There’s a good chance that Chris Andersen is the most underpaid player in the NBA, solely due to the fact that since signing with the Miami Heat in the middle of the 2012-2013 season, they’ve hardly been losing, especially when the Birdman is getting more than just negligible playing time.
According to NBA.Com, the Miami Heat are now 32-0 when Andersen spends at least 13 minutes on the floor, including the postseason. All those wins while Andersen is being paid less than $80,000 for his half-season contributions.
Since Andersen signed with the team and made his debut on January 25, the Heat have lost four times. First on January 27 against the Boston Celtics, a game in which Andersen didn’t play in. The next loss came on February 1 against the Indiana Pacers, the last before a 27 game winning streak. Andersen played 12 minutes, 20 seconds in that game. The next loss came on March 27 to the Chicago Bulls, ending the streak. Andersen played 12 minutes, 34 seconds in that one. In their final loss to the New York Knicks, a garbage time loss, Andersen put in exactly 10 minutes.
In the playoffs he’s played in all four games, averaging 14.8 minutes in the sweep against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat are at a +45 during his minutes on the floor, while he averaged 8.3 points on 81.3% from the field, adding 5.3 rebounds per game.
Andersen isn’t the main reason the Heat are winning so easily, sweeping the Bucks with four double digit wins. But Andersen is a big part of that and looks like one of the smarter and less noticeable signings during the season, giving Miami and energetic big man who can crash the offensive glass and is still quite a shot block force to be reckoned with. Maybe he’ll even be one of the pieces that helped LeBron James win his second NBA title ring, although it seems hard, at the moment, to see anyone who can stop the Heat, unless Dwyane Wade is more banged up than the Heat are letting people know.