You may recall a post from a few months ago where Kevin Pelton had written that the Raptors were last in the league in payroll efficiency. Basically, they didn’t have very many wins in comparison to the total number of dollars on their payroll. Today, we have a post from Arturo Galletti over at Wages of Wins, that shall infuriate you a little more.

According to Galletti, Andrea Bargnani is the second most overpaid player in the league. Nestled between Michael Redd and Yao Ming, Bargnani’s wins produced value is -6 according to the study, worst in the NBA. The next worse  wins produced value is Darko Milicic’s at -2.8. What’s more? Each of the top seven players on the overpaid list outside of Bargnani were seriously injured or traded during the season.

Think about that: Redd played 134 minutes this season while Yao logged 91 minutes. Bargnani? A cool 2,353 minutes. Too cool for his own good, apparently.

Wondering how things broke down so they knew where to place each player? From Galletti:

The skinny before we go. We take the league payroll (around $1.9 billion) and divide it by the number of available wins (1230) to get an average win value ($1.58 million). We then credit a player the “market value” for each Win Produced and subtract their salary to see if they were worth the cash.

By this breakdown, the Raptors came in 27th in the league in terms of the dollars spent in comparison to the wins produced.

In my earlier post on Jonas Valanciunas, I said we wouldn’t needlessly throw Andrea Bargnani under the bus –and we won’t– but what happens when we’re looking at information like this? It’s not pretty, that’s for sure.

Somehow, this doesn’t entirely shock me. And at the exact same time, it blows my mind.

As I said this morning, there’s plenty of room aboard the bandwagon for #TeamJonas.

Seriously though, this is where I hope in earnest that this is the season Bargnani puts the pieces together. He’s too talented to not, right? Okay, maybe not. If Toronto fans know anything, they know that talent and potential don’t mean anything without heart. Come on, Bargnani. If not now, when?

Comments (39)

  1. When will Andrea get it, the day next to never

  2. Don’t worry. Wins Produced is a flawed stat. It kills scorers who don’t shoot 2s above 50% and loves rebounders. Rebounding is not nearly as important as scoring so when Bargnani says “we play basketball not reboundball” he’s kind of right.

    Player A: 17-30, 5 rebounds
    Player B: 3-3, 15 rebounds
    Player A earns 0.288 WP’s. Player B 0.576. Which means Ben Wallace is way better than Kobe Bryant.
    -http://www.backpicks.com/2011/01/24/interpreting-advanced-statistics-in-basketball/

    Then take into account Bargnani’s efficiency taking a hit because he was forced into the #1 scoring role and having to play out of position on defence… and blah blah blah we’ve all heard the arguments.

  3. Yeah, but what’s the use of a player who, even as a second option, doesn’t score efficiently and really doesn’t do anything else? I’m not defending WP48 because it is very flawed and is too hard on the guy, but how good is this guy really?

  4. I don’t want to take part in an argument about exactly how bad Bargnani is – since we all agree he’s not any good – but I do want to echo Holly’s hope that this is the season that he puts it together.

    I don’t think he will as long as he has to take on a role larger than his talents, but I can hope.

  5. Who cares about whether advanced stats are correct or not? when Bargnani is letting every scrub he matched up against have career games I don’t need advanced stats to tell me he is inefficient.

  6. @Mike Morra

    Scoring is far more important than rebounding until you miss, which usually happens more than 50% of the time. In which case rebounding becomes very important, not only because it can allow you to score even when you miss, but because if you make the other team miss, then it prevents them from getting more shots at the basket.

    Andrea Bargnani: “We play basketball, not reboundball”
    Pat Riley “No rebounds, no rings.”

    Who are you going to believe?

    By the way, I can’t find any evidence that Bargnani actually said that quote. I’m guessing he didn’t.

  7. This doesn’t infuriate me, it just backs up what I watched last season.

    The only thing that infuriates me is that the Raptors are still trying to make this work.

  8. By Wins Produced, Reggie Evans is the best player ever to wear a Raptors uniform.

    And that tells you EVERYTHING you need to know about wins produced.

  9. Congrats, Holly.
    You’re always ready to feed your readers with what they do like: some Bargnani hating!
    And, after all, who the fukk is this famous Arturo Galletti?

  10. Morris – sorry but that is just wrong. Bargnani is a poor defender, but he is *much* better at center than he is at PF, where he just gets killed on defense.

    http://www.82games.com/1011/10TOR19.HTM

    As for shooting, his TS% was the second-worse of his career, but it was not down that much — 0.533 last year vs. 0.552 the previous year (and a career average of 0.539). And I don’t see how not having Bosh caused Bargani’s block % to fall in half (3.0 to 1.5) or his rebounding (TRB%) to fall 1.8.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bargnan01.html

    Sure Win Share is not perfect — like the Ben Wallace/Kobe Bryant example. However, WS does confirm that both Wallace and Bryant are great players. It does not make silk purses out of sows’ ears. And WS helps to confirm that Bargnani is no silk purse.

