The Wall Street Journal’s David Biderman explains in an article that attempts to correlate the rise of the three-pointer with the sluggish economy:
“Teams know these three-point guys can contribute, and they’re the perfect fit because they don’t cost much,” says Wayne Embry, a former general manager for the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers and currently a senior basketball adviser for the Toronto Raptors.
Steve Kerr, general manager of the Phoenix Suns, likens the situation to the strategy of baseball’s Oakland A’s, who have pioneered the trend of trying to build winning teams by identifying players whose skills were undervalued by the market. “There’s a real financial aspect to it,” Mr. Kerr says.
This season in the NBA, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the key players with the highest three-point-shooting percentages, make 32% less than the league’s top shot blockers, and 36% less than players who rank highest in steals.
Anthony Parker of the Cavaliers and Channing Frye of the Suns, both heavy contributors who are deadly from behind the three-point line, are making a combined $4.6 million this year. Meanwhile, two top shot blockers on woeful teams—the Philadelphia 76ers’ Samuel Dalembert and the Wizards’ Brendan Haywood—score less than Messrs. Frye and Parker yet make neary four times as much. “Guys who can shoot are almost always going to have a place to play,” Mr. Parker says. “But you won’t see them making $10 million.”