Cost per expected NBA Championship Ranking - odds and salaries

By Max Bennett

November 20, 2022

Image Courtesy of Alamy

We've taken a look at each teams NBA Championship Odds at this stage of the 2022-23 season, where we see Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks current joint favourites at odds of 6.00, and a bunch of teams including the Pistons and Pacers, the rank outsiders at odds of 501.00.

A team priced up at odds of 6.00 like the Celtics means that in this position, at this stage of the season, the sportsbooks would expect them to win the Championship once every six years. Conversely, the sportsbooks would expect the Pacers to win it once every 501 years. May as well be once every million years....

But for now, let's use the NBA Championship Odds as per the Aussie sportsbook PlayUp as our guide to once every x years.

Given the very public nature of NBA Team Salaries, we can also calculate the total salaries for each team. We've used this rather splendid ESPN page for reference.

So now we know the total salary per team, the top salaries of the top players and the odds for a team winning the 2022-23 NBA Championship. We thought it would be rather sporting to throw all those stats into a pivot table or two and produce: The Jump Hub's Cost Per Expected NBA Championship ranking.

The full table is further down this page but the headlines show us:

  • No team has an expected cost per NBA Championship of less than $1 Billion.

  • The Celtics, with the 4th highest salary ($181.5M) and the joint shortest odds (6.00) have the lowest expected Cost per NBA Championship of $1.089 Billion.

  • The Bucks ($182.2M) and the same odds (6.00) have the next highest Cost per NBA Championship at just under $1.1 Billion.

  • The Clippers, with the highest salary line in the sport ($200M) and odds of 8.50 rank 5th in terms of best value Cost per Championship - with $1.69B.

  • There are 13 teams with a calculated Cost per NBA Championship greater than $10B.

  • There are 5 with a cost greater than $50B

  • The NBA's lowest salary team, the Spurs have an expected Cost per NBA Championship of almost $32B.

  • The worst outlook is for Vivek Ranadivé, owner of the Sacramento Kings. Based on current salaries and current NBA Championship odds, he's going to need to spend over $67 Billion on salaries to win the Championship!

The Jump Hub's Cost Per Expected NBA Championship

Team (W-L)SalariesPlayUp OddsCost per NBA Champ
#1 Celtics (13-3)$181.5M (4)6.00$1.089B
#2 Bucks (11-4)$182.2M (3)6.00$1.093B
#3 Suns (9-6)$173.8M (7)8.00$1.391B
#4 Warriors (7-9)$196.3M (2)8.00$1.571B
#5 Clippers (10-7)$200.0M (1)8.50$1.691B
#6 Grizzlies (10-6)$110.1M (27)19.00$2.092B
#7 Nets (7-9)$181.1M (5)15.00$2.717B
#8 76ers (8-8)$152.1M (16)18.00$2.737B
#9 Mavericks (9-6)$165.0M (9)18.00$2.969B
#10 Nuggets (9-6)$160.7M (11)19.00$3.053B
#11 Cavaliers (9-6)$152.9M (14)21.00$3.210B
#12 Heat (7-9)$150.1M (18)23.00$3.452B
#13 Pelicans (9-7)$152.6M (15)26.00$3.968B
#14 Raptors (9-8)$156.4M (12)26.00$4.065B
#15 T'Wolves (8-8)$150.7M (17)34.00$5.125B
#16 Hawks (10-6)$162.5M (10)51.00$8.288B
#17 Lakers (4-10)$177.3M (6)51.00$9.041B
#18 Bulls (6-10)$149.6M (19)67.00$10.026B
#19 Blazers (10-6)$165.0M (8)67.00$11.053B
#20 Jazz (12-6)$142.2M (21)101.00$14.361B
#21 Knicks (8-8)$144.2M (20)126.00$18.175B
#22 Hornets (4-13)$114.7M (24)251.00$28.787B
#23 Wizards (9-7)$154.6M (13)201.00$31.106B
#24 Spurs (6-11)$79.4M (30)401.00$31.848B
#25 Thunder (7-9)$113.6M (26)301.00$34.191B
#26 Rockets (3-13)$100.8M (29)501.00$50.480B
#27 Pacers (9-6)$101.5M (28)501.00$50.859B
#28 Pistons (3-14)$113.9M (25)501.00$57.096B
#29 Magic (5-12)$128.3M (23)501.00$64.301B
#30 Kings (8-6)$135.0M (22)501.00$67.644B

Formula: "Total 2022/23 Salary * PlayUp Odds = Cost per Championship"

We can also have some fun looking at the top 10 highest paid players in the NBA, and what their individual estimated total salary costs would be per expected NBA Championship.

To do this, we have kept it simple and looked at simply their 2022-23 salary, not taking into account the contractual obligations for salary rises, or indeed contract end dates.

The formula is similar: Player Salary * Team Championship Odds = Player Salary per NBA Championship.

Top 10 NBA Highest Paid Players - Cost per Expected NBA Championship

Player2022-23 SalaryPlayUp OddsCost per NBA Champ
#1 Steph Curry (GSW)$48,070,0148.00$384.6M
#2 Russell Westbrook (LAL)$47,063,47851.00$2.400B
#3 LeBron James (LAL)$44,474,98851.00$2.268B
#4 Kevin Durant (BKN)$44,119,84515.00$661.8M
#5 Bradley Beal (WAS)$43,279,250201.00$8.700B
#6 Damian Lillard (POR)$42,492,49267.00$2.846B
#7 Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)$42,492,4926.00$255.0M
#8 Kawhi Leonard (LAC)$42,492,4928.50$361.2M
#9 Paul George (LAC)$42,492,4928.50$361.2M
#10 Klay Thompson (GSW)$40,600,0808.00$324.8M

Amusingly, the Wizards would have to pay Bradley Beal almost $9B before they won a Championship. More amusingly Beal would have to be playing for them until he was 230 years old. So at a player level, the Cost per NBA Championship is not particularly useful, but does make for some funny statistics.

Odds and Salaries correct at time of publishing.

By Max Bennett  | 11/20/22

Follow Max Bennett on Twitter at @MaxBTheJumpHub

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