  11. @Eugene – What Win Produced system says Reggie is the most productive Raptor ever? I cannot find that stat anywhere. Certainly 82-games and Basketball-reference do not (where he is, at best, mediocre).

  12. WIns Produced is not on Basketball-reference or 82 games. It is the system used by Dave Berri in his book Wages of Wins, and is used by the commentators on blogs that are part of the Wages of Wins network, including Arturo Galleti, who came up with the ‘most overpaid’ list that Holly is commenting on, above.

    If you look at the link she included in the body of the article, you’ll see it lists every player for every team. Reggie is listed as having produced 5.3 wins for the Raptors: 4th on the team, despite the fact he only played in 30 games. That means, since he played only 798 minutes in the season, his WP/48 is .319. That is superstar level Win Production. No other Raptor in history has played at that level, I am sure (although I haven’t checked Vince’s numbers in his prime, I doubt he looks that great via WP).

    Reggie Evans, more than any other player, I think, demonstrates why Wins Produced is a stupid metric that should not be trusted.

    Coincidentally, it also says Andrea Bargnani is basically the worst player in the NBA. Certainly the worst getting heavy minutes. So it’s not surprising it says he’s super overpaid: if you trust WIns Produced the best thing Bargnani could do to help his team is get run over by a bus.

  13. @ Mike Morra,

    Sure Bargs was forced into being the number one scoring option, but that doesn’t excuse his historically poor rebounding.

    BTW how did he do, scoring wise for a number one option? Well if you go to basketball reference.com and do a sort by player 6-10 and taller and whose usage rate was greater than 25% this year and then you rank by true shooting percentage you get 10 names. Bargnani ranks 7th out of 10. In short, he is a piece of crap.

  14. Oh and BTW, Bargnani also has the worst defensive rating and rebounding rate of everybody on that list.

    In short, he is a piece of crap.

  15. @statement: Most players 6-10″ and taller play closer to the basket than Bargnani. This helps their shooting percentage, but doesn’t help the team with spacing the floor. He’s a bad rebounder and has serious problems with his defense — but that defensive rating was a team effort, and Bargnani doesn’t deserve all the blame for it.

    Bargnani has serious flaws. He’s no superstar. But to an ignorant hater like you, serious flaws = piece of crap. Good thing the Raptors staff knows more about basketball than you ever will.

  16. My favourite part about that list is that it suggests Kris Humphries should be making $22 million a year.

  17. @Eugene – Thanks for clearing up what you meant. Since Holly’s link had Reggie 4th-best on the team, I did not know what you meant.

    But if you are arguing of the relative value of “severely flawed” versus “piece of crap,” I think you are putting a lot of energy into splitting hairs. Seems more like a question of politeness than accuracy, imho. Count me one of the people who would prefer to see AB as a limited-use 6th man or traded to another team.

  18. @Eugene,

    Okay I’ll amend,

    Bargnani has serious flaws, better? I’ll try not to offend your delicate sensibilites next time when I’m discussing a player.

  19. “Good thing the Raptors staff knows more about basketball than you ever will.”

    Is that why Colangelo has Bargs making 50 million over 5 even though he is seriously flawed? Don’t get me wrong, the Raptors staff knows 1 billion times more about b-ball than I do, but this signing was a mistake. They happen, ask Isiah Thomas.

  20. Bargnani clearly did not try last year and that is being generous. Defensively he did nothing. If the NBA amended the rules for one possession and said a basket was worth 100 points and Bargnani saw someone about to make a layup he wouldn’t foul, just so he could stay on the floor and play offence.

    But the guy takes the MOST flack out of anyone in the league when he is very similar offensively to a bunch of guys. And with a little motivation could be a good player on a good team.

    In terms of TS% in conjunction with USG rate, Bargnani is the equivalent to years posted by Scola, West, prime Jamison, Z-Bo, Al Jefferson – hell even Gay and Melo.

    In the cases of Scola, West and Jamison, they were clear-cut #2 options. As a #2 option in the past 2 years beside Bosh, as a less developed player, Bargnani had TS percentages in the Granger, Melo, Butler, Griffin, Joe Johnson, (33 yr old) Tim Duncan, Iguodala, Deng and….. Kobe and Wade (#1 options… see how you can’t compare?)

    To me, that’s at least a decent offensive player. He’s not a star! But he can be useful.

    Defensively, it’s another world though and he has to improve there… which is possible. But first, we have to recognize that he has never been optimally used defensively. Imagine David West, Scola, Jamison playing CENTRE on the RAPTORS. They would look equally as bad.

