Least Valuable Player on Each NBA Team

Brendan BowersContributor IIApril 8, 2013

Least Valuable Player on Each NBA Team

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    For the purposes of this list, the least valuable player of each NBA team has been determined by a combination of salary, expectations, playing time and production in 2012-13.

    Players such as Hamed Haddadi, who played for more than one team in 2012-13, were eliminated based on the opportunity they've had to earn a role with their new organization.

    Injured players such as Andrew Bynum were also eliminated, along with others such as Fab Melo, who have spent the majority of their season in the D-League. 

    In some cases, such as the Golden State Warriors, the least valuable player is glaringly obvious. On other teams, such as the Houston Rockets, the least valuable player is less clear.

    A heavy emphasis was placed on salary dollars as compared to total compensation, as well as the value each player has been able to provide when healthy for his respective team.

Atlanta Hawks: Johan Petro, Center

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    In July of 2010, Johan Petro signed a three-year, $10 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

    This past summer, Petro was traded to the Atlanta Hawks as part of the deal that sent Joe Johnson to Brooklyn.

    On a $3.5 million salary this season, Petro has appeared in only 29 games. Playing 10.7 minutes per contest, he is averaging 3.4 points and 3.3 rebounds on 43.7 percent shooting.

    The 7-footer from France does provide some level of insurance up front for Atlanta, I suppose, just not enough for Hawks fans to feel encouraged when he steps on the floor.

Boston Celtics: Chris Wilcox, Power Forward

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    Despite a lack of depth up front, Chris Wilcox may not crack the Boston Celtics' playoff rotation in 2013. 

    According to Jay King from MassLive.com, he is battling Shavlik Randolph for the third big-man spot behind Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass.

    Randolph was initially signed by Boston to a 10-day contract on March 1 after being waived by the Washington Wizards on October 27.

    While Wilcox's return from heart surgery a year ago remains an inspirational example of determination and courage, the Celtics unfortunately need more than 4.3 points and 2.9 rebounds from a big man earning $1.35 million.

Brooklyn Nets: Kris Humphries, Power Forward

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    Kris Humphries posted a double-double for two consecutive seasons prior to the Nets moving to Brooklyn.

    Fresh off a career-best 13.8 points and 11 rebounds in 2011-12, Humphries signed a two-year, $24 million contact to stay with the Nets. 

    In return for the $12 million he's earning this year, Humphries' production has dipped to 5.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 59 appearances. 

    He's shot only 43.8 percent from the floor, while watching his playing time dip from 24.7 minutes during the month of November to just 13.1 in February.

Charlotte Bobcats: Ben Gordon, Shooting Guard

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    Ben Gordon is on schedule to earn approximately $1.1 million for each of the 11.7 points he's averaged in 2012-13. 

    This is what ultimately gives the Bobcats' highest-paid player at $12.4 million the edge in a heated race featuring everyone in Charlotte not named Kemba Walker or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

    Gordon's scoring total ranks fourth on the Bobcats and his 2.0 assists rank sixth

    Heading into the summer, the 30-year-old guard who is shooting 41.2 percent from the floor holds a player option for $13.2 million in 2013-14.

Chicago Bulls: Nazr Mohammed, Center

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    Buried behind Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson at the center and power forward positions for the Chicago Bulls is NBA journeyman Nazr Mohammed.

    In his 15th professional season, Mohammed is averaging 2.2 points and 2.8 rebounds.

    He's appeared in 58 games through Sunday, shooting 34.5 percent from the floor in 10.2 minutes per contest.

    Mohammed had stepped in admirably while Noah sat with a foot injury, averaging seven points and 10.7 rebounds in 34.7 minutes over his previous three games.

    On Sunday, however, he finished with just two points and two rebounds.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Daniel Gibson, Shooting Guard

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    Even considering the disproportional $6.1 million that Luke Walton is earning for his 3.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists, he has provided more value to the Cleveland Cavaliers than Daniel Gibson.

    While Gibson will be forever appreciated in Cleveland for helping shoot the Cavaliers into the 2007 NBA Finals, the good times have passed him by. 

    After shooting 35.1 percent from the floor in 2011-12, Gibson has managed to post an even worse 33.9 this season on a $4.8 million contract. 

    He's also shooting a career-worst 34.6 percent from three-point range and averaging only 5.5 points a game.

Dallas Mavericks: Rodrigue Beaubois, Point Guard

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    After posting career highs of 8.9 points, 2.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds a season ago, Rodrigue Beaubois was expected to take a step forward in 2012-13.

