NBA's Biggest Bargains
Mario Chalmers, Heat
Note: This list doesn't include first-round picks who are still on their rookie-scale contracts. All stats are through April 2.<br><br>A year after sinking the NCAA title-clinching jumper for Kansas, Chalmers, a second-round pick last June, has quietly excelled as the starting point guard for the playoff-bound Heat. Chalmers is averaging 10.1 points, 4.8 assists and 1.96 steals in 32.1 minutes as Dwyane Wade's backcourt partner.
Ron Artest, Rockets
A day after the Rockets acquired Artest last summer, Yao Ming expressed concern that the controversial swingman would upset the team's chemistry. But Artest has kept his composure while averaging 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals, and he's played his best basketball down the stretch to help keep injury-plagued Houston in contention for the No. 2 seed.
Luis Scola, Rockets
Called Houston's MVP by teammate Shane Battier, the 6-foot-9 Argentine forward is averaging 12.6 points and 8.8 rebounds in 30.3 minutes. Scola is the only Rocket to appear in every game this season.
Delonte West, Cavaliers
West, who is averaging 11.6 points and shooting 38.6 percent from three-point range, has joined backcourt mate Mo Williams in providing offensive support for LeBron James. The undersized West also has held his own defensively at shooting guard.
Marc Gasol, Grizzlies
Pau's younger brother has emerged as a promising post presence in his rookie season. Gasol leads all rookies in field-goal percentage (53.2) and is averaging 11.7 points and a team-leading 7.4 rebounds in 30.7 minutes.
Paul Millsap, Jazz
The 2005 second-round pick has averaged 16.0 points and 10.3 rebounds in his 38 starts, helping Utah weather the early-season absence of power forward Carlos Boozer. Millsap is poised to cash in as a restricted free agent this summer.
Roger Mason, Spurs
Quietly signed to a two-year, $7.2 million deal last summer, Mason has found a home with his fