Cav’s Ricky Rubio leads “All-Value” team of Free Agent signings

Ricky Rubio, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images
Ricky Rubio, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images /
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Ricky Rubio, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Free Agency is, by definition, a low-value game. The most valuable contracts in the league are for rookie-scale contracts and max players. For example, Darius Garland will make just $8.92 million next season despite being the Cavs’ best player, and Nikola Jokic is worth significantly more than his $33 million deal.

To get a young, inexpensive player like Garland you generally have to draft them, and to get a max player you generally have to draft or trade for them. Free agency is mainly reserved for the NBA’s middle class, who by definition are overpriced as teams bid on them in the open market.

NBA Free Agency is functionally a place to overpay player, but the Cavs and other teams beat the system when they signed this “All-Value” team of players

Every summer there are a few teams that buck that trend, outwit the system and find their diamonds in the rough. They sign players to contracts that are well under the expected return, setting themselves up for success by maximizing the salary flexibility they have.

Let’s highlight some of the best values this summer by putting together an “All-Value” Team from Free Agency. What five players, signed in free agency to new contracts on new teams, represent the best return on investment for their teams. We will start the All-Value Team with a player returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers on a bargain contract.