    Chris Bosh went from a 111 DRTG to 103 in Miami. Did he suddenly become a stopper? Well, he conserved energy offensively and focused more defensively so that helps, but all that does is prove the notion that with a little motivation, focus, coaching and team identity, someone can improve leaps and bounds defensively.

    Z-Bo improved. West improved. Did you know Rashard Lewis had a DRTG of 115 one year in SEA and 103 in ORL? Rashard Lewis playing PF!?

    Ed Davis and Amir both had DRTGs at 110, even Rasho a consummate pro, had a 112 DRTG on this team.

    But the biggest change has to come from Bargnani himself, no question. If Casey can install a defensive gameplan, a real C, and motivate Bargnani, then he can be part of a good defensive team. Lots of soft, scoring PFs have been part of GOOD defensive teams.

    The rebounding is his real weakness that I don’t see as fixable. He can improve slightly but dude just can’t get off the floor.

    Of course, my whole point is that Bargnani in a vacuum is nowhere near as bad as people make him out to be and if given the options of trading him for NOTHING or giving him one more year – well… I’ll give him one more year.

  21. On a seriously flawed defensive TEAM that will improve with the hiring of Casey next season, if and when there is one, Raptors won 22 games last year.

    With Bargnani playing and scoring 24 points and 6 rebounds per they won 19 games, and when he did not play they won only 3 games, that being the only WP stat that means anything.

    The rest of the attempts to put statistal analisis on predetermind numbers to individuual players is garbage in garbage out, as the Regend being the best player on the team.

    As for the importance of rebounding on team performance Toronto’s avg per game was at
    40.3 per game with Andrea 5.2 per, and 22 wins, and Dallas was at 41.4 with Dirk 7.0 per, and how did that one rebound per game bring a championship to Dallas. What a stupid assumption!

  22. @ Mike Morra,

    Well said. You’ve given me some good reasons to think that Bargs is a decent to good offensive player if he’s in that PF group that you mentioned.

    However, his defense is very poor and he just doesn’t rebound. Why do you scheme to hide somebody like that when you can just get more complete, all-around players.

    Why not have Ed Davis and Amir Johnson man the PF and concentrate on getting scoring from your wings?

    Too me, having to accomodate Bargs is to big a hinderance to improving the team and he is not good enough for it.

  23. Severely flawed doesn’t mean useless shit at all. They are totally different things, and it’s an important difference.

    I’ll give you an example. Steve Nash has a flawed game. Maybe not severely flawed, but the guy is by every account a poor to very poor defender. Does that mean he should be a sixth man or play in the D-League? No. His strengths outweigh his flaws: vastly so, in Nash’s case.

    Some severely flawed players I wouldn’t mind having on my team? Amare Stoudamire. Rajon Rondo. Ben Wallace in his prime. Jason Kidd (used to have no shot, now is slow like molasses). Jason Terry. Shane Battier.

    All these guys have big holes in their games, but their strengths more than made up for their serious, serious flaws and limitations.

    Now, Andrea’s strengths aren’t quite as strong as some of these guys, but his weaknesses aren’t as bad as some (a point guard with NO JUMP SHOT?) Put everything together, and Andrea is a decent player. On a scale of 1(Trey Johnson) to 10 (Dwight Howrd, Lebron, etc.) I put him at a 7. He might be a 6 or an 8, but he’s somewhere in there: solid starter, could help a lot of teams, some great strengths, some bad weaknesses, young, some upside.

    So is he overpaid? Nope, he’s pretty much paid exactly right. 8.5 million for a 7 footer with 3 point range, bad at rebounding? That’s market value, as far as I can tell.

    @Statement: How is having to accomodate Bargs a hindrance to the team? Tell me, which is easier to find: an energetic big man who can rebound and hustle but is bad on offense, or a reliable wing scorer with no downsides? I’ll give you a hint: it’s a. Finding efficient wing scoring on a guy who can defend his position is not very common. Bargs skill set is rare, and valuable, and far from easy to replace.

  24. @ Eugene,

    Fair enough.

    I’ll have to agree to disagree though. I would put Bargs at a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1-10 and I say that Bargs is a hinderance to this team because he will be making the most money (going forward) and wants to play a position that is currently occupied by players who I feel are better players.

    “Bargs skill set is rare, and valuable, and far from easy to replace.” Mike james was pretty easily able to do what Bargs did when he was here.

    Looking at the top 20 PPG scorers in the league yields 10 bigs and 10 wings so it’s not clear that “big” scoring could not easily be replaced by “wing” scoring.

    “Tell me, which is easier to find: an energetic big man who can rebound and hustle but is bad on offense, or a reliable wing scorer with no downsides?” If you are looking for a reliable wing-scorer with no downsides, you are looking for a better player than Bargnani is.

