Low-budget Jazz exceed expectations

Updated: April 13, 2004, 12:25 PM ET
By By Terry Brown | NBA Insider
What does a 7-foot-3 Lithuanian with a fetish for Mexican food have in common with a No. 3 all-time scorer in UConn history?

Well, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Ray Allen are both the token maximum salary players on their respective NBA teams, and their respective NBA teams fall right smack in the middle our last Power Outage of the 2004 regular season.

Instead of just counting wins or stats or salaries to come up with a new category, we decided to combine them to see which teams, or rather which front offices, or rather which franchises, are doing the best jobs while having different agendas.

You see, we didn't want to confuse an owner like Mark Cuban with the likes of Donald Sterling. Or a player like Sam Cassell at $5.2 million this season to Damon Stoudamire at $14.3 million. Everybody's spending money. Everybody's making money. We wanted to see who was spending it and making it the most efficiently in scoreboard terms.

In this case, we counted up the records, added up the salaries and calculated what each team in the NBA paid to get a win.

For example: The Seattle SuperSonics have a team salary of $50.6 million. With their current winning percentage, they should finish with 37 wins. That means they paid about $1,367,000 per win. The Cavaliers have a team salary of $46.5 million and should finish at 34 wins. That also equals about $1,367,000 per victory.

Consider that the average team salary in the NBA is $55.5 million and the average win total is 41, then the average cost per win would be right around $1,353,000.

And that leaves Hey Zeus and Z as your average token max players at $13.5 million a season.