Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fantasy Football 2015: Rookie Running Back Case Studies






In fantasy sports, the best indication of future success is past performance. The top guys drafted in fantasy football this season will be the guys that were the highest scorers last year. The superstars of fantasy are guys that have produced consistently at a high level for several years.  

But how do we project the top rookies heading into the 2015 season? One guy may have more talent but the less talented player that is in a better situation often ends up producing better stats. 



For instance, lets take last years crop of very talented rookie wide receivers. Sammy Watkins was the most talented player of the group coming out of college. The Bills traded up to the #4 pick to take Watkins. Four other wide receivers were drafted in the 1st round (Mike Evans #7, Odell Beckham #12, Brandin Cooks #20 and Kevin Benjamin #28). Seven others were drafted in the 2nd round. 

Watkins ended up with a solid season and posted a stat line 65 receptions, 982 yards and 6 touchdowns. That ranked him as the #27 WR in PPR and the #25 WR in standard scoring. This was good, but he was the #5 rookie WR, ranking behind 1st round picks (Beckham, Evans, Benjamin) and the #42 overall pick Jordan Matthews. If you prorate the stats of Cooks who missed six games due to injury, Watkins would rank as the #6 rookie WR and the worst of all the 1st round picks.  

Which begs the question why was the most talented college player the 6th most productive rookie WR? The answer is very simple. Watkins was the victim of poor QB play and an inconsistent low scoring offense. Watkins' Bills were 26th in total offense thanks to poor QB play by two below average signal callers in EJ Manual and Kyle Orton. Mike Evans was also the victim of poor QB play with Josh McCown and Mike Glennon and played in an offense that was 30th in total offense. Evans had only 3 more catches than Watkins and finished with only 69 more yards. But Evans was saved by the 12 TDs he scored last year. Evans stat line of 68/1051/12 game him 245.1 points in PPR scoring making him the #13 WR. 

Odell Beckam was an absolute monster at the end of the year and was the fantasy MVP in the fantasy post season. He helped many people win leagues. Beckham was also fortunate to play with a veteran Super Bowl winning QB in Eli Manning and played in the #10 offense in football. Brandin Cooks played on the #1 offense in football and also played with an elite QB in Drew Brees. Kelvin Benjamin played in a average offense but was helped by playing with a solid young QB in Cam Newton. Benjamin and Beckham also were helped by becoming the #1 WR options on their teams. Beckham used the Victor Cruz injury to get his opportunity while Benjamin stepped up for the departed Steve Smith Sr. 

The point is that different factors contribute to fantasy success of fantasy failure.  

For me the best way of determining rookie and unproven players expectations is through case studies. 

Here are several case studies and comparisons of this year's rookie Running Backs: 






MELVIN GORDON-SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 
6-1/215
#15 pick 
2014 College Stats:  
2587 rushing yards
32 total TD
153 receiving yards
19 receptions

Case Study #1: Jeremy Hill (2014 Cincinnati)
6-1/233 
Stats are prorated to game where both Hill and Gio Bernard were healthy and played together: 

1280 rushing yards
10 TDs
168 rec yards
30 receptions
234.8 points in PRR scoring/204.8 standard scoring 

Like Hill last year, Gordon will be asked to be a two down back that will get a lot of carries but will be very limited in the passing game due to the presence of 3rd down back Danny Woodhead. Gordon isn't as big as Hill but is much quicker and has more big play ability. Hill finished with 222 rushing attempts and Gordon should see at least 208 (13 per game). He has a chance to replicate Hill's numbers from last year. 

Case Study #2 Ryan Mathews (2010 San Diego)
6-0/218
Prorated over a 16 game season (Mathews only played in 12 games) 

904 rushing yards
9 TDs 
191 rec yarss
28 receptions
192.7 points in PPR/164.7 standard 

At 6-0/218 Mathews has very similar size to Gordon. Both guys were drafted in the first round by the Chargers with similar expectations to become an elite running back. Unlike Mathews, Gordon didn't have durability concerns coming out of college. Mathews had a knee injury in college and has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. 

Final Analysis:
The Chargers plan on running Gordon early and often. Hill's season last year appear to be his ceiling while Mathews numbers look like his floor. This puts him as a steady and relatively safe RB2.  

