Ranking the Best Value Players in the NBA

Matt JonesAnalyst IMarch 2, 2012

Ranking the Best Value Players in the NBA

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    These are 10 players who represent the biggest value for what they are paid in the NBA.

    Like many other professional athletes, players in the NBA make millions of dollars to entertain fans by playing a game.

    For every guy like Kobe Bryant, Rashard Lewis and Tim Duncan who is making more than $20 million for just this season, there are those who represent a good value for their teams at a much lower salary.

    To qualify for this list, players can make no more than $10 million this season, and they must represent significant value to their teams.

    Players who are still playing under their rookie contract such as Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook also did not qualify because each of them is set for a huge pay increase when his first deal comes to an end.

10. Mo Williams, Los Angeles Clippers

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    2011-2012 Per-Game Statistics

    Points: 13.5

    Rebounds: 2.3

    Assists: 3.4

    Field-Goal Percentage: 43 percent

    Minutes: 28.5

    Salary This Season: $8.5 million

    After being a late second-round pick of the Utah Jazz in 2003, Mo Williams has gone on to be one of the better point guard values in the NBA. 

    This season, he is enjoying another good year in a backup role with the Los Angeles Clippers. 

    Williams played well when starter Chris Paul went down with an injury and is the type of player who can take over a game if needed. 

    Over his career, he has shown that he can be a good scorer and playmaker and is a good value for the Clippers. 

9. Wesley Matthews, Portland Trail Blazers

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    2011-2012 Per-Game Statistics

    Points: 12.5

    Rebounds: 3.3

    Assists: 1.9

    Field-Goal Percentage: 41.8 percent

    Minutes: 32.3

    Salary This Season: $6.1 million

    After surprising the league as an undrafted free agent with the Utah Jazz, Wesley Matthews signed a free-agent deal with the Portland Trail Blazers for a substantial raise.

    Matthews is a hard-working player who is not afraid to dive on the floor and do the little things that help his team to win.

    Playing in Portland, Matthews is often forgotten but is an important part of a team that can make some noise in the Western Conference playoffs.

8. Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies

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    2011-2012 Per-Game Statistics

    Points: 13.4

    Rebounds: 2.7

    Assists: 6.8

    Field-Goal Percentage: 43.3 percent

    Minutes: 35.8

    Salary This Season: $6.5 million 

    As the starting point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, Mike Conley does a good job of leading a team without a superstar.

    After a strong playoff run last season, the Grizzlies are once again working to position themselves in the playoff picture so that they can repeat last year's success. 

    Conley does a good job of running the Memphis offense and is a good value with the relatively cheap contract he's signed to.

7. Louis Williams, Philadelphia 76ers

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    2011-2012 Per-Game Statistics

    Points: 15.5

    Rebounds: 2.2

    Assists: 3.8

    Field-Goal Percentage: 40.3 percent

    Minutes: 26.4

    Salary This Season: $5.9 million

    In his seventh year in the league, Louis Williams is putting up the best scoring numbers of his career for the Philadelphia 76ers.

    Coming off the bench, Williams has played well this year for a 76ers team that has exceeded expectations all season long.

    Williams is another player who is quietly a good value in the NBA and is a key part of the 76ers' success this season.

6. Jarrett Jack, New Orleans Hornets

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    2011-2012 Per-Game Statistics

    Points: 14.7

    Rebounds: 4.0

    Assists: 6.3

    Field-Goal Percentage: 42.7 percent

    Minutes: 34.2

    Salary This Season: $5.2 million

    Jarrett Jack seemed to come out of nowhere for the New Orleans Hornets this season and has been a welcome surprise for that struggling team. 

    After bouncing around the league a little bit for several years, Jack is posting the best scoring and assist numbers of his career. 

    Jack did a good job of stepping up when the team lost Eric Gordon to an injury earlier this season and is one of the few bright spots in New Orleans.

5. Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    2011-2012 Per-Game Statistics

    Points: 10.8

    Rebounds: 11.5

    Assists: 1.7

    Field-Goal Percentage: 51.4 percent

    Minutes: 31.4

    Salary This Season: $7.7 million

    Anderson Varejao has played his best season for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season.

    Up until the time that he went out with a wrist injury, Varejao was averaging a double-double with career highs in both points and rebounds. 

    Varejao is known as a tough inside player who is not afraid to be physical in the middle and make the hustle plays needed to help the team to succeed. 

    A big man who averages a double-double and only earns what Varejao is making has to be considered a great deal.

4. Paul Millsap, Utah Jazz

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    2011-2012 Per-Game Statistics

    Points: 15.7

    Rebounds: 9.1

    Assists: 2.1

    Field-Goal Percentage: 49.6 percent

    Minutes: 31.1

    Salary This Season: $6.7 million

    After leading the NCAA in rebounding three years in a row, Paul Millsap was drafted in the second round of the 2006 NBA draft.

    As a quiet player in Utah, Millsap lets his play do the talking and is one of the best-kept secrets in the NBA.

    Millsap is nearly averaging a double-double this season and has improved his ability to match up with bigger players on the inside.

    Millsap has also developed his jump shot and can step out and hit the occasional three from long distance if needed.

3. Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies

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    2011-2012 Per-Game Statistics

    Points: 10.8

    Rebounds: 3.8

    Assists: 1.0

    Field-Goal Percentage: 46.8 percent

    Minutes: 26.3

    Salary This Season: $3.1 million

    Known mainly for his defensive abilities, Tony Allen is a steal for the Memphis Grizzlies with the low salary that he makes.

    Allen moved into a starting role in Memphis after spending six seasons in Boston, where he was drafted late in the first round of the 2004 NBA draft.

    Allen is a big part of the Grizzlies' success and future and is averaging the second-highest point total of his career this season.

2. Marcin Gortat, Phoenix Suns

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    2011-2012 Per-Game Statistics

    Points: 15.9

    Rebounds: 10.3

    Assists: 0.9

    Field-Goal Percentage: 56.2 percent

    Minutes: 33.6

    Salary This Season: $6.79 million

    After backing up Dwight Howard in Orlando for three-and-a-half seasons, Marcin Gortat has flourished for the Phoenix Suns.

    Gortat, who was originally drafted by the Suns in 2005, has come to Phoenix and played incredibly well in a supporting role to Steve Nash.

    Gortat is quietly posting career-high numbers by averaging a double-double this season and has played his way to becoming the second-most valuable player on the team.

1. Kyle Lowry, Houston Rockets

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    2011-2012 Per-Game Statistics

    Points: 15.8

    Rebounds: 5.2

    Assists: 7.5

    Field-Goal Percentage: 42.5 percent

    Minutes: 35.5

    Salary This Season: $5.75 million

    Kyle Lowry has worked hard to improve his game as the starting point guard of the Houston Rockets, and he is enjoying the best season of his career.

    Known for his defense and playmaking ability, Lowry has improved his outside shooting to help him become even more dangerous and valuable to the team.

    Lowry ranks in the top 10 in points, assists and steals this season among players at his position.

    He has shown that he can compete against the other top point guards in the league despite making considerably less money than most of them.

    Kyle Lowry has played his way into being a great value for the Houston Rockets this season.