Big name players signing huge deals always dominate the media every offseason. In between those big signings that teams celebrate, there are a number of other players signed to cheap contracts. These players fill out NBA rosters, add reliable depth to the bench, or are veterans looking to contribute to a winning team. Let’s take a look at some of those cheap contract players that are contributing for their team.
Cheap Contract Players that are Contributing for their Team
Brook Lopez signed with the Milwaukee Bucks over the offseason in hopes he would provide floor spacing. He has done that and beyond for the second-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. At the moment he is averaging 11.8 points per game. He has hit four or more threes in five games. On November 11, Lopez went 8 of 13 from the three-point line. With Lopez being as consistent as he is from the three-point line, this opens up the lane for Giannis Antetokounmpo to do his work. The Bucks are excitedly getting more production from Lopez than his $3.4 million contract should warrant.
The Brooklyn Nets have been exceeding their early season expectations. Part of that reason has been due to the play of their newly acquired power forward Ed Davis. He signed a contract this is worth $4.4 million this season. Davis is averaging 6.4 points to go along with 8.3 rebounds per game this season. He is also a veteran presence to help sophomore center, Jarrett Allen. They are currently in the ninth seed in the eastern conference and should look to contend for a playoff spot.
Elfrid Payton signed a $3 million contract in the offseason for the New Orleans Pelicans. He is currently going to be injured for the next 6 weeks due to a fractured finger. Before his injury, he seemed to have finally found his role in the NBA. While his scoring is the lowest since his rookie year at 9.7 points per game, his role as backup to Jrue Holiday has contributed to their early season success. The Pelicans are currently 2 games over .500 and should be able to hover around that record until Payton’s return.
Nik Stauskas was drafted 14th overall in the 2014 draft. He signed a $1.6 million contract with the Trail Blazers over the offseason. The Portland Trail Blazers are the fourth team Stauskas has been on. He has not been able to quite carve out a place for himself in the league thus far. This season he may have found it as part of Portland’s bench. He is averaging 7.2 points per game this season while appearing in every game. Compared to the amount of his contract, he is clearly outperforming. His play off the bench has been a reason the Trail Blazers sit at 12-6, which is good for second in the Western Conference.
The last names on this list are some of the most entertaining players in the league. These players are effectively labeled as the “Meme Team”. The Los Angeles Lakers inked Lance Stephenson to a $4.4 million contract in the offseason. Stephenson, who has battled against LeBron James in the Eastern Conference finals, was now going to be his teammate. Stephenson contributes 8.4 points per game off the bench for the Lakers. JaVale McGee signed a $2.4 million contract to play for the Lakers this season. McGee plays 25 minutes a game while producing 13.4 points and grabbing 6.6 rebounds.
Embed from Getty Images