The 2018 midseason trade deadline is just a couple of days away and just on the basis of all the reports coming out, there seem to be more sellers than buyers. That shouldn't be surprising though.
After a huge spike in the team's salary caps in the summer of 2016, courtesy of the NBA's new TV deal, multiple players (some not deserving and worthy of that price) signed deals with a huge sum of money guaranteed. A couple of seasons back, that might have been the market price but now teams are really facing a dilemma, especially the ones that will have to pay the tax and aren't competitive either (eg:- Charlotte Hornets).
It's going to be scramble mode for a lot of such teams, given that the salary cap this year, isn't experiencing as big as a hike as the past two years. ESPN's Brian Windhorst has detailed more on this upcoming money problem for teams.
Given the climate of record-shattering deals in the league, let's take a look at the opposite side and list the top 5 most economical players in the league.
Here they are:
#5 Kemba Walker - Charlotte Hornets
Contract: 4 years and $48 million ($12 million each) signed in 2014
Season averages (51 games): 22.6 points, 5.8 assists, 1.1 steals
Kemba Walker is the team's sixth highest paid player behind the likes of Dwight Howard, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Tyler Zeller. You would think that this is pathetic on the part of the franchise, to have their best player that low on their books. It isn't completely their fault though, with respect to handing him the contract.
When Walker signed his current deal (4-years and $48 million), that was the market price for the tier of point guards that he was in. The issue lies in what the team did in the next two summers, offering Williams (4 years, $54.5 million), Batum (5 years, $120 million) in 2016, then Zeller (4 years, $56 million) to huge deals, and lastly trading for Howard (2 years, $47.3million) in 2017 summer. The team is so desperate to drop some money off their books that they have made it clear that they are ready to include Walker in beneficial trade deals.
Walker leads the team in points, assists, and steals but what matters is that he leads them in Win Shares as well. He also ranks 20th in the league in Box Plus/Minus - 3.6. He has been a huge part of the team's mini-resurgence, where they've won 10 of their last 17 games. That's good given that the team is still recovering from their skid to end last year when they lost 14 of their last 19 games of 2017.