My Projection: 
1040 rushing yards (208 attempts at 5.0 per carry) 
9 TDs 
168 rec yards 
24 receptions

198.8 points in PPR/174.8 standard 






TJ YELDON-JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 
6-1/226
#36 pick 
2013 and 2014 College Stats average:  
1171 rushing yards
13.5 total TD
157 receiving yards
15.5 receptions


Case Study #1: Marshawn Lynch (2007 Buffalo)
5-11/215

1115 rushing yards (280 attempts at 4.0 per carry) 
7 TDs
194 rec yards
18 receptions
189.9 points in PPR/171.9 points in standard 

Yeldon and Lynch have very similar athleticism numbers coming out of college. Both ran a 4.52 forty, and were nearly identical in their vertical, 3 cone drill and bench press. Both are big, physical runners that had good college production. In college, both split time with other good running backs. Lynch split time with Justin Forsett while Yeldon split time with both Eddie Lacy and Derrick Henry. Like Lynch in 07, Yeldon's TD potential will be limited by a below average offense.  

Case Study #2: LeGarrette Blount (2010 Tampa Bay) 
6-1/241
prorated over a 16 game season (Mathews only played in 13 games)

1239 rushing yards 
7 TDs
17 rec yards
receptions
173.6 points in PPR/167.6 points in standard 

Current Jags Offensive Coordinator Greg Olsen was Tampa Bay's OC in 2010. Both teams had/have second year signal callers (Blake Bortles/Josh Freeman) and both had two big targets in the passing game (Tampa had TE Kellen Winslow and WR Mike Williams while Jacksonville has TE Julius Thomas and WR Allen Robinson). Blount was strictly a two down back as they brought in Cadillac Williams in on 3rd downs. Yeldon has a chance to have a bigger role in the passing game while getting 200+ rushing attempts.

Final Analysis:
Jacksonville needs Yeldon to become an every down back that can provide a consistent threat on the ground. This will take the pressure off of young QB Blake Bortles. Jacksonville signed Julius Thomas and has second year WR Allen Robinson to help Bortles as well. If Bortles provides growth as a passer, then teams won't be able to stack the box to stop Yeldon. He should get around 16 rushes per game and maybe one catch per game. Yeldon is a low end RB2 that would be best if paired with a safe RB1. 

My Projection: 
1110 rushing yards (256 attempts at 4.3 per carry) 
7 TDs 
180 rec yards 
18 receptions

189 points in PPR/171 points in standard 






AMEER ABDULLAH-DETROIT LIONS 
5-9/205
#54 pick 
2014 College Stats:  
1611 rushing yards (264 attempts at 6.1 per carry) 
22 total TD
269 receiving yards
22 receptions

Case Study #1: LeSean McCoy (2009 Philadelphia) 
5-10/204

637 rushing yards (155 attempts at 4.1 per carry) 
4 TDs
308 rec yards
40 receptions
158.5 points in PRR /118.5 standard 

Shady and Ameer are nearly identical in size and athletic ability coming out of college. This year's Lions team is similar the the 09 Eagles. The Eagles were a high powered offense led by QB Donovan McNabb and coached by Andy Reid. They passed the ball nearly 60% of the time which is what the Lions expect to do this year. McCoy led the Eagles in rush
attempts because Brian Westbrook got hurt. If injury prone Joique Bell gets hurt expect Ameer to lead the Lions in rushing attempts. 



Case Study #2: Gio Bernard (2013 Cincinnati) 
5-8/202

695 rushing yards (170 attempts at 4.1 per carry)
8 TDs
514 rec yards
56 receptions
224.9 points in PRR scoring/168.9 standard scoring 

Like Gio, Ameer steps into a situation with an aging power back that has injury concerns. Gio split time with the BenJarvus Green-Ellis AKA the Law Firm. Ameer will split time with Joique Bell. Like the Law Firm, Bell may get more carries than Ameer but Ameer is the better option in fantasy. Gio ended up being the second leading pass catcher in the Bengals offense. That won't be the case in Detroit with Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate there. But the carries and scoring opportunities are very similar to Gio two years ago. 

