The Final Four: Building Championship Contenders Without Breaking the Bank

Four left. Of the 30 franchises that started the NBA season, in mid-October, only four remain: the conference finalists. In the East, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers; on the other side, the West, Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves. Four teams built differently, with different identities and the same objective. But four teams that have one thing in common: they don’t overpay their players.

None of the 10 highest-paid players in the entire NBA are in the final four of the competition, still alive fighting for the ring. A list that includes legends like Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard, all of them champions and MVP of the finals, others who have not achieved it yet such as Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard or Paul George and two of the latest MVPs: Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The first on the list still in contention is Rudy Gobert, thirteenth in salary, behind Jimmy Butler and Klay Thompson as well. The Frenchman, who signed a supermax still in Utah, is the highest paid player of the 60 remaining.

The next one to appear is Luka Doncic, sixteenth and the other finalist within the top-20 of players who are still in the playoffs. The names that have already been eliminated here differ a little from the previous level: Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Zach LaVine, Trae Young or Fred VanVleet among others. Yes, once we have surpassed twentieth place, five names in a row appear who still dream of the ring: Pascal Siakam, Kyrie Irving, Jrue Holiday, Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns. Except for the Indiana Pacers, with Tyrese Haliburton still in the final year of his rookie contract, every team in the conference finals has two players on this roster.

In addition to Haliburton, Anthony Edwards is also in the last year of his rookie contract, both from the same litter. And the two Boston stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, are finalizing the second contract of their careers, one not so lucrative.or about to start their respective supermaxes. Historically, franchises are willing to give more money to players who have already demonstrated the ability to win, and these playoffs, with a generation change included, are proving the opposite. New champion, new MVP of the finals and four players under 27 years old as favorites, with Jayson Tatum as the oldest of the four.

It is more serious at the team salaries level. Boston, with the fourth most expensive team, is the only one of the finalists that is in the top-9 in active salaries. The Celtics, with their five starters earning over $18 million and another ten invested in veteran Al Horford, are one of the most valuable squads. Among the other eight most expensive teams they have only been able to win one playoff series, Denver with the sixth most expensive squad. The rest, between the Clippers (2), Suns (0), Bucks (2), Miami (1), Pelicans (0) and Lakers (1) combine for six wins in the entire postseason, a greater achievement than the Warriors. The most expensive team in the NBA did not even manage to enter the playoffs, losing in Sacramento in a play in.

Minnesota has the tenth most expensive roster, four spots ahead of the Dallas Mavericks. Both exceed $160 million, figures that will skyrocket in the coming years. Far away, in the lowest part, Indiana sleeps. The fifth cheapest team in the NBA, with just $126 million invested. They have had luck, health and a young team, but they have found the magic recipe: money does not buy happiness, at least not in the NBA. And if not, ask the Clippers, who are still looking for the first ring.

2024-05-26 06:04:41
#Money #buy #happiness #NBA #playoffs #Relief


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