ESPN.com took a look at all 30 NBA teams in 2013-14 to determine which were the most efficient spenders. The Timberwolves finished 21st out of 30, at least when ranked by marginal dollars per marginal victory. What does that mean? Per the article:
I’ve used team salary figures compiled by ShamSports.com, which are updated through the end of the season but aren’t final until the close of the fiscal year. The key measurement is marginal dollars per marginal wins (MDMW), or how much it costs a team to win a game.
Seems straightforward enough. Also, per the article, the teams were divided into eight “buckets” to sort out the efficiency of spending:
The buckets are listed in order from most desirable (playoff teams below the salary cap) to least desirable (teams over the tax apron that managed to miss the postseason).
The Wolves were in bucket 6 of 8 along with seven other teams — the dreaded “above the salary cap, below the tax threshold, but missed the playoffs” category.
It is written of this category and these teams:
You really don’t want to be in this class. You’ve exceeded the cap, suggesting you want to win, but you didn’t win, suggesting you don’t know how. There are a number of possible foundation players in this group on rookie scale contracts: Ricky Rubio, Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving. Their teams haven’t yet capitalized on the flexibility created by having players that productive for that little money.