Final Analysis:
The Lions have faith that Ameer can eventually turn into an every down back. He will split with Bell early on, but could end up having a lot of value as the season progresses. He should be able to put up similar rushing numbers to both Gio and Shady. He won't be able to replicate Gio's receiving numbers, but he's nearly a lock for 40 catches playing in the Lions offense. In a PPR he's a clear cut RB2, in standard he's a high upside RB3/flex. 

My Projection: 
704 rushing yards (160 attempts at 4.4 per carry) 
6 TDs 
416 rec yards 
42 receptions

190 points in PPR/148 standard 










TODD GURLEY-ST. LOUIS RAMS  

6-1/222
#10 pick 
2014 College Stats: 
911 rushing yards
10 total TD
57 receiving yards
12 receptions
NOTE: only played in 6 games due to injury
also missed time in 2013
best year stat wise was 2012:
1385 rushing yards
17 total TD
117 receiving yards
16 receptions

Gurley is a dominating runner that has a chance to become a superstar. Gurley tore his ACL at the end of last season and may not be ready to start the 2015 season. Frank Gore and Willis McGahee overcame devastating college injuries and went on the have great careers. Gore was a backup as a rookie behind Kevan Barlow while McGahee sat out his entire rookie year. Both guys had MONSTER second years though. Gore rushed for nearly 1700 yards and had 9 TDs while McGahee rushed for over 1100 yards and had 13 TDs. Both will make good second year case studies.  

These are the best rookie case studies that fit Gurley:   


Case Study #1: Darrren McFadden (2008 Oakland)  Pessimistic case  
6-1/211 

449 rushing yards (113 attempts at 4.4 per carry)
4 TDs
285 rec yards
29 receptions
131.4 points in PRR/102.4 standard 

McFadden has become a fantasy tease and an injury punch line since entering the league. People forget how dominant this guy was in college

If Gurley is unable to recover, he will likely be looking at a rookie season like McFadden. The 08 Raiders were an absolutely terrible offense led by JaMarcus Russell. They didn't have a WR with more than 30 catches that year. This year's Rams aren't that bad, but they aren't that much better either. Kenny Britt and Brian Quick are their best WRs. That says it all. At worse, Gurley will put up rookie numbers that McFadden did in 08. 

Case Study #2: Ronnie Brown (2005 Miami) Optimistic case
6-0/223 

907 rushing yards (207 attempts at 4.4 per carry)
6 TDs
232 rec yards
32 receptions
181.9 points in PRR /159.9 standard 

Ronnie Brown was a beast in college as well. He was the #2 pick in the 2005 draft. Brown and Gurley have similar size, running style and ability to catch the ball for a bigger running back. Brown went to a Dolphins team that already had a good running back in Ricky Williams. The 05 Dolphins team had nearly a 50/50 split with Williams getting 14 carries per game and Brown getting 13.8. This year Gurley and second year back Tre Mason will have a nearly 50/50 split as the Rams ease Gurley into a feature back. 

Final Analysis:
The Rams shocked many people when they drafted Gurley at #10. However, they have been adamant that they will take him along slowly and give him a bigger work load as the season progresses. He has a lot more value in keeper leagues as he could end up being a stud in 2016. This season fantasy owners will need to lower their expectations.

He will likely miss the first 2-4 games. After that he will split carriers with Mason for a St. Louis team that has the second hardest fantasy schedule for running backs. Gurley should be drafted as a high upside RB3/flex. He certainly has the talent to exceed my projections but I just see too many red flags (injury, schedule and Rams offense) to consider him a fantasy starter as a rookie.  

My Projection: 
756 rushing yards (168 attempts at 4.5 per carry in 12 games) 
5 TDs 
264 rec yards 
30 receptions

162 points in PPR/132 standard 









TEVIN COLEMAN-ATLANTA FALCONS
5-11/206
#73 pick 
2014 College Stats:  
2036 rushing yards
15 total TD
141 receiving yards
25 receptions

Case Study #1: DeMarco Murray (2011 Dallas)
6-0/213
Played in 13 games 

897 rushing yards (164 attempts at 5.5 per carry) 
2 total TD
183 receiving yards
26 receptions
146 points in PPR/120 points in standard 

Coleman and Murray are both home run threats with 4.4 speed  Like Murray, Coleman is going to a pass first offense led by a top 10 QB. Murray was instantly the Cowboys most talented back yet had to give up playing time to Felix Jones. Coleman will have to do the same with Devonta Freeman. Coleman has injury concerns coming out of college similar to Murray. 

