Near the end of the 2017 playoffs, an injury to Kawhi Leonard propelled a series of events that would end his tenure with San Antonio. Some believed the following season would be disastrous for the Spurs, but it actually led to a great start of the season with a 1st round playoff exit to the Warriors.
A comparison of the team’s best performers indexed to the team’s payroll shows us who was most crucial to this team’s success.
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.
The first thing we should notice is LaMarcus Aldridge stepped up big time, with Pau Gasol and Kyle Anderson also stepping up.
Injuries to Kawhi Leonard and Tony Park heavily negated the total impact they would have during that season.
Patty Mills, Danny Green, and Rudy Gay seemed to be on slightly overvalue contracts, but a squad of young players with veteran Manu Ginobili stepped up to perform better than expected during the season..