You've probably heard that the New York Knicks have played some swell basketball to start the 2012-13 NBA season. A 22-point win over the Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Hornets moved Carmelo Anthony and Co. to 8-1 on the season—the best record in the league, mind you.
What you may not have heard quite as much about, though, is the play of JR Smith. The ninth-year veteran is lighting up the league off the Knicks' bench with career highs nearly across the board, including points (16.1), rebounds (5.3), field-goal shooting (.475), three-point shooting (.571), free-throw shooting (.850) and Player Efficiency Rating (ESPN Insider required).
Better yet, the mercurial swingman is coming of age at an incredible discount. According to Spotrac, Smith will earn a relatively meager $2,806,452 for his considerable services this season.
Smith is hardly the only guy in the league playing well above his pay grade, though. If anything, the restrictions, both current and impending, put in place by the new collective bargaining agreement have given rise to deals that would make Black Friday shoppers blush.
With Smith's exploits in mind, let's have a look at some of bargain-basement ballers who have given their respective teams plenty for which to be thankful thus far.