Case Study #2: Leon Washington (2006 New York Jets)
5-8/192

650 rushing yards (151 attempts at 4.3 per carry) 
4 total TD
270 receiving yards
25 receptions
141 points in PPR/116 points in standard 

It's hard to believe now, but the 06 Jets were a very good and efficient passing team led by QB Chad Pennington. Matt Ryan is better than Pennington and the Jets didn't have a Julio Jones to stretch the field. But I could easily see the Falcons using Coleman the way the Jets used Washington, especially in the passing game. 

Final Analysis:
Coleman has a chance to get a lot of playing time on a very good Falcons offense. He just needs to stay healthy and separate himself from Freeman. Unlike the four other rookie running backs, you won't need to spend a top 60 pick to get him. He looks to be a great draft and stash candidate. If he ends up being the #1 option in Atlanta he can reward fantasy owners with favorable schedule down the stretch. He also could be a good bye week fill-in in weeks 6-8. Draft Coleman as a RB3 in a 12 team league and a RB4 in a 10 team league, but be patient with him. He may struggle early on, but his upside is much higher than Joique Bell, Rashad Jennings and Chris Ivory. All of whom are being drafted ahead of Coleman.   

My Projection: 
770 rushing yards (154 attempts at 5.0 per carry in 14 games) 
4 TDs 
208 rec yards 
26 receptions

147.8 points in PPR/121.8 standard



Thursday, August 13, 2015

2015 NBA FREE AGENCY REVIEW: Tiers 5-9



Tier 5: Solid veteran starters 

This tier was a mixed bag in terms of money they received on the open market. Wes Matthews, Robin Lopez, Omer Asik and Amir Johnson all received more than their market value. Thad Young was right at market value and everyone else was either below market value or took less to play for a title contender. 

The Spurs got David West on a vet minimum deal while the Clippers got Paul Pierce and Josh Smith on cheap deals. Both teams have championship expectations in 2016. 


Rajon Rondo and Arron Afflalo singed one year "prove it" deals with Sacramento and New York respectively.  JR Smith is likely to do the same thing in  Lou Williams, Patrick Beverly and Rodney Stuckey will all provide their teams with an impact player off the bench. 



25. RAJON RONDO
Signed with SACRAMENTO
PG (17-22)
6-1/186
AGE: 29
Possible Destinations: SAC, LAL
Market Value:
Solid/average point guard, somewhere between Jrue Holiday's 4 year/41 million and Ricky Rubio's 4 year/55 million. 

Sacramento was really the only team interested and they got him at a decent price. If he does well next year, he could see a contract similar to Rubio's deal. I can't wait to see how DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Rondo try to play together. The situation has disaster written all over it. 


CONTRACT: 1 yr(s) / $9,500,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $9,500,000

 


26. WES MATTHEWS

Signed with DALLAS 
SG (8-16)
6-5/214
AGE: 28
Possible Destinations: NY, DAL, TOR, ATL, IND, BOS
Market Value:
Good shooting guard, somewhere between Andre Iguodala's 4 year/48 million and Eric Gordon's 4 year/58 million.

He got more than 4 million per year than what Gordon got a few summer's ago. There is no realistic way that Matthews will live up to this near max deal. Matthews is a GOOD player, but it's an absolute joke that he will make more money than James Harden, Jimmy Butler and Klay Thompson next year. Those are the three best shooting guards in the league. Matthews is the 8th-10th best shooting guard when healthy. 


CONTRACT: 4 yr(s) / $70,060,026
AVERAGE SALARY: $17,515,007


27. THAD YOUNG

Re-signed with BROOKLYN 
PF (15-20), SF (11-18)
6-8/220
AGE: 27
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with BRK
Market Value:
Good small forward, somewhere between Nic Batum's 4 year/46 million and Rudy Gay's 3 year/40 million, nearly identical in annual average to Gay's contract. The Nets traded Deron Williams and Joe Johnson is entering his final year on his contract. Young and Brook Lopez are now the centerpiece of the Nets core. 

