About Boardroom

Boardroom is a media network that covers the business of sports, entertainment. From the ways that athletes, executives, musicians and creators are moving the business world forward to new technologies, emerging leagues, and industry trends, Boardroom brings you all the news and insights you need to know...

At the forefront of industry change, Boardroom is committed to unique perspectives on and access to the news, trending topics and key players you need to know.

All Rights Reserved. 2022.

The Most Valuable NBA Rosters: Grizzlies, Celtics Lead the Way

Putting together a championship roster is all about finding the right value, so Boardroom set out to find the most valuable NBA teams relative to their respective players’ current salaries.

In order to be successful in the NBA, a team has to spend money. Since 2018, the Golden State Warriors have finished with the highest team salary four times, winning the championship on two of those occasions (2018, 2022). The other champions in that same span were also high spenders, with the Milwaukee Bucks claiming the sixth-highest cap in 2021 and the Los Angeles Lakers boasting the ninth-highest cap in 2020.

(The Toronto Raptors, who claimed the title in 2019 over the Warriors behind Kawhi Leonard’s heroics, finished that campaign with the 13th-highest payroll in the league. It’s the lone time in the last five seasons in which the NBA champion didn’t crack the top 10.)

You know what else leads to championships? Value. Sure, star-level talent is required in order to elevate a franchise to that next level, but so is being able to find the right deals for the right money — as well as finding success in the draft to get quality production on an entry-level deal. Succeeding on the margins is how titles are won.

For the NBA’s most valuable players relative to their salary/contract, be sure to check out Boardroom’s presentation of the NBA Value All-Stars here.

Thanks to Spotrac’s handy NBA Value Rankings, which uses a mathematical comparison of players’ current salaries against their cumulative “production points” to determine a “true value score,” we know which players carry the most “value” in the league. Now, let’s figure out which teams boast the highest collective TVS.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

NBA Team Value: Most Valuable

All numbers/statistics are accurate as of Friday, Jan. 20, but are subject to change as the season plays out.

1. Memphis Grizzlies

Best value: Ja Morant (TVS: 99.99)
Team cap: $122,949,665
PROD/GM: 229.11
Team TVS: 99.65

Considering Ja Morant, the team’s best player, is still playing on his rookie deal (albeit in the final season), it’s no surprise to see the Grizzlies at No. 1 in the team rankings. Even better? The team’s second-best player, Desmond Bane, is making even less money (AAV: $2,486,231) and ranks No. 5 among guards in the individual player value rankings (TVS: 98.98).

The team’s overall TVS will likely take a hit after Morant’s new five-year, $194,300,000 contract extension kicks in, netting him $33,500,000 in Year 1, a far cry from his $9,904,960 AAV hit in 2022-23. But if he maintains this level of play, it might not matter.

2. Boston Celtics

Best value: Jayson Tatum (TVS: 99.75)
Team cap: $173,791,114
PROD/GM: 223.43
Team TVS: 96.23

When Boardroom published the individual value rankings last week, Jayson Tatum found himself just a tick behind Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. But after a week that saw the Celtics wing pour on a season-high 51 points, Tatum has claimed the throne as the most valuable forward … for now.

Elsewhere on the roster, of course, there’s Jaylen Brown, who carries a TVS of 74.39 with an AAV hit of $26,583,334. Outside of Tatum, however, the best contract in terms of value on Boston’s roster comes from Grant Williams. The Tennessee product ranks 15th among forwards in Spotrac’s value rankings (TVS: 91.98), which isn’t all that surprising considering his production while making under $3 million.

3. Denver Nuggets

Best value: Nikola Jokic (TVS: 99.94)
Team cap: $169,804,413
PROD/GM: 221.10
Team TVS: 93.65

The team that boasts the reigning two-time Most Valuable Player is one of the most valuable teams in the league? You don’t say.

The only surprise here is that Nikola Jokic isn’t a perfect 99.99 on the TVS scale. Additionally, he’s not getting much help from the rest of the roster in terms of value. DeAndre Jordan is the highest-valued player as Jokic’s backup (No. 32 among centers, TVS: 41.23), but considering his 14.4 minutes played per game, he’s not necessarily making a huge impact. One of Denver’s better signings this offseason was Bruce Brown, who comes in at No. 45 among guards (TVS: 67.89) while carrying an AAV hit of $6,640,975.

4. Indiana Pacers

Best value: Tyrese Haliburton (TVS: 99.99)
Team cap: $99,172,923
PROD/GM: 219.48
Team TVS: 88.80

The Pacers find themselves fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference at 23-23, and it’s largely due to the play of Tyrese Haliburton. He’s one of two players in the league — the other being Ja — that boasts a perfect 99.99 TVS.

The next most valuable contract on Indiana’s roster according to Spotrac is rookie Bennedict Mathurin with a TVS of 85.80, his AAV hit being $7,484,043. One of the team’s more notable players, Myles Turner, sits third on the team in terms of value, ranking 31st among centers (TVS: 43.25).

5. New Orleans Pelicans

Best value: Zion Williamson (TVS: 99.63)
Team cap: $153,621,754
PROD/GM: 220.39
Team TVS: 82.04

Zion Williamson is back and leading New Orleans to the upper half of the Western Conference, sitting fourth at 26-19. Behind his 26 points, seven rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, Williamson is just outside the top three forwards in the NBA when it comes to value (TVS: 99.63). The only other player to crack the top 10 on this roster at his respective position is Jonas Valanciunas, who ranks ninth among centers (TVS: 85.11, AAV: $15,067,500).

6. Sacramento Kings (TVS: 79.13)
7. Philadelphia 76ers (74.64)
8. Milwaukee Bucks (69.99)
9. New York Knicks (68.80)
10. Oklahoma City Thunder (66.55)

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

NBA Team Value: Least Valuable

30. Houston Rockets

Best value: Kevin Porter Jr. (TVS: 99.23)
Team cap: $137,346,512
PROD/GM: 206.58
Team TVS: 3.26

29. Detroit Pistons

Best value: Bojan Bogdanovic (TVS: 96.12)
Team cap: $123,027,600
PROD/GM: 204.00
Team TVS: 5.38

28. Los Angeles Clippers

Best value: John Wall (TVS: 75.33)
Team cap: $193,719,827
PROD/GM: 204.27
Team TVS: 11.32

27. Orlando Magic

Best value: Paolo Banchero (TVS: 99.66)
Team cap: $136,140,650
PROD/GM: 203.93
Team TVS: 13.22

26. Charlotte Hornets

Best value: LaMelo Ball (TVS: 96.32)
Team cap: $141,274,738
PROD/GM: 217.04
Team TVS: 15.07

25. Washington Wizards (15.60)
24. Dallas Mavericks (20.61)
23. Portland Trail Blazers (25.78)
22. Los Angeles Lakers (28.92)
21. Toronto Raptors (34.73)

Read More:

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.