    While earning $2.2 million, though, Beaubois' production has dipped to a career-low four points per night on just 36.9 percent shooting in 45 games. 

    After an 11-point performance on October 30 to open the season, he went on to score in double figures only twice through March 17. 

    His season was unfortunately cut short at that point by a fracture to the second metacarpal bone in his hand.

    Even the time Beaubois did spend on the floor, however, was discouraging for the player once considered "untouchable" by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Denver Nuggets: Timofey Mozgov, Center

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    Timofey Mozgov is a 7-foot center on an expiring $2.8 million contract.

    This combination of size and future financial flexibility resulted in Mozgov's name being mentioned with regularity in trade talks prior to the February 21 deadline.

    He remained with the Denver Nuggets, however, and is averaging only 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds a game.

    Fortunately, though, the Nuggets, the owners of the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference through Sunday,  haven't needed him very much.

Detroit Pistons: Corey Maggette, Small Forward

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    Charlie Villanueva has certainly provided adequate reason to qualify as the Detroit Pistons' least valuable player in 2012-13. 

    Thanks to the five-year, $37.7 million contract he signed with the Pistons in July of 2009, Villanueva is earning just more than $8 million while averaging seven points on 37.6 percent shooting.

    In Villanueva's case, however, he's at least done enough to get himself on the floor for 64 games.

    Teammate Corey Maggette, on the other hand—while earning $10.9 million—has been benched since December 15. 

    According to David Mayo of MLive.com, on March 25, "Lawrence Frank said the team just decided to go another direction" that did not include Maggette.

    As a result, his season will likely end with him averaging 5.3 points on 35.5 percent shooting in only 18 games.

Golden State Warriors: Andris Biedrins, Center

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    Andris Biedrins is on his way to accomplishing the unthinkable of appearing in 50-plus NBA games while failing to average as many as one point. 

    Biedrins, who is earning $9 million in 2012-13, is averaging 0.5 points and 2.9 rebounds while playing a total of 480 minutes. 

    He's made nine starts, logging at least 10 minutes on 24 occasions, despite scoring more than two points only twice. 

    On November 18, he totaled four against the Oklahoma City Thunder and on December 28 he had three in a matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers.  

    The good news for Golden State fans, though, is that they're heading to the playoffs regardless.

Houston Rockets: Donatas Motiejunas, Power Forward

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    With the number of roster moves and collective success of the playoff-bound Houston Rockets, identifying a least valuable player is less clear than it is on other teams.

    As Royce White has yet to make his NBA debut, investing the No. 16 pick in the rookie from Iowa State this summer has ultimately yielded the least valuable return. 

    But among all Rockets who have spent more than half of the 2012-13 season playing for Houston, Donatas Motiejunas grades out with the lowest player efficiency rating at 12.8.

    Motiejunas has made 40 appearances through Sunday and is averaging 6.1 points and 2.1 rebounds. In relief of Omer Asik and company up front, he's shot 47 percent from the field in 12.7 minutes of work.

Indiana Pacers: Ian Mahinmi, Center

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    As part of a sign-and-trade that sent Ian Mahinmi to the Indiana Pacers in July, the former Dallas Mavericks center signed a four-year, $16 million contract.

    In his first year of that deal, Mahinmi is shooting a career-low 45.2 percent from the floor.

    Playing in 77 games, he's failed to improve on his scoring and rebounding effort from 2011-12, averaging just 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds.

    Heading into 2013-14, the Pacers will need much more from Mahinmi to realize the type of value they hoped to be acquiring last summer.

Los Angeles Clippers: Ronny Turiaf, Center

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    Highlighted by Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe, the Los Angeles Clippers' bench is among the deepest and most talented in the NBA.

    At the very end of that bench, however, is Ronny Turiaf. 

    Despite making more appearances (63) than fellow reserve center Ryan Hollins (54), Turiaf's 1.9 points per game is enough to earn this distinction by a narrow margin. 

    To Hollins' credit, he's averaged 3.2 points in slightly fewer minutes.

    Logging 10.9 minutes, Turiaf has collected only 2.4 rebounds. He's also shooting a horrific 36.5 percent from the foul line.

Los Angeles Lakers: Chris Duhon, Point Guard

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    Nobody has blamed Chris Duhon for the struggles endured by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012-13.

    Unfortunately for the nine-year pro, the reason he's rarely mentioned has more to do with his increasing irrelevance than anything else. 

    Despite earning a $3.7 million salary this season—more than $2 million more than the emerging Earl Clark—Duhon is scoring only three points per night on 38.2 percent shooting. 