CONTRACT: 4 yr(s) / $54,000,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $13,500,000



28. ROBIN LOPEZ

Signed with New York 
C (16-20)
7-0/265
AGE: 27
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with POR, MIL, NO, NY, BOS 
Market Value:
Role playing defensive center, 4 years/36 million 

Lopez signed for 4 million more than the average for a role playing defensive center. I guess the Knicks feel he can be much more than that. He is the second highest paid player on the Knicks behind only Carmelo Anthony. 


CONTRACT: 4 yr(s) / $54,015,500

AVERAGE SALARY: $13,503,875



29. LOU WILLIAMS

Signed with the LOS ANGELES LAKERS 
SG (12-20)
6-1/175
AGE: 28
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with TOR, SAC, LAL, NY, BRK
Market Value:
Solid shooting guard, somewhere between Alec Burks' 4 years 41 million and Andre Iguodala's 4 year/48 million

The problem with Williams is his size, as he isn't big enough to be a starting shooting guard. This decreased his market value. 7 million per season seems like a good bargain for the Lakers. They now have one of the deepest guard groups in the NBA.  


CONTRACT: 3 yr(s) / $21,000,017
AVERAGE SALARY: $7,000,006





30. DAVID WEST

Signed with San Antonio 
PF (15-20)
6-9/250
AGE: 35
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with IND, NY, SA wasn't on my list  
Market Value:
Good veteran power forward, Zach Randolph 2 years/20 million and Dirk Nowitzki 3 years/25 million, like Z-Bo and Dirk, may take a smaller contract to play for a winner. 

David West wants to win a title, plain and simple. He left over 10 million on the table to leave the Pacers and sign with the Spurs. 


CONTRACT: 2 yr(s) / $3,050,846

AVERAGE SALARY: $1,525,423



31. JOSH SMITH

Signed with the LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 
PF (15-20)
6-9/225
AGE: 29
3 year games played average: 61.3
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with HOU, LAC wasn't on my list  
Market Value:
Good veteran power forward, Zach Randolph 2 years/20 million and Dirk Nowitzki 3 years/25 million, like Z-Bo and Dirk, may take a smaller contract to play for a winner

Smith took a one year deal with the Clippers with the opportunity to play for a winner and compete for a title. He is still getting paid on the massive contract he signed with Detroit a few years ago on the "Stretch Provision" so money wasn't as big of a factor as playing for a winner. He will be a solid backup at both forward spots for the Clippers. 


CONTRACT: 1 yr(s) / $1,499,187
AVERAGE SALARY: $1,499,187



32. PATRICK BEVERLY
Re-signed with HOUSTON 
PG (23-30)
6-1/185
AGE: 27 
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with HOU, DAL, SAC
Market Value:
Below average starting point guard, somewhere between Jose Calderon's 4 year/29 million and George Hill's 5 year/40 million

Given his injury history, Beverly did the smart thing. He signed a longer deal that pays him nearly 18 million guaranteed. The Rockets traded for Ty Lawson so Beverly will come off the bench next season. 


CONTRACT: 4 yr(s) / $23,027,026

AVERAGE SALARY: $5,756,757
SF (11-17)
6-7/235
AGE: 37
Possible Destinations: LAC, Re-sign with WAS, return and retire in BOS
Market Value:
May take Vet minimum or part of mid-level exception to sign with the Clippers, may want at least 6 million to stay with Washington. 

Pierce is now reunited with old Celtics coach Doc Rivers. The Clippers have title aspirations with the additions of Pierce and Josh Smith.  


