At what cost, victory? In dollars, Celts make most sense

The Boston Celtics of president Danny Ainge (left) and coach Brad Stevens have the most wins in the NBA this season... and have spent the least amount of money for those 30 victories of any team in the league.

Boston getting the most bang for its buck so far this season

There’s nothing like finding a bargain. The rush of finding an item on the cheap, or at a discount, at least, brings a smile to your face and adds a bit of a bounce to your step.

That certainly applies to NBA organizations, as well. Professional basketball is a business, after all. Big business, in fact.

Of course, it’s all about winning, so organizations are always on the prowl in search of manners in which to produce the highest amount of victories with the least possible expense.

With the 2017 portion of the 2017-18 season concluded, which franchises have spent the fewest dollars corresponding to their victory totals?

At the top of that list sit the Boston Celtics.

Coach Brad Stevens’ squad became the first team in the league to the 30-victory mark with its victory against visiting Brooklyn on New Year’s Day.

Taking Boston’s team payroll, using figures provided by HoopsHype, the Celtics have spent $3,663,294.40 on each of their 30 triumphs this season.

Now, that figure is a huge amount of money, no doubt, but in the NBA, it’s simply the cost of doing business.

With Boston’s 2017-18 payroll only the 17th-highest in the league — $109,898,832 — Danny Ainge’s Celtics are getting more bang for their buck than any other team in the NBA through 2017.

The top five teams in the league in terms of spending the least money for the most wins all have 24 victories, or more.

Houston (26), San Antonio (25), Golden State (29) and Toronto (24) round out the top five behind Boston. The Warriors have the highest payroll in the league at $137,443,052 this season, while Houston stands 11th, San Antonio 15th and Toronto 10th.

LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers are spending the 10th-least amount of money for their victories this season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers also have 24 victories this season. Even with the second-highest payroll in the league ($137,082,832), Cleveland’s dollars-per-win figure of $5,711,784.67 stands as the 10th-best in the NBA heading into the 2018 portion of the schedule.

For comparison’s sake, Boston’s payroll is only the 17th-highest in the league.

At the other end of the spectrum, not surprisingly, the franchises spending the most amount of money for each of their victories this season are among the teams struggling the most to earn wins.

At the bottom of the list are the Atlanta Hawks, who have spent an average of $9,791,865.10 for their 10 wins this season.

Standing just ahead of Atlanta on the list as the most-expensive five are the Los Angeles Lakers ($9,464,202.45), the Memphis Grizzlies ($9,366,508.50), the Charlotte Hornets ($8,961,623.38) and the Orlando Magic ($8,523,968.42).

Erik Spoelstra’s Miami Heat have the NBA’s highest projected payroll for the 2018-19 season.

Interestingly, the team with the most money on the books for the 2018-19 season is the Miami Heat, who have an expected payroll of $144,206.671. That figure dwarfs the teams next on the list — Golden State ($128,289.662), Cleveland ($122,289,662) and Washington ($120,814,880).

Of course the Cavaliers’ expected payroll figure for the 2018-19 campaign hinges on LeBron James. The 15-year veteran has a player option for next season will calls for him to be paid $35,067,968. Most believe James will decline that option and become an unrestricted free agent for the third time in his career.

James left Cleveland after the 2009-10 season, opting to head to Miami along with Chris Bosh to join Dwyane Wade and form The Big 3, going to four consecutive NBA Finals winning a pair of championships. However, after four seasons in Miami, James chose to come home, returning to Cleveland before the 2014-15 season and has led the team to three consecutive Finals appearances. James led the Cavaliers to the NBA title in the 2015-16 season, producing Cleveland’s first major sports championship since the 1964 Browns won the NFL title by shutting out the Baltimore Colts.

If James decides to decline his option and move on and sign elsewhere, Cleveland’s projected payroll would drop to $86,913,409.

Isaiah Thomas, who is set to make his Cavalier debut Tuesday night against Portland at Quicken Loans Arena, Wade, Jeff Green, Derrick Rose, Channing Frye and Jose Calderon will all be unrestricted free agents after this season for Cleveland.

Iman Shumpert of the Cavaliers also has a player option for the 2018-19 season. However, with his salary calling for him to be paid $11,011,234, odds are long against the swingman declining it.

2 Comments on "At what cost, victory? In dollars, Celts make most sense"

  1. The real measure of bang for buck is total team income (not wins) divided by payroll, or divided by total dollars spent.

    • Don McCormack Don McCormack | January 1, 2018 at 6:33 pm |

      Oh, I most definitely agree, Marc. However, best of luck getting the NBA teams to open their books! lol Thanks for reading!

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