  25. AB is 4 at best. His lack of help defense, and a team game in general, is the most damning thing. Basketball is a team game, and AB has shown ZERO signs of playing any team ball. He does not call out screens. He does not help defend. He is a pure chucker. And a 7′, long-range chucker does not win games.

    Bargnani’s biggest flaw is that he creates a losing atmosphere. Nash has his problems, but his attitude is right, and that makes the team better. What does AB add to the team? A whole lot of nothing, as far as I can see.

  26. Sorry, by “4″ , I mean 4/10. Was not talking about position.

  27. See this is the thing. People don’t like AB because he rubs them the wrong way, and so they convince themselves he’s a bad, selfish player. His personality bothers them. But it’s got no connection to reality. It’s in people’s heads.

    Zero signs of playing any team ball? I watch Raptors games, and I’ve seen Andrea make unselfish passes, I’ve seen him play help defense (both successfully and unsuccessfully), I’ve seen him get pumped up in close games and slap his teammates on the back after they make a winning play. I’ve seen him save games by blocking a shot in the last two minutes, and bury a dagger three for a win, and I’ve seen him defer to other guys too.

    People have a bad taste in their mouth from the losing, and Andrea is the scapegoat. It’s as simple as that. If you think AB doesn’t play team ball, the problem is in your head, it’s not in reality.

    I’d like to see him play with a bit more fire, sometimes, sure. But he isn’t a bad teammate, from anything I’ve seen or read.

  28. Although if anyone outside the team could fill us in on AB’s teammate qualities, I bet it would be Holly. I’m guessing SOMETHING must have soured her on AB so much this past year.

  29. a terrible measurement, just blogger filler. And B’s actual statistics are quite good. What’s up with the haters? My theory: mostly Barg’s expression while he plays: he looks like he doesn’t care, he looks like a mouth-breathing [sinus problem] moron. If he looked animated, flailed a bit after the play was over (Junkyard Dog), yet had the same statistics he’d be the new Red Rocket, the hero of the people. That’s what all these blogs and fan ‘expertise’ add up to—people don’t like the way his expression, so they make up phony statistics. Excuse me, I’m just staying off these sites and waiting until the season starts.

  30. Stats like this are a joke. Basketball is a team sport. Plain and simple. Bargnani hasn’t lived up to his billing but he is no way as bad as most fans like to portray him as

  31. trade bargs start ed davis and be done with it

  32. @Eugene – Thanks for the psychoanalysis, but I stand by my view of AB. I don’t have a personal problem with him — he’d probably be a fun guy to play video games with, maybe get a drink and hang out. My dislike of Bargnani is purely about him on the court. If you see something different than what I see, that’s fine. People have different opinions. Although my opinions have more than a few stats to back them up.

    My complaints about the Raptors are hardly limited to Bargnani — there is a lot of bad play and terrible defense to go around. AB is hardly a “scapegoat”, but, as Holly’s article indicates, he genuinely is one of the biggest problems on the team. I wouldn’t want him just cut from the team; I want him traded for some sort of asset(s). But I do want him traded. Maybe another team could put AB in a position to maximize his abilities and hide his problems.

  33. I’m not saying AB is good! I’m not saying he’s bad either! But, this kind of statistics says more about Raptors as a team then about Bargnani. Raptors are a very bad team! If AB was paid 3 million a year would be he a better player. Would we hate him less? DD is even a worst defender (I would not be surprised in case he becomes #6 during the next season). And one more thing: so many request for trading Bargnani for some asset!? What a contradiction, what hypocrisy…If he was so bad, why would anybody want him!
    SteveB

  34. Ridiculous. More silly finger pointing. The Raps were bad as a TEAM! Silly to think only one player is to blame. Bargs is no all-star; we all know this. He pays little to no defense, just like the rest of the team; we know this too. This is a terribly misleading stat, and I hope that readers take it with a grain of salt.

  35. I agree with Steve and Mr. Seriously defence is a reflection of the team and not one player. Yes he’s not the 2nd coming Dirk although, if you flip these two players I would be curious o see how the numbers change.

  36. i think good or bad bargnani hasn’t been a good fit for the raptors thus far so i think we should end this experiment and start a player who clearly works like ed davis

  37. This is not baseball. You cannot apply the same Wins Above Replacement logic to the NBA game. Yes Bargnani has his limitations, but his contract is justifiable. He is a 20 PPG scorer who has yet to reach his potential and is clearly defensively inept. But 2nd worst contract is the NBA?!

    Toronto fans, relax. We do not have another Vernon Wells situation on our hand. Bargnani is still a marketable asset and a lot of NBA teams would want his services.

  38. we dont need these stats to claim AB is the most overpaid player in NBA history.
    he is a completely disapointment year after year.

  39. I tried looking at your website with my ipod touch and the design doesnt seem to be correct. Might want to check it out on WAP as well as it seems most smartphone layouts are not working with your web site.

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