CONTRACT: 3 yr(s) / $10,583,760

AVERAGE SALARY: $3,527,920



34. JR SMITH-CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
Still unsigned
SG (15-20)
6-6/220
AGE: 30 in September
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with CLV, DAL, ATL, BOS, SAC
Market Value:
Solid shooting guard, somewhere between Alec Burks' 4 years 41 million and Andre Iguodala's 4 year/48 million


35. ARRON AFFLALO

Signed with New York 
SG (15-20)
6-5/215
AGE: 29
Possible Destinations: NY, DAL, LAC
Market Value:
Solid shooting guard, somewhere between Alec Burks' 4 years 41 million and Andre Iguodala's 4 year/48 million

Afflalo essentially signed a one year prove it deal as his two year deal has a player option after one year. If he plays well, he could see Wes Matthews' money with the NBA salary cap skyrocketing  next summer. He will have a chance to be the Knicks second leading scorer behind Melo. He and Melo have played together before in Denver. 





CONTRACT: 2 yr(s) / $16,000,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $8,000,000


36. RODNEY STUCKEY

Re-signed with INDIANA 
6-5/210
AGE: 29
3 year games played average: 73.3
Possible Destinations:  Re-sign with IND, CHI,SAC, HOU 
Market Value:
Solid shooting guard, somewhere between Alec Burks' 4 years 41 million and Andre Iguodala's 4 year/48 million

Stuckey took the same exact deal as Louis Williams and will compete with Williams for the 6th Man of the Year Award in 2016. The Pacers signed Monta Ellis to start at shooting guard. Stuckey can contribute at both guard spots and provides veteran leadership to a core that lost veterans David West and Luis Scola. Indiana will also experiment with playing a three guard (small ball) lineup of George Hill, Stuckey and Ellis along with Paul George at power forward. 


CONTRACT: 3 yr(s) / $21,000,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $7,000,000


37. OMER ASIK

Re-signed with NEW ORLEANS 
C (20-23) 
7-0/255
AGE: 29 
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with NO, MIL, ATL 
Market Value:
Role playing defensive center, just under 4 years/36 million 

Like Robin Lopez, Asik is making a lot more than an average defensive playing center. Asik will need to have a good year in order for the Pelicans to make it back to the playoffs. 


CONTRACT: 5 yr(s) / $57,977,525

AVERAGE SALARY: $11,595,505


38. AMIR JOHNSON

Signed with BOSTON
PF (21-25) 
6-9/210
AGE: 28
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with TOR, SAC, LAL, BOS
Market Value:
Average/below average starting power forward, somewhere around Channing Frye's 4 year/32 million 

Johnson got a little more than he deserved. GM Danny Ainge thinks he is a "winning player"  Johnson has a chance to start at either the four or five next season. 


CONTRACT: 2 yr(s) / $24,000,000
AVERAGE SALARY: $12,000,000



Tier 6: Role playing defensive specialists/sharpshooters 


Market Value:

Between PJ Tucker's 3 years 16 million and JJ Redick's 4 year/27.75 million, both contract are close to the full mid-level exception. 

Shumpert ended up getting the most money of this tier followed by Brewer, Crowder, Belineli and Green. 

39. COREY BREWER
Re-signed with HOUSTON 
SG/SF 
6-9/186
AGE: 29
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with HOU, NY, BOS

CONTRACT: 3 yr(s) / $23,420,913

AVERAGE SALARY: $7,806,971


40. IMAN SHUMPERT
Re-signed with CLEVELAND
(RESTRICTED)
SG/SF
6-5/220
AGE: 25
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with CLV, LAL, DAL, MIL

CONTRACT: 4 yr(s) / $40,000,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $10,000,000


41. JAE CROWDER

Resigned with Boston
SF
6-/228
AGE: 25 in July
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with BOS, LAL, DAL, MIL

CONTRACT: 5 yr(s) / $35,000,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $7,000,000


42. MARCO BELINELLI

Signed with SACRAMENTO
SG/SF
6-5/215
AGE: 29
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with SA, CHR, GS, SAC wasn't on my list  

CONTRACT: 3 yr(s) / $19,000,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $6,333,333


43. GERALD GREEN 

Signed with Miami 
SF 
6-8/210
AGE: 29
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with PHO, BOS, LAC, DAL, MIA wasn't on my list 

CONTRACT: 1 yr(s) / $1,356,146

AVERAGE SALARY: $1,356,146




Tier 7: Rotational Bigs 


Market Value:
Around Patrick Patterson's 3 years/18.1 million, around the full mid-level exception

Kostas Koufos, Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis all got more than the full mid level exception. Aminu and Davis were essentially over paid by Portland with the money left over from losing LaMarcus Aldridge.  

