Bucks Free-Agent Values

Hardwood Paroxysm has been keeping track of this summer’s free-agent contracts and calculating the average value of each in $/WARP. Using Kevin Pelton’s updated version of WARP (wins above replacement player: i.e. the wins produced by a given player above another player who could be claimed at any time), it’s simple to just divide the money each year by the player’s total WARP from 2010. Not a perfect system, and certainly not very predictive, but it’s a good way of judging what the approximate market value is for players this summer.

So far, the going rate per WARP has been $2.2 million. This does not include a few of the max contracts, where guys like LeBron and Bosh took less money than they were worth (or allowed). The Bucks two significant free-agent signings fall like this:

  • Drew Gooden: 2010 WARP = 3.3, 2011 Salary = $6.4 million, $/WARP = 2.0
  • John Salmons: 2010 WARP = 4.2, 2011 Salary = $7.8 million, $/WARP = 1.9

Just from the numbers, it looks like the Bucks grabbed these two guys slightly below market value. Market value, in this case, being defined by the same people who gave Darko Milicic $5 million next year ($32.1/WARP). The going rate was up from $1.49 last year, not surprising considering the amount of money that was available to teams this summer and the reckless abandon with which some of it was spent (Travis Outlaw – $7 million – $7.9/WARP, even Rudy Gay – $16.2 million – $5.8/WARP).

Given this summer’s contract climate, just below market value was probably a relative bargain. Decent deals on two guys with 3+ WARP is not a bad haul for Milwaukee’s offseason.

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