Apparently, $15.8 million wasn’t enough for a player who ditched his hometown team for South Beach.
According to a Forbes study, LeBron James was the most underpaid athlete in the NBA last season. Sports economist David Berri reached that conclusion by calculating the number of wins players produced and comparing the total with their salaries.
Berri determined that the NBA spends $1.7 million on each victory. He multiplied that amount by the number of wins produced by each player in the NBA to reach the amount they earned for their team.
Using Berri’s methodology, LeBron produced 27.2 wins for the Cavaliers last season, meaning he produced $46.5 million for Cleveland, or $30.7 million more than he got paid.
Kevin Durant ranked second on the Forbes list, lifting the Thunder to 19.7 wins (worth $33.7 million) for the bargain price of $4.8 million. Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was third, as he produced 17 wins ($29 million) and made $2.1 million.
Jason Kidd (19.6 wins, $33.6 million value, $8 million salary) and Gerard Wallace (19.4 wins, $33.1 million, $9.1 million) rounded out the top five.
The most overpaid player? Rashard Lewis. According to Forbes, the Magic forward accounted for less than one win, or $248,000, while taking home $18.9 million.