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HoopsHype: Steven Adams ranked as one of the most overpaid players in league history

When players sign large multi-year contracts, the hope is that they produce during their tenure with the team they signed with. As is the case in sports, sometimes that doesn’t work out.

Due to various different reasons, a team might not get their money’s worth with a player after inking a new deal.

HoopsHype writers Frank Urbina and Raul Barrigon decided to materialize this concept with a list of the 30 most overpaid players in league history. Due to the dramatic rises in cap space, most players on the list are from recent history and are actively still playing.

HoopsHype uses its Real Value metric to determine the list. A full explanation can be found here. Here’s a quick summary of how the statistic is calculated:

“Using Global Rating as the main performance metric, Real Value takes into account the productivity of each player from the last three seasons, giving extra value to the official NBA games played in the last 365 days. That includes regular season, play-in and playoffs. With that base, we calculate how that would translate to the “deserved” average salary per year.

Also factoring into Real Value: A player’s age, availability, defensive performance and off-court issues.”

For the most part, the Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t really featured in the rankings. Steven Adams is the only player who played a significant chunk of time for the Thunder on the list.

Adams is ranked as the 24th most overpaid player of all time — with the caveat added that Real Value’s variables that factor into its formula might not be the most effective way to determine his value.

The Thunder drafted Adams with the No. 12 pick in the 2013 NBA draft. He spent seven seasons in OKC and served as their starting center for six years.

After three seasons, the Thunder signed Adams to a four-year, $100 million extension. This will likely be his biggest payday as he’s signed a pair of two-year deals since then with the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies.

  • Seasons overpaid vs. underpaid: 7-3

  • Real Value: $85,669,739

  • Career earnings: $146,760,004

  • Difference: -$61,090,265 (-41.63%)

“Another player whose numbers don’t reflect his impact, Grizzlies center Steven Adams is one of the best screen-setters in the league and an elite box-out guy, often opening up rebounding opportunities for teammates. A prime example of Adam’s impact came last season, a campaign in which the former Pitt Panther only played the first 42 games before missing the rest of the year with an injury. In the stretch with Adams, Memphis was 31-15 and ranked second in the league in net rating (+5.4). Following his departure, the Grizzlies were 20-17 with a +2.1 net rating.

Still, Adams’ lack of box-score production leads to him being underrated by advanced metrics, including Real Value, which believes Adams was overpaid by $7.7 million last season, despite how impactful he clearly was to Memphis’ early success.”

In defense of the Thunder’s decision to sign Adams to a large deal, this happened when the cap spiked to an unsustainable level and several role players were given large extensions. While in a vacuum, it’s a bad deal, it was also a product of its time and environment.

As was also mentioned in the summary, Adams’ value is hard to measure with simple box score numbers. It’s evident that he was more valuable for the Thunder than the average NBA team at the time.

When he signed his extension, OKC was in the midst of a potential playoff push. The chemistry between Russell Westbrook and himself made Adams more valuable in OKC than he would’ve been on almost any other team.

Lastly, just because Adams is labeled as overpaid doesn’t make him a bad player. The 30-year-old has carved out a really nice nine-year career thus far playing as an above-average starting center. At the No. 12 slot of the draft, getting a respectable starter is on the high end of results.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire