Wages of Wins: Brook Lopez worth league minimum, Kris Humphries $26.2 million?

Dre Alvarez, writer at David Berri’s sports/economy blog Wages of Wins, breaks down the value of each player in the NBA in an interesting way: combining the share of BRI per win with Berri’s Wins Produced formula. The math is basic: with $2.1 billion in BRI and 1,230 wins in a season, the math comes out to roughly 1.7 million per win.

I’ve never been quite sold on Berri’s measurements, if only because they don’t pass what Bill James would call the “sniff test.” One example: Kevin Love ranks as the most valuable player in the NBA, with 25.8 wins produced on a team that won 17 games.

Sure enough, my nose is bugging out. Kris Humphries, he of the career year last year, ranks as the tenth-best player in the league, with 14.8 wins produced valuing him at $26.2 million, while Brook Lopez comes in 335th (or fourth-worst in the NBA), as his -2.7 wins produced qualify him for the league minimum.

I’m as critical of Brook Lopez as anyone, but if you had the choice of paying him the league minimum or Kris Humphries $26.2 million… I don’t think even David Kahn couldn’t screw that one up. (After all, Kahn has the most valuable player in the league!)

Stephen Graham, Johan Petro, and Travis Outlaw also finished with less than zero wins produced, and thus also qualified for the league minimum. Deron Williams, worth $19.5 million, ranks 28th.