If you were an NBA owner and could field a roster of 15 quality, minimum-salary players for under $15 million, who would you pick?
To be clear, NBA owners are not allowed this option.
There’s a narrow band between how little a team can spend and how much. If payroll dips below 90% of the current salary cap, owners have to divide up the difference among their players. You know they don’t want to do that—especially if that difference were to be $44 million.
We can’t be worried about such byzantine rules. This is all about fielding an awesome bargain basement team for purely hypothetical reasons.
First, another point of financial order.
The amount of money that a minimum salary player receives from his team is not always his total salary. There are 11 players on this list that are signed to one-year deals and who have been in the league for a number of years. The league mandates that in this case, teams can pay $884,293—the amount for a two-year vet. The league will kick in the rest.
In the case of Shaun Livingston for the Brooklyn Nets for example, that’s an extra $387,986 based on his nine years in the league.
Alright already—let’s see what kind of team we can put together for the least possible money. We’ll call it the best of the least.