Brendan Wright received a mid-level deal while Luis Scola, Jordan Hill and Brandon Bass received a little bit less than that.  


44. ED DAVIS 

Signed with Portland 
PF/C
6-10/240
AGE: 29
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with LAL, DAL, LAC, MIL

CONTRACT: 3 yr(s) / $19,997,700

AVERAGE SALARY: $6,665,900

45. BRENDAN WRIGHT

Signed with Memphis
C/PF
6-10/230
AGE: 27
3 year games played average: 65.6
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with PHO

CONTRACT: 3 yr(s) / $17,129,640

AVERAGE SALARY: $5,709,880


46. LUIS SCOLA

Signed with Toronto 
PF 
6-9/240 
AGE: 35
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with IND, take less and go to a contender

CONTRACT: 1 yr(s) / $2,900,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $2,900,000


47. JORDAN HILL 

Signed with INDIANA 
C/PF 
6-10/235
AGE: 28 
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with LAL, POR, NY, BOS

CONTRACT: 1 yr(s) / $4,000,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $4,000,000


48. KOSTA KOUFOS 

Signed with SACRAMENTO

7-0/265
AGE: 26
Possible Destinations: BOS, ORL, SAC, MIL 

CONTRACT: 4 yr(s) / $32,879,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $8,219,750


49. AL-FAROUQ AMINU 

Signed with Portland 
PF/SF 
6-9/220
AGE: 25 in September 
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with DAL, POR, TOR, LAL, NY 

CONTRACT: 4 yr(s) / $30,000,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $7,500,000


50. BRANDON BASS 
Signed with the LOS ANGELES LAKERS 
PF 
6-8/250
AGE: 30
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with BOS, POR, TOR

CONTRACT: 2 yr(s) / $6,000,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $3,000,000





Tier 8: Past prime value guys 



Market Value:

All will be looking to take the veteran minimum or part of a contender's bi-annual exception or mid-level exception. 

Minnesota is basically paying Kevin Garnett 8 million per year to be a mentor to Karl Anthony Towns. If Towns becomes a superstar, then I guess it is worth the price.  Manu Ginobili and Mike Dunleavy stayed with their current teams while Amar's Stoudemire signed with Miami.  Carlos Boozer remains unsigned.  

All five guys will see very limited minutes next year during the regular season. The value of these player will come during the post season, when veteran leadership and depth is needed the most.  


51. MANU GINOBILI 

Re-sined with SAN ANTONIO 
SG/SF
6-6/205
AGE: 38 
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with SA or RETIRE 

CONTRACT: 2 yr(s) / $5,839,050

AVERAGE SALARY: $2,919,525


52. MIKE DUNLEAVY

Re-signed with CHICAGO 
SF (23-26)
6-9/230
AGE: 35 in September
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with CHI, CLV, WAS, SA

CONTRACT: 3 yr(s) / $14,512,500

AVERAGE SALARY: $4,837,500


53. AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE

Signed with Miami 
PF/C
6-10/245
AGE: 32
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with DAL, PHO, NY

CONTRACT: 1 yr(s) / $1,499,187

AVERAGE SALARY: $1,499,187


54. CARLOS BOOZER-LOS ANGELES LAKERS  

Still unsigned
PF 
6-9/258
AGE: 33
Possible Destinations: Re-sign LAL, DAL, MIA, BRK, HOU, SA 


55. KEVIN GARNETT 

Re-signed with-MINNESOTA
PF/C
6-11/253
AGE: 39
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with MIN

CONTRACT: 2 yr(s) / $16,500,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $8,250,000


Tier 9: Solid backup point guards

Market Value:
Best back-up in the league is Shaun Livingston, his contract is 3 years/16.6 million, solid backups like DJ Augustin and Jerryd Bayless make 3.0 million per year. 

