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Mar 2, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) and guard Dwight Buycks (13) and guard Greivis Vasquez (21) and forward Tyler Hansbrough (50) and forward Patrick Patterson (54) watch the final seconds tick away from the bench of their victory against the Golden State Warriors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Warriors 104-98. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Raptors' Value for Money Table - who's earning his do-re-mi, & who's stealing it?

Mar 2, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson (15) is helped up by forward Patrick Patterson (54) and guard DeMar DeRozan (10) and point guard Kyle Lowry (7) against the Golden State Warriors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Warriors 104-98. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

I published a table like this last season, and it proved popular, so I’m doing it again. I want to determine how much playing value for money expended the Toronto Raptors are receiving from each player on the roster (minus the scrubs and those traded away or waived).

A quick explanation of methodology: DeMar DeRozan is the gold standard. We’re paying $9.5M for an All-Star; he receives a maximum grade of 5 dollar signs. Now we’ll look at Chuck Hayes, who’s earning $5.7M. Is Chuck worth 67% of DD? Not in my world, so Chuck doesn’t come close to 5 $. Likewise John Salmons, who’s making $7M, or 82% of DD’s salary. Does he provide 82% of DD’s value? You can see my response to that proposition.

The table is ranked from highest to lowest salaries. Before you start sending flaming Comments, note that Greivis Vasquez, for example, is ranked higher in the VALUE? column than Tyler Hansbrough. That doesn’t mean he’s a better player; it does mean I regard him as a better value for money.

DeMar DeRozan 9.5M $$$$$ Who would you rather have as a starting swingman, DD at his pay, or Rudy Gay at twice that? Silly question, right? DD’s deal, like Amir Johnson’s before him, was criticized by the trade press as an overpay, and another example of Bryan Colangelo’s profligate ways. Those critics seemed to have vanished (wise move). DD is a winner, on the court and in the dressing room.
John Salmons 7.0M $ Salmons can’t be faulted for lack of effort, but he’s a limited player. When his jump shot isn’t falling, he’s of dubious value on the floor. John is an OK defender, and it’s helpful to have a few veterans like him. That said, I wouldn’t be saddened in the least to see him moved out over the summer.  Oh well – he’s part of the penalty we had to pay in order to wave bye-bye to Rudy.
Amir Johnson 6.5M $$$ Amir can be maddening on those occasions when he disappears.  Most of the time, he’s in the game – he sets picks, blocks shots, runs the floor, chugs down the lane on the pick and roll.  He plays like he wants to be here the rest of his career.
Kyle Lowry 6.2M $$$$$ Where would this team be without him? Even when he’s in a bit of a shooting slump, he finds ways to contribute. Have you ever seen a better-rebounding small man in the NBA?
Chuck Hayes 5.7M $ How Chuck’s agent could have negotiated such a sweet deal for a player with his limitations is a mystery. A prime candidate to be bought out in the offseason…
Landry Fields 5.2M $ He’s lucky I give him that much credit.  Will he ever be of any value?  His pay increases to $8.5M next season.  Landry’s nickname: Bryan’s folly
Steve Novak 3.7M $$ Steve occasionally gets a chance to contribute, but he’s such a bad defender, he can’t stay on the floor.  Novak is a prototype “stretch-4”, but if he can’t get open, or if his 3-balls aren’t dropping, he’s a liability.
Jonas Valanciunas 3.5M $$$ I suspect when I do this chart next season, JV will get more credit. He’s used in a clumsy fashion by Dwayne Casey, and gets called for a lot of petty fouls.  As a result, he sits a lot, and hasn’t had the breakout season many pundits predicted.  He’s got lots of time, folks, he’ll be fine.
Tyler Hansbrough 3.1M $$ A hockey player on a basketball court, Tyler won’t back down from anyone. His skills are limited, but every team needs a hard-nosed player like him; the kind you hate to face, but love as a teammate.
Patrick Patterson 3.1M $$$ If his offensive skills could ever match those of his defense, we’d have quite a player.  He hustles, and he’s smart.  I believe he can still improve, perhaps quite dramatically, in the next few seasons.
Terrence Ross 2.6M $$$$ Talk about unlimited ceiling – if there’s any Rap who could become a superstar, it’s this guy.  TRoss is the best athlete on this team or almost any other you care to name.  He’s remained in the starting lineup because his defense passes muster with the notoriously demanding Casey.  In the not-too-distant future, his 3-ball will be such a weapon that defenders will have to chase him off the arc.  Will he know how to take it to the rack with authority, or pull up for an uncontested jumper? If so, look out world.
Greivis Vasquez 2.1M $$$ This fellow is gaining confidence every game, and is chipping in with points and passes.  He says he wants to be a Raptor, which we like to hear. Greivis is a touch slow of foot to be a great defender; he’s properly cast as Kyle Lowry’s caddy.

What do you think, Rapture Nation? Have I disparaged a favourite of yours, or do I think too highly of someone else? Let me know your thoughts in the Comments.

Brian Boake is Senior Editor 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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