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Are Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki among the NBA’s most overpaid players?

Published on June th, 2012

 Are Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki among the NBAs most overpaid players?Sports fans hold strong opinions about which pro basketball players deserve their massive salaries, and which ones don’t. One fan, however, has gone further than the average barstool commentator –- Southern Utah University economics professor David Berri.

Berri is co-author of the 2006 book “The Wages of Wins,” which determines which players are overpaid with a statistical method called “Wins Produced” that he and his co-authors developed.

According to Berri, NBA players are paid for high scoring, so the more points an athlete racks up, the more money he earns. Berri believes that this overlooks other factors that contribute to a victory, such as shots taken, turnovers, rebounds and fouls.

These and other elements are included in the “Wins Produced” algorithm.

“Wins in basketball are primarily about a team’s ability to get and keep possession of the ball and then turning those possessions into points,” Berri told CNBC.com in an e-mail. “In 2011-12, NBA teams paid $1.9 billion for 990 regular season wins. This means that the cost per win was $1.946 million. Given the cost of each win and knowing both how many victories each player produced and his salary allows us to see which players were overpaid.”

All salary information was provided by Berri, who used data from the NBA draft projection site DraftExpress.com and from basketball analyst Patricia Bender. All data was compiled by Berri’s colleague Arturo Galletti.

Check out David Berri’s 10 most overpaid players in the NBA.

The list:

10. Tyrus Thomas, Charlotte Bobcats (overpaid by $12,459,225)
9. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets (overpaid by $12,784,867)
8. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks (overpaid by $12,851,295)
7. Corey Maggette, Charlotte Bobcats (overpaid by $12,862,248)
6. Mehmet Okur, Brooklyn Nets (overpaid by $12,988,657)
5. Chris Kaman, New Orleans Hornets (overpaid by $14,613,480)
4. Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks (overpaid by $14,918,309 )
3. Antawn Jamison, Cleveland Cavaliers (overpaid by $17,402,350)
2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (overpaid by $19,693,258)
1. Rashard Lewis, Washington Wizards (overpaid by $21,167,231)

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