Gauging the value of NBA contracts is complex. The value constantly changes based on player performance, league trends, and the fluctuating cap. Good value contracts are determined by the player’s production and impact exceeding their pay. They are also far cheaper than other comparable players. Due to the NBA’s cap structure, many good value contacts are younger players on their rookie deals. Here is every Eastern conference team’s best value contract.
Every Eastern Conference NBA Team’s Best Value Contract
Atlanta Hawks: Dejounte Murray (4 years, $120 million)
The Atlanta Hawks signed Dejounte Murray to an extension this offseason. While the fit between Trae Young and Murray is questionable, this contract is of great value. Murray is an All-Star level player who is a gifted scorer inside with excellent perimeter defense and playmaking. With this recent extension, the most Murray will make 30 million in the final year of his deal. In today’s game, paying less than 30 million to All-Star-level players, especially ones in their prime, is rare. Given Murray’s production at 26, this deal is of great value.
Boston Celtics: Robert Williams (3 years, $37.3 million)
The Boston Celtics got Robert Williams at a discount last season due to his injury history. He has been a huge part of the team’s success over the past few years, especially on the defensive end. Williams is an elite shot blocker and rim protector with solid versatility. On offense, he is a lob threat and an efficient interior scorer. If Williams can overcome his prior injury problems, this contract could become one of the best value contracts league-wide. Even with injury problems, Williams’s contract came at a great value for the Celtics.
Brooklyn Nets: Mikal Bridges (3 years, $69.9 million)
After being dealt to the Brooklyn Nets at the trade deadline, Mikal Bridges emerged as a star player and go-to scoring option. Bridges is a two-way star and franchise cornerstone for the Nets during their rebuild. Paying a player of his caliber less than 25 million annually is a massive bargain.
Charlotte Hornets: Mark Williams (3 years, $14.3 million)
Mark Williams’s two-way abilities made an immediate impact for the Charlotte Hornets in his rookie season. He gave the team a much-needed lob threat and rim protector. In the future, he’ll be an important part of their rebuild and a perfect piece next to LaMelo Ball. Having Williams under his rookie contract for the next few years is great value for Charlotte.
Chicago Bulls: Alex Caruso (2 years, $19.3 million)
Alex Caruso is the type of player everyone wants on their team, as he is one of the more valuable role players in the league. While his numbers don’t jump off the page, he impacts winning in a significant way. Caruso is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and has surprising versatility. Last season he was on the All-Defensive First Team. The Chicago Bulls paying Caruso under ten million dollars annually is an absolute steal.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Evan Mobley (2 years, $20 million)
Evan Mobley is due for a huge rookie extension. But he is still under his rookie deal which is still incredible value. The 2021 third-overall pick made an instant impact with the Cleveland Cavaliers over the past two years. Mobley has established himself as one of the best young bigs and one of the league’s best defenders. He possesses an incredible combination of versatility, instincts, athleticism, and rim protection. Many teams benefit from high-level young players on cheap deals, and Mobley is the perfect example of that.
Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunnigham (2 years, $25 million)
Cade Cunningham is another example of a productive young player on a cheap rookie deal. Although, he has struggled with injuries in his first two years. But when he’s healthy, he is a special talent who produces at a high level. Cunningham is a smooth operator with good scoring, playmaking skills, and great positional size. He is one of the Detroit Pistons’ cornerstones in their rebuild. A healthy Cunningham could have a huge season this year, reminding the league he is one of the best young guards in the NBA. Cunningham will earn a lucrative extension soon.
Indiana Pacers: Bennedict Mathruin (3 years, $23.3 million)
Bennedict Mathruin is coming off a promising rookie year and is an integral part of the Indiana Pacers’ young core. Mathurin is an athletic wing who can create his shot and score at a high level. At just 21 years old, he has a ton of upside. He will continue to improve as a playmaker and outside shooter, taking his game to the next level. This cheap rookie deal is great value for the production Mathruin showed his rookie year.
Miami Heat: Caleb Martin (2 years, $13.9 million)
Caleb Martin was essential in the Miami Heats’ incredible finals run. Martin can create his shot and knock down threes. Additionally, he plays physical defense and is versatile on that end. With the loss of key wings in the offseason, Miami expects an even bigger role from Martin this year. He has outplayed this contract’s value and could soon be due for a big payday.
Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis (3 years, $37.7 million)
Bobby Portis has grown into one of the best role players in the league. He’s known as a high-energy player off the bench, but Portis offers the Milwaukee Bucks a lot more. He is a great rebounder and a double-double machine. He plays solid interior defense and is a good interior scorer who can also space the floor. Portis is a true Swiss army knife, and that’s the ultimate role player. An average salary of $12 million annually is a flat-out steal for a player of Portis caliber and impact.
New York Knicks: Jalen Brunson (3 years, $74.3 million)
When Jalen Brunson signed with the New York Knicks last offseason, many people said it was a bad contract. Now it looks like an absolute steal. Brunson became a star-level guard with the Knicks and led them to the second round of the playoffs. Brunson is an elite shot-creator and finisher with good playmaking skills as well. New York has found a franchise point guard in Brunson. Having this kind of player under contract for less than 30 million annually is a huge win in today’s league.
Orlando Magic: Franz Wagner (2 years, $12.5 million)
The Orlando Magic is another team benefiting from cheap rookie deals for highly productive players. Franz Wagner has exceeded all expectations he had entering the NBA. He is one of the best young forwards and has an incredibly well-rounded skill set. Wagner can score, playmaker, and defend at a high level. Entering his third season, Wagner is poised to make another jump and become a true star. Soon rather than later, he will be given a well-deserved massive extension.
Philadelphia 76ers: Tyrese Maxey (1 year, $4.3 million)
Tyrese Maxey is in the last year of his rookie contract and will likely be granted an extension before the season begins. Drafted as the 21st pick in 2020, not much was expected of Maxey. But he has become one of the more exciting young guards and an important part of the Philadelphia 76ers’ core. Maxey is a dazzling athlete and finisher. He is a consistent scorer and will only continue to improve. Over the past three years, Philly has gotten incredible production out of Maxey on such a cheap deal.
Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes (2 years, $18.1 million)
Scottie Barnes didn’t make the star leap everyone expected in his sophomore year. There’s no denying the 2022 Rookie of the Year is one of the most talented young players. At six-foot-nine, Barnes has great size and extreme versatility on both ends of the floor. He can guard multiple positions and is a high-impact defender. While being able to score inside and make plays for others on offense. This unique skill set gives Barnes unlimited potential. Entering his third season, he could make a jump. Even if he doesn’t, this rookie contract is still a great value, and Barnes will eventually get a hefty extension.
Washington Wizards: Corey Kispert (2 years, $9.4 million)
The Washington Wizards gutted their roster this offseason transitioning into a full rebuilding phase. Corey Kispert has been a rotational quality player and knockdown shooter for the Wizards in his first two seasons in the NBA. With more opportunities this year, Kispert could become more than just a shooter. Even if his game largely stays the same, this cheap contract is of great value.