The best bargain contracts for each NBA team in the 2023–24 season

Nov 27, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) dribbles the
Nov 27, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) dribbles the / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Southwest Division

Dallas Mavericks: C Dereck Lively II ($4.8 million)

Dereck Lively II's underwhelming year at Duke became a thing of the past as soon as the rookie big man arrived in Dallas. He immediately stepped into a starting role and has been tremendous, averaging 8.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. He's on the leaderboard for offensive rebound percentage, block percentage, and offensive rating. Lively is emerging as one of the best rookies of his class.

Houston Rockets: C Alperen Sengun ($3.5 million)

Alperen Sengun deserves a nomination for best bargain contract in the entire league. The Houston Rockets center is playing like a legiaimate All-Star this season. The Turkish big man is doing his best Nikola Jokic impression, averaging 21 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. The former first-rounder will be underpaid next year, too, the last season of his rookie pact.

Memphis Grizzlies: SG Desmond Bane ($3.8 million)

It's been a rough start for the Memphis Grizzlies, but Desmond Bane has been their best player. At 23.8 points per game, he's been one of the league's best scorers (though he's missing plenty of shots too). He's also been elite in the steals category. Memphis better enjoy Bane while he's a bargain, because his five-year, $197.2 million extension goes into effect next year.

New Orleans Pelicans: SG Jordan Hawkins ($4.3 million)

The final lottery pick of the most recent NBA Draft had to play a larger role than anticipated because of Trey Murphy III's injury to start the season. With Murphy back, Jordan Hawkins and his teammate form a lethal shooting pair for the New Orleans Pelicans. Hawkins is averaging 12.3 points as a rookie, knocking down 37.3 percent of his threes.

San Antonio Spurs: SG Devin Vassell ($5.9 million)

Devin Vassell is about to get a whole lot more expensive, but for now, he's a bargain to the San Antonio Spurs. Vassell is averaging 18.3 points per game and hitting 40.9 percent of his threes while developing strong pick-and-roll chemistry with Victor Wembanyama. Next year, the guard's five-year, $135 million extension begins.