    After averaging 26.8 minutes during the month of December, Duhon fell completely out of the rotation upon Steve Nash's return. In four games since March 30, he's played a total of four minutes.

Memphis Grizzlies: Tony Wroten, Point Guard

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    I certainly hesitate to put 19-year-old rookies on this list, but there doesn't seem to be much room for Tony Wroten with the Memphis Grizzlies. 

    While he was able to earn backcourt minutes over the since departed Josh Selby, Wroten appears buried behind Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless heading into 2013-14.

    If Dexter Pittman or Jon Leuer had spent his whole season with the Grizzlies, maybe I'd tab him for this distinction.

    Based on the fact that they didn't, though, Wroten's 2.7 points on 37.6 percent shooting in 33 games is the choice by default. 

Miami Heat: Juwan Howard, Power Forward

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    At 40 years old, it's incredible that Juwan Howard has earned his way onto the Miami Heat roster as the 2012-13 campaign concludes. 

    After signing back-to-back 10-day contracts, the Heat on March 22 inked Howard to a deal for the rest of the season. He had spent the last two years as a member of the Heat and will remain with them on their quest for a second consecutive title. 

    But while Howard certainly provides value off the court from a leadership standpoint, he won't provide much in terms of production. 

    After averaging 2.1 points for the Heat since 2010, Howard has appeared in three games this season, scoring two points through Sunday. 

Milwaukee Bucks: Joel Przybilla, Center

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    After entering the NBA as the ninth overall pick in the 2000 draft, Joel Przybilla spent his rookie season with the Milwaukee Bucks.

    This past August, Przybilla signed a $1.4 million contract to return to Milwaukee for the 2012-13 campaign.

    During the time since, he's rarely emerged from the Bucks' bench, appearing in only 12 games.

    Playing only 5.7 minutes per night, Pryzbilla has attempted four field goals, making one, for a total of two points on the season through Sunday. 

Minnesota Timberwolves: J.J. Barea, Point Guard

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    Injuries to Kevin Love and Brandon Roy have resulted in $18 million being paid by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2012-13 to two players who have appeared in a grand total of 23 games.

    So credit J.J. Barea for at least being healthy, as well as more productive than every other player on this list.

    While earning $4.5 million, however, Barea is also the highest-paid point guard on a team that employs Ricky Rubio, Luke Ridnour and Alexey Shved. 

    Despite the 11 points and four assists that Barea has averaged in 23.2 minutes per night, each of those three point guards has provided similar value on less expensive deals.

New Orleans Hornets: Xavier Henry, Shooting Guard

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    While earning $2.3 million, Xavier Henry will take nearly twice as much money to the bank as teammate Greivis Vasquez in 2012-13.

    Instead of averaging upward of 14 points and nine assists like Vasquez, however, Henry is closing out his third professional season at 3.3 points and 1.6 rebounds. 

    Despite the injuries to shooting guard Eric Gordon, Henry has managed only 11.2 minutes per night in 44 appearances through Sunday.

    The No. 12 overall pick in 2010 has now averaged 4.3 points and 1.7 rebounds since entering the NBA.

New York Knicks: Kurt Thomas, Power Forward

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    Prior to going down with a stress fracture in his right foot on March 18, Kurt Thomas had appeared in 39 games for the New York Knicks in 2012-13. Despite making 17 starts, Thomas has averaged career lows of 2.5 points and 2.3 rebounds. 

    Though he was able to use his 40-year-old body to provide frontcourt depth, he has only reached double figures in scoring once this season. 

    Whether or not he is able to return for the postseason shouldn't impact the Knicks' chances a great deal either way.

Oklahoma City Thunder: DeAndre Liggins, Shooting Guard

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    DeAndre Liggins is a second-year shooting guard from Kentucky.

    In his rookie campaign, he appeared in 17 games for the Orlando Magic. After averaging 1.9 points in 6.8 minutes per contest this season, he's made 38 appearances for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Through Sunday, Liggins has averaged 7.8 minutes a game and scored 55 points.

    Along with contributing 1.4 points per night for the Thunder, he's also collecting 1.3 rebounds while shooting only 50 percent from the free-throw line.

Orlando Magic: Hedo Turkoglu, Small Forward

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    Hedo Turkoglu is earning $11.8 million from the Orlando Magic in 2012-13.

    Instead of providing anything of value in return, he has simply drained resources from the rebuilding organization that is in search of a new identity since the departure of Dwight Howard.

    Besides injuries to his hand and back that have helped to keep him off the floor, Turkoglu managed to get himself suspended for 20 games. As a result of testing positive for the anabolic steroid methenolone, Turkoglu began serving that suspension on February 13.

