How NBA Owners Spend their Money

Posted on September 18, 2011 by

5


Paul Allen spends his money well. . . mostly

The owners want us to believe that they’ve been doing terrible since the last CBA. Let’s take a look at how the ownerships have been spending their money. I’ve left off teams that changed hands since 2006, and only included teams that had the same owners since 2005-2006.

A little Allen a lot of Cuban

Table 1: NBA Teams by total salary spent from 2006-2011

Team WP Record Salary $ Per Win
Portland 233.5 (246-164) $308,949,068 $1,323,211
Minnesota 156.1 (143-267) $324,588,198 $2,079,081
Memphis 212.1 (203-207) $327,918,604 $1,545,876
L.A. Clippers 179.8 (190-220) $335,095,511 $1,863,520
Chicago 267.1 (267-143) $340,690,237 $1,275,531
Sacramento 189.5 (181-229) $342,056,690 $1,805,241
Toronto 218.5 (210-200) $363,096,075 $1,661,531
Houston 282.1 (279-131) $366,208,145 $1,297,994
Philadelphia 226.9 (222-188) $368,293,141 $1,622,890
Milwaukee 213.6 (209-201) $368,904,571 $1,727,390
Indiana 226.1 (217-193) $382,254,754 $1,690,449
Utah 280.6 (286-124) $389,934,574 $1,389,870
Phoenix 309.4 (310-100) $390,383,177 $1,261,776
Miami 257.8 (259-151) $404,442,320 $1,568,957
Denver 291.5 (296-114) $406,974,315 $1,396,051
San Antonio 337.1 (342-68) $412,494,658 $1,223,532
Boston 303.7 (291-119) $415,706,337 $1,368,805
Cleveland 277.2 (291-119) $417,559,424 $1,506,578
Orlando 310.5 (298-112) $420,989,394 $1,355,726
L.A. Lakers 320.7 (323-87) $447,899,384 $1,396,564
New York 188.5 (182-228) $455,481,555 $2,415,784
Dallas 316.6 (340-70) $481,846,051 $1,521,963
  • Salary data from Basketball-Reference

I was surprised to see Portland at the bottom, given all of the talk that Paul Allen just buys whatever he wants. I was certainly not surprised to see Dallas at the very top.

One key observation… in the last six years if you were willing to spend over $400 million your team won at least 250 games and a trip to the conference finals, except for New York.

Buy two Spurs for one Knick

Here’s another way of looking at the same data.

Table 2: NBA Teams by dollars per win from 2006-2011

Team WP Record Salary $ Per Win
San Antonio 337.1 (342-68) $412,494,658 $1,223,532
Phoenix 309.4 (310-100) $390,383,177 $1,261,776
Chicago 267.1 (267-143) $340,690,237 $1,275,531
Houston 282.1 (279-131) $366,208,145 $1,297,994
Portland 233.5 (246-164) $308,949,068 $1,323,211
Orlando 310.5 (298-112) $420,989,394 $1,355,726
Boston 303.7 (291-119) $415,706,337 $1,368,805
Utah 280.6 (286-124) $389,934,574 $1,389,870
Denver 291.5 (296-114) $406,974,315 $1,396,051
L.A. Lakers 320.7 (323-87) $447,899,384 $1,396,564
Cleveland 277.2 (291-119) $417,559,424 $1,506,578
Dallas 316.6 (340-70) $481,846,051 $1,521,963
Memphis 212.1 (203-207) $327,918,604 $1,545,876
Miami 257.8 (259-151) $404,442,320 $1,568,957
Philadelphia 226.9 (222-188) $368,293,141 $1,622,890
Toronto 218.5 (210-200) $363,096,075 $1,661,531
Indiana 226.1 (217-193) $382,254,754 $1,690,449
Milwaukee 213.6 (209-201) $368,904,571 $1,727,390
Sacramento 189.5 (181-229) $342,056,690 $1,805,241
L.A. Clippers 179.8 (190-220) $335,095,511 $1,863,520
Minnesota 156.1 (143-267) $324,588,198 $2,079,081
New York 188.5 (182-228) $455,481,555 $2,415,784
  • Salary data from Basketball-Reference

When we look at how effectively each team spent their money things change a bit. With the exception of an unlucky Houston and Portland, all the teams that spent their money well (less than $1.5 million a win) made a conference finals. Other teams were able to spend their money less effectively and still enjoy success (Cleveland, Dallas, Memphis, Miami). Some teams spent their money terribly and enjoyed years of misery (Sacramento, the Clippers, Minnesota and New York).

-Dre

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