Oklahoma shocked the basketball world when they traded for Paul George and months later, for Carmelo Anthony. Unfortunately for Thunder fans, the season ended like the year prior, with Russell Westbrook averaging a triple-double but getting out of the first round.
But who was most vital to Oklahoma City’s during the regular season?
By looking at win-shares (primer here), we can see an informed estimate to the total contribution an individual makes to their team’s success. From that, we can also calculate (methodology here) and compare each player’s salary to the $ value they produced for the team.
Before we reach any conclusions, we first need to remind ourselves that often third pieces on a super team will statistically underperform, but that doesn’t mean what they do isn’t valuable. That’s the case here for Paul George, who struggled after the all-star break but got less touches than he’s used to. However, since his contract was much lower than his star power can command, he ended up performing much better than his compensation.
Unsurprising to Thunder fans, Carmelo Anthony’s production was far less than his salary, but Thunder fans can rejoice with two key performances all-season long.
The first was the rise of Steven Adams, who was the second-most productive player on the Thunder. That should move Oklahoma fans to formally laud Steven Adams into the OK3, with Westbrook and George.
The second piece? Unsurprising to Thunder fans, that’s the performance of Jerami Grant, who stepped in and delivered key defensive intensity with a plethora of intangibles that helped Oklahoma down the stretch.
Corey Brewer was a good late-season pick up as well, having to take over for Andre Roberson. Even on a minimum or mid-level exception, Corey Brewer is a bargain and the Thunder should look to bring him back to bolster their bench.
|Name||Win share||2017-18 Salary||$ Value of Productivity|