12,880 per point ($7,967 per minute)
8 — Klay Thompson $12,956 per point ($8,258 per minute)
9 — Kyrie Irving $13,065 per point ($9,306 per minute)
10 — Jimmy Butler $13,169 per point ($8,540 per minute)
11 — Russell Westbrook $13,504 per point ($13,619 per minute)
12 — Anthony Davis $13,522 per point ($10,476 per minute)
13 — James Harden $14,627 per point ($11,542 per minute)
14 — Paul George $15,629 per point ($9,635 per minute)
15 — Damian Lillard $16,709 per point ($12,068 per minute)
16 — Carmelo Anthony $17,280 per point ($11,704 per minute)
17 — Kevin Durant $17,780 per point ($9,374 per minute)
18 — Paul Millsap $19,226 per point ($10,179 per minute)
19 — LaMarcus Aldridge $21,238 per point ($11,270 per minute)
20 — LeBron James $21,348 per point ($14,705 per minute)
21 — Blake Griffin $21,797 per point ($14, 620 per minute)
22 — Andre Drummond $24,665 per point ($11,888 per minute)
23 — Draymond Green $25,914 per point ($8,058 per minute)
24 — DeAndre Jordan $27,982 per point ($10,838 per minute)
25 — Chris Paul$32,056 per point ($17,820 per minute)

As we can see from the rankings, the younger players who are still on rookie contracts – but putting up huge numbers are are currently great value for money, as will the players who are in a contract year and set to cash in at the end of this season, such as Steph Curry.

So who would you take if you were starting a team from scratch? 

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