Harrington’s worth

I’ve been a big fan of the basketball Web site 82games.com ever since coming onto the Lakers beat. The recent feature on fair salary ratings might be the best I’ve seen. It takes into account player production, team success and minutes played and tries to calculate what a fair salary for that player would have been.

In Kobe Bryant’s case, it was $26.09 million last season. For Elton Brand, it was $21.17 million. Kwame Brown was a $1.85 million player playing on a $7.5 million contract. Lamar Odom actually was slightly underpaid at $11.5 million, compared with his worth at $12.09 million.

With the news that the Al Harrington sweepstakes will start again, I thought it was worth looking at his fair salary rating, especially if teams really are willing to go as high as $60 million or $65 million to sign him to a six-year contract, as was reported by two papers this morning.

According to 82games.com, Harrington’s fair salary rating for last season – - when he averaged 18.6 points and 6.9 rebounds on a Hawks team that went 26-56 – - was about $3.56 million.

It’s a number that would probably go up playing on a better team, like the Lakers, but the question has to be asked if Harrington is really worth that much more than a deal for the midlevel exception. Thankfully, I’m not the one writing the checks.

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