Raptors’ paycheques: Who’s worth every penny, who is OK, & who should be charged with extorting money under false pretences

Given that today is the day in which NBA contracts are guaranteed for the rest of the season, I thought it would be interesting to review how our players’ compensation matches up with their contribution on the floor. The listing is from highest- to lowest-paid Raptors. My “Good Deal?” opinion is based on expectations & salary of the player compared to his performance. There are a maximum of 3 $ (huge value for money) or 3 ¢ (what a waste) available.

 

PLAYER SALARY ($xx.xxM) GOOD DEAL? COMMENTS

Jose Calderon

10.54

$ $ The architect of our recent winning ways, Jose’s deal has been criticized as too dear for a backup PG. Now that he’s starting, & our season has been turned around, the beefing has gone quiet. Running neck & neck with Bargnani as the most likely Rap to be wearing another uniform after the Feb. 21 trade deadline. Unsigned for next season – I’d love to have him back, but for less money.

Andrea Bargnani

10.00

¢ ¢ ¢ AB could be the worst value in the league at the moment. He needs to come back from injury & accept relegation to second unit, & even then he may be untradeable. I may be the last believer on the planet, but I think he can be an asset again.

Landry Fields

 6.25

¢ ¢ Another huge disappointment in a long string of failures at the small forward spot. Maybe we need to defy conventional wisdom at the draft & select for need, rather than best player. He’s been OK recently, so doesn’t get the dreaded third ¢.

Amir Johnson

 6.00

$ $ A bounce-back season so far; the Amir we’d grown to love has returned & even added a jump shot. He still has the psychic connection with Jose, & is probably Coach’s favourite player.

Kyle Lowry

 5.75

$ $ Kyle is an essential building block to a playoff contending team. This guy hustles, shoots from outside, passes & even rebounds. Can he cope with coming off the bench?

Linas Kleiza

 4.60

¢ ¢ His body seems to be breaking down. I’d trade him faster than I would Bargnani, but there will be the same number of takers. A buy-out candidate; irrelevant to the team’s long term plans. He’s saved from 3 ¢ only by a handful of decent games.

Jonas Valanciunas

 3.75

$ $ A hard-working youngster, who wants to, & will, get better. Playing Centre in the NBA is incredibly tough, but I think he’s going to make it. We’ll need patience (Bryan Colangelo’s favourite word).

DeMar DeRozan

 3.34

$ $ His jump shot is vastly improved over last season, & he uses it effectively to get defenders off their feet. Lots of useful drives, & trips to the FT line result. Solid performer who’s never hurt.

Aaron Gray

 2.57

¢ He’s had limited opportunities to establish himself, & hasn’t done well. Aaron has more fouls than points this season.

Terrence Ross

 2.56

$ $ A typical rookie season; some nights he’s on fire, other nights, not so much. A wonderfully athletic player, & someone who’s considered highly coachable. Next season’s starting shooting guard?

Ed Davis

 2.21

$ $ Ed doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but what he does for the team (crash the boards & defend opponents’ toughest big men) is desperately needed. He’s been given the chance to start with AB hurt, & has posted a winning record. Ed’s emergence is a huge relief for Colangelo.

John Lucas III

 1.50

¢ He has not shot well, & that has kept him pasted to the bench recently. The Raps don’t blow people out, so there’s little garbage time for him to re-establish himself. Jose Calderon’s status after the trade deadline will have a lot to do with John’s future.

Alan Anderson

0.85

$ $ $ The best bargain of the year, by far, and possibly in the entire league. Alan knows when to shoot & when to pass, & is a much better defender than I suspected. He should be the starting small forward.

Mickael Pietrus

0.69

¢ ¢ Mickael must have a great agent. He was sold as a 3-ball shooter, but he’s at 31% right now. He was supposed to be able to defend, but you can’t prove it to me. I wouldn’t invite him to camp next season.

Quincy Acy

0.66

$ Who knows? The sample size is too small.  What little I’ve seen has been positive. Quincy is an undersized, defence-oriented Power Forward who may be very useful in future.

 

Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.

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