Five NBA Players That Upgraded Their Value the Most During the Playoffs

Yoni JanisContributor IJune 15, 2009

Every postseason has players who upgrade their value like "Booby Gibson" did a couple of years ago and Leon Powe did last season.

This postseason seemed to create even more names, and I decided to create a list of the top five upgrades in the 2009 playoffs.

Now some of these guys are able to resume that form and others aren't as lucky. However, those who are at the end of their current contracts are in for a nice paycheck.

The one player who was very close to the list was "Big Baby" Davis who played great on a shorthanded Celtics team. And now to the list.

5. J.R. Smith

The Denver Nuggets talented swingman has always seemed to have attitude problems that kept him from more minutes. Smith almost added five ppg to his previous four seasons' average.  He averaged 14.9 points per game in the playoffs and always seemed to be able to pick it up when Carmelo wasn't playing well.

Smith will probably stay with the Nuggets as they try to improve on their successful season.

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4. John Salmons

A career 6.8 ppg scorer before this season, Salmons' seventh NBA season started in Sacramento, where he elevated his game to 18.3 ppg. 

After being traded to the Bulls, the small forward scored 18.1 ppg in a seven-game series with the Celtics in the first round, a series that averaged an overtime per game.

Salmons also seemed to be the Bulls' go-to guy in the clutch. Next summer he can ETO (exercise the Early Termination Option in) his contract, so it would seem that he will play with the Bulls in '09-10.

3. Mickael Pietrus

After a good first month Pietrus fell to an injury, which led the way for a great rookie season for Courtney Lee. Other than being a great swingman stopper on defence, Mickael found his stroke from downtown and gave a spark off the bench for the Magic. Mickael is under contract and will probably stay with the Magic.

2. Hedo Turkoglu

I cannot put him in first place, since anyone who's followed the Magic over the last two seasons knows that Hedo has been playing at an All-Star level, so he has not upgraded his value enormously. However, the big surprise was his ability to create shots for his teammates, and it seems that he is the real leader of the team.

Alert: Hedo has a ETCO and the Magic really need to sign him. I think the Magic will keep him because he is 30 and I am not sure anyone his gonna break the checkbook on him.

1. Trevor Ariza

Everyone knew that Ariza was a great defender, but Trevor elevated his shooting game enormously and averaged 2.5 more ppg in the playoffs. Ariza used to be a terrible outside shooter, but now he has added a long shot to his game.

Ariza is a free agent and will probably not be a Laker next season, because I think someone will open the checkbook for him, since he has also added great defence to his good shooting.

All in all these playoffs have been great, and hopefully it will create a great season in '09-10.

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