The 2020-21 NBA season has been full of surprises, with the Utah Jazz reigning over the Western Conference while beating out traditional heavyweights like the LA Lakers and Clippers. Meanwhile, in the East, the star-studded Brooklyn Nets and Joel Embiid-led Philadelphia 76ers are ruling the roost.
These teams were quite active in the offseason and buyout market as their respective management tried to make the best use of cap space for optimal roster construction.
NBA 2020-21: Top 5 teams who have spent the least per win this season
ESPN's NBA insider and cap expert Bobby Marks revealed the top 10 teams that have spent the least amount of capital per win, and some surprising names sprung up.
#5 Denver Nuggets, $3.53 million
The Denver Nuggets are marching towards another postseason and have managed to hold the fourth spot in the West for some time now. Michael Malone's team have been heavily reliant on Nikola Jokic, who looks set to be crowned the MVP at the end of the season.
However, their second star Jamal Murray recently went down due to an ACL tear, but that hasn't deterred last year's conference finalists from playing well. The front office's decision to take a punt on Aaron Gordon has worked and they are 5th on the list of most judicious spenders in the league.
#4 LA Clippers, $3.44 million
The LA Clippers re-worked their frontcourt in the offseason, bringing in the experienced heads of Nicolas Batum and Serge Ibaka from the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors respectively. The 2019-20 Executive of the Year Lawrence Frank also brought veteran point guard Rajon Rondo to the Staples Center on the NBA trade deadline, a move that has proved to be a masterstroke so far.
The LA Clippers are vying for an NBA championship for the second year running, and it is safe to say that their management has done a commendable job in ensuring they have the right resources to do so.
#3 Utah Jazz, $3.21 million
The Jazz have always been known to make sound decisions regarding personnel choices, whether it was hiring head coach Quin Snyder or extending the duo of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. As a result, the Salt Lake City-based team finds itself perched at the top of the Western Conference.
The Utah Jazz have one of the most balanced rosters in the league, and it has come at a relatively cheap cost of $3.21 million per win. The additions of Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley in 2019 have been particularly valuable, and it will be intriguing to see how far the team goes in the playoffs.
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#2 New York Knicks, $3.17 million
An unexpected entry at 2nd, the New York Knicks front office surprised both their fans and neutrals when they aced both the offseason and the Draft ahead of the NBA 2020-21 campaign. Signing and extending Julius Randle was a genius move, which has paid handsome dividends so far.
The Knicks look primed to enter the NBA Playoffs after eight long seasons, and credit should be given to the front office led by Scott Perry.
#1 Phoenix Suns, $3.15 million
Very few teams have improved as much as the Phoenix Suns have in the last year. Their impressive form began with the Orlando bubble, where they went unbeaten yet still missed out on the playoffs. The form has carried into the current campaign, but this time around Phoenix looks like a unit that is going to cause other teams problems in the postseason.
Chris Paul's acquisition has proved to be a masterstroke, as the veteran point guard has seamlessly fit into Monty Williams' backcourt with star shooting guard Devin Booker. The Suns are 2nd in the West with a 40-16 record and have spent just $3.15 million per win.
Other NBA teams that made the list are - Philadelphia 76ers (6th, $3.71 million), Charlotte Hornets (7th, $3.78 million), Atlanta Hawks (8th, $3.84 million), LA Lakers (9th, $3.91 million), Boston Celtics (10th, $3.91 million)