Ask people around the league about the Brooklyn Nets and you’ll often get the same answer: they’ve spent an incredible amount of money on their big players without much to show for it. With a salary + luxury tax bill that tips near $200 million, they’ve spent a record amount of money to field a 30-30 team.
But they’ve also been able to pick off some talent with the league minimum, most notably starting guard Shaun Livingston. Using David Berri’s Wins Produced model (a model I, admittedly, have problems with), Forbes finds that Livingston is one of the league’s most underpaid players, producing 4.3 wins despite making a league-minimum salary:
Once the fourth overall puck in the NBA Draft out of high school (in 2004 by the Clippers), Livingston’s career floundered through eight teams in eight seasons. But as a cheap free agent pickup by the Nets last summer, he’s come through as a solid fill in for point guard to Deron Williams, averaging 7.8 points, 3 assists and just 1.3 turnovers in 25 minutes a game.
Their blurb about him is a bit of a misnomer, as Livingston hasn’t done his damage filling Williams’s role, but fitting in alongside him. But that’s a minor quibble that loses the bigger picture: Livingston is in the midst of a career year despite making just the minimum.