Here is how these guys ended up in terms of average salary ranking among this tier: 
1. Cory Joseph: $7,472,500 
2. CJ Watson: $5,000,000 
3. Jameer Nelson: $4,540,525
4. JJ Berea: $4,000,425 
5. Alan Anderson: $4,000,000
6. Austin Rivers: $3,227,451
7. Leandro Barbosa: $2,500,000
8. Aaron Brooks: $2,250,00 
9. Jeremy Lin: $2,187,128 
10. Beno Udrih: $2, 170,000 
11. Mo Williams: $2,147,250 
12. Shane Larkin: $1,500,000
13. Matthew Dellavedova: $1,147,276 
Jason Terry and Norris Cole are still unsigned 

The Cory Joseph deal was the biggest surprise of free agency for me.  The fact that he received more money than proven scorers like  Lou Williams and Rodney Stuckey is absurd. Joseph has never average more than 6.8 points in a season, he's an undersized two guard and isn't an elite defender. Toronto is putting a lot of faith into the young guard. 

Just like all of the other free agent tiers, guys took less money to play for contenders and non-playoff teams slightly over paid for solid back-ups. 

56. JEREMY LIN 

Signed with CHARLOTTE
6-3/200
AGE: 27 
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with LAL, SAC, DAL, IND, CHI, LAC, SA, MEM

CONTRACT: 2 yr(s) / $4,374,255

AVERAGE SALARY: $2,187,128

57. MO WILLIAMS

Signed with CLEVELAND
6-1/198
AGE: 32
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with CHR, CLV, MEM

CONTRACT: 2 yr(s) / $4,294,500

AVERAGE SALARY: $2,147,250


58. AARON BROOKS 
Re-singed with CHICAGO 
6-0/161
AGE: 30
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with CHI, POR, SA, DAL, IND, MEM

CONTRACT: 1 yr(s) / $2,250,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $2,250,00


59. JJ BAREA
Re-signed with DALLAS 
6-0/185
AGE: 31 
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with DAL, MIA, CHI, LAL

CONTRACT: 4 yr(s) / $16,001,700

AVERAGE SALARY: $4,000,425 


60. CJ WATSON
Signed with ORLANDO 
6-2/175
AGE: 31
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with IND, DAL, LAC 

CONTRACT: 3 yr(s) / $15,000,000
AVERAGE SALARY: $5,000,000 


61. MATTHEW DELLAVEDOVA  
Re-signed with CLEVELAND
(RESTRICTED)
6-4/200
AGE: 25 in September
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with CLV

CONTRACT: 1 yr(s) / $1,147,276

AVERAGE SALARY: $1,147,276


62. BENO UDRIH
MEMPHIS picked up his option for 2016
Will make 2.17 million next season 
6-3/205
AGE: 33 in 
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with MEM, DAL, MIA, CHI, LAL


63. Cory Joseph 
Signed with Toronto 
6-3/185
AGE: 24
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with SA, HOU, DAL, TOR

CONTRACT: 4 yr(s) / $29,890,000

AVERAGE SALARY: $7,472,500

64. JASON TERRY-HOUSTON ROCKETS 

Still unsigned
6-2/180
AGE: 38 in September
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with HOU


65. NORRIS COLE-NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

(RESTRICTED) 
Still unsigned
6-2/175
AGE: 26
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with NO

66. JAMEER NELSON

Re-signed with DENVER
6-0/200
AGE: 33
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with DEN, MIA, CHI, LAL

CONTRACT: 3 yr(s) / $13,621,575
AVERAGE SALARY: $4,540,525

67. LEANDRO BARBOSA
Re-signed with GOLDEN STATE
6-3/194 
AGE: 32
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with GS

CONTRACT: 1 yr(s) / $2,500,000 
AVERAGE SALARY: $2,500,000

68. ALAN ANDERSON

Signed with WASHINGTON
6-5/220
AGE: 32
3 year games played average: 72.3
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with BRK

CONTRACT: 1 yr(s) / $4,000,000 
AVERAGE SALARY: $4,000,000 

69. SHANE LARKIN

Signed with BROOKLYN
5-11/176

AGE: 22
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with NY

CONTRACT: 2 yr(s) / $3,000,000 
AVERAGE SALARY: $1,500,000

70. AUSTIN RIVERS 

Re-signed with the LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS  
6-4/200
AGE: 23
Possible Destinations: Re-sign with LAC

CONTRACT: 2 yr(s) / $6,454,902
AVERAGE SALARY: $3,227,451