In the NBA, stars like Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James run the show. Their exploits helped lead their respective teams deep into the playoffs, but basketball remains a team game.
As such, each player on the roster — from the alpha dogs to the 12th men — need to pull their share of the weight. However, no roster is perfect. Looking back at the 2015-16 season, PointAfter, a sports data visualization site that’s part of the Graphiq network, set out to determine the biggest piece of dead weight for every team.
“Dead weight” can be determined in a variety of different ways. A guy hauling in a huge salary while underperforming, someone cashing checks without playing games (due to injuries or other factors), a player being a poor enough fit to necessitate his trade or release and/or flat-out poor performance on both ends of the court can earn the infamous label.
In most cases, we opted to avoid young players still getting their feet wet in the NBA. Additionally, a player who had a larger role on his team while underperforming would be considered bigger dead weight over a guy who played worse but didn’t suit up as much.
Players were ranked by the sum of their box plus/minus and win shares from the latest campaign. Only the first three players on the countdown graded out with a positive number by this measure. The others merely cost their teams points and wins on a regular basis.
See Each Team’s ‘Dead Weight’ Player