A slew of bought-out players, 10-day contract recipients and D-League call-ups have found new homes this past week, and many of them have signed minimum-salary contracts. That minimum is not the same for everyone, as veterans are entitled to more money based on the number of years they've been in the league, but with most of these contracts in six figures instead of seven, a productive minimum-salary player is almost always a bargain. Besides, the league compensates teams that sign minimum-salary veterans with three or more years of service for the difference above that of a second-year player's minimum deal, so qualified veterans won't be passed over for younger, cheaper talent. The most prominent minimum guy this year is, of course, Jeremy Lin, whose story has been well-documented. Let's take a look at some of the other cheap pickups who've paid off.
- Ian Mahinmi, Mavericks: Making $916K in the final season of a two-year contract, Mahinmi is the starter at center in Dallas, putting up 6.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game and posting a 14.7 PER.
- Nate Robinson, Warriors: Picked up for $983K in January, the 5'9" spark plug has been inserted into the starting lineup because of Stephen Curry's injury and the Monta Ellis trade. He's averaged 11.7 PPG and 4.6 assists per game in March.
- Shelden Williams, Nets: A starter in the absence of Brook Lopez, the undersized 6'9" center pulls down 10.1 rebounds per 36 minutes, not too shabby on $993K.
- Gerald Green, Nets: He's been the jewel of the 10-day pickups so far this year. He's posted 10.6 PPG and 15.8 PER in 22 minutes a night.
- Steve Novak, Knicks: At $993K, he's another find for New York, the long-range bomber has touched on 48.1% of his three-point attempts this year, good for a career-high 8.6 PPG.
- Landry Fields, Knicks: Not many second-round picks can say they've started all but three of the games in their career. He's putting up 9.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG and 47% shooting this year on $762K.
- Michael Redd, Suns: He hasn't gotten too much playing time, but that he's playing at all is a marvel, considering injuries have forced him to miss the better part of the last three seasons. This year, he's averaging 18.9 points per 36 minutes for $1.3MM.
- Isaiah Thomas, Kings: Outplaying first-round pick Jimmer Fredette, this second-round selection has found his way into the starting lineup. His scoring has gone up in each month, and he's averaging 12.8 PPG and 4.4 APG for $474K.
- Danny Green, Spurs: San Antonio GM R.C. Buford is a master at finding value. Green makes $854K, and he's put up 8.6 PPG and 3.8 RPG while playing 23.8 minutes a game. He's made 18 starts, too.