I examined the case of Chris Copeland earlier tonight in my look at the subtle value of three-year contracts, noting that his performance on a minimum-salary contract this past season merited a healthy raise in his new contract with the Pacers. He was far from the only player on a minimum-salary deal who outperformed his paycheck last season, as others who've hit free agency have reaped even larger rewards.
No minimum-salary player from last season wound up with as much of a raise as Keith Bogans, who wound up with a three-year, $15.857MM deal in a sign-and-trade arrangement. Only the first season is guaranteed, but Bogans will make $5,058,198 this year with the Celtics, quite a bump in pay, especially considering his play last season didn't really call for it. He received the bloated contract for salary-matching purposes in the Nets/Celtics trade involving Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Others on the list are more deserving of their new deals, and some will still be bargains. Andray Blatche's reported $1.4MM salary figure for the coming season is only a little more than $100K above the minimum for an eight-year vet like him. That's surprising, considering his strong play off the bench for the Nets last season and the interest that multiple teams showed in him this summer.
The players who made the minimum last year and agreed to deals for more than the minimum this summer are listed below, ranked in order of the average annual value of their new contracts. Some of the deals aren't yet official, so it's possible the salary figures seen here could change.
- Keith Bogans, Celtics: three years, $15.857MM
- Chase Budinger, Timberwolves: three years, $15MM
- Matt Barnes, Clippers: three years, $10,188,750
- Chris Copeland, Pacers: two years, $6.135MM
- DeMarre Carroll, Hawks: two years, $5MM
- C.J. Watson, Pacers: two years, $4.093MM
- Jermaine O'Neal, Warriors: one year, $2.016MM
- Pablo Prigioni, Knicks: three years, $4.989MM
- Ronny Turiaf, Timberwolves: two years, $3.2MM
- Quentin Richardson, Raptors: three years, $4,347,184
- Andray Blatche: Nets: two years, $2.813MM
ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.