    Though he was eventually cleared to play on March 26, he has yet to return to game action.

    In the 11 appearances that Turkoglu has made this season, however, he shot an awful 26.4 percent from the field while scoring only 2.9 points per night.

Philadelphia 76ers: Kwame Brown, Center

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    Kwame Brown's 2012-13 campaign has gone the way we've come to expect his campaigns to go. 

    While Andrew Bynum's injury is ultimately to blame for the Philadelphia 76ers' struggles, Brown hasn't done much to justify the $3 million he's hauling in.

    In 22 appearances, Brown is averaging 1.9 points and 3.4 rebounds.

    Each total represents a career low for the 31-year-old former No. 1 overall pick.

Phoenix Suns: Kendall Marshall, Point Guard

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    In Kendall Marshall's defense, he is a rookie tasked with replacing a Hall of Famer in Steve Nash.

    He also hasn't gotten the opportunity to start on a regular basis in the NBA.

    At the same time, however, that Marshall has not been able to crack the rotation for a Phoenix Suns team with the Western Conference's worst record through Sunday is concerning.

    The 2.9 points and 2.7 assists he's averaged on 38.4 percent shooting in 43 games is concerning as well.

    Things could change drastically for the rookie from North Carolina in 2013-14, but for now he is the least valuable member of the Suns.

Portland Trail Blazers: Jared Jeffries, Power Forward

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    There are a number of different directions we could go in selecting a least valuable player off the 2012-13 Portland Trail Blazers' bench.

    Nolan Smith and Sasha Pavlovic were two options who immediately came to mind. 

    Jared Jeffries, however, owns a team-worst player efficiency rating of 2.5. He is also scoring a team-worst 1.2 points per game.

    That was enough to earn Jeffries the title over the rest of his teammates. 

    On the season, he has played in 38 games and averaged 9.2 minutes per night while earning $1.5 million for his efforts.

Sacramento Kings: John Salmons, Small Forward

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    As the Sacramento Kings' highest-paid player at $8.1 million in 2012-13, John Salmons has been particularly disappointing.

    After scoring in double figures from 2007 to 2011, he is wrapping up his second consecutive season with the Kings scoring fewer than 10 points per night. 

    By shooting 39.6 percent from the floor, Salmons is under the 40-percent mark for the first time since 2004. 

    Though the Kings have certainly been strained by the possibility of relocation, they needed more value from Salmons than the 8.9 points that rank sixth on the team through Sunday.

San Antonio Spurs: Stephen Jackson, Small Forward

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    I've enjoyed watching Stephen Jackson throughout his career.

    He's a competitor, and in the right situations, he has been able to provide a certain level of toughness.

    But alongside Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and the rest of the Western Conference-leading Spurs, there is a long list of players who could accomplish what Jackson has this season. 

    That list includes plenty of options who could do so for a fraction of the price that Jackson is costing the Spurs in 2012-13.

    On a $10.1 million salary, Jackson is the third highest-paid member of the Spurs, bringing home more money than Tim Duncan will this year. 

    At 6.2 points on 37.3 percent shooting, there is simply no way to justify Jackson's salary.

Toronto Raptors: Aaron Gray, Center

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    With an early injury to Andrea Bargnani, followed by his eventually departure in February, the Toronto Raptors have lacked depth in the frontcourt.

    Despite that, Aaron Gray, now in his sixth season out of Pittsburgh, has been unable to carve out a role in 2012-13.

    Though he did start 14 times and has made 39 appearances through Sunday, Gray has averaged only 2.7 points and three rebounds. Both numbers are below his career marks of 3.6 and 3.8, respectively.

Utah Jazz: Earl Watson, Point Guard

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    Unlike most players averaging two points per night, Earl Watson has had ample opportunity to do much more. 

    In 48 games, Watson has averaged 17.3 minutes a game. He played that many minutes through the month of December, in fact, followed by 19.2 minutes in January and 22 in February.

    Along the way, however, Watson shot just 30.8 percent from the field and 17.9 percent from beyond the arc, and averaged just two points per game.

    Even with the four assists he also dished out, Watson has made less of an impact than any other member of the Utah Jazz. 

Washington Wizards: Jan Vesely

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    Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza have certainly not produced like a tandem worthy of $20.7 million in 2012-13. 

    To their credit, though, Okafor and Ariza are at least scoring 9.9 and 9.5 points, respectively.

    Jan Vesely, on the other hand, has managed only 2.5 points per night in 46 games.

    The second-year pro has scored in double figures only twice and seen his shooting percentage, scoring and rebounding numbers all dip from his rookie campaign in 2011-12.