Says the Wall Street Journal:

The Wizards shelled out $80 million over five years for Davis Bertans. The Toronto Raptors paid $85 million over four years to Fred VanVleet.

Joe Harris, Bertans and VanVleet are not star players. They are role players. The star players making the most amount of money permitted under the salary cap don’t negotiate so much as they sign a sheet of paper that makes them obscenely wealthy. But the role players are the ones who reveal deeper truths about the game and where it’s going.

“I hope all young hoopers at home are watching how the NBA is paying their players,” tweeted Jared Dudley, a free agent and the league’s resident sage.

The fiscal decisions of NBA teams made it clear that shooting is the single most valuable skill in the league today.

Among the free agents who managed to get paid in a depressed market were Danilo Gallinari ($61.5 million for three years), Harris and Bertans. This was not an example of the irrational exuberance that afflicts teams in free agency. It turned out to be prudent investing. There was a premium on those players because they do one thing as well as anybody on earth: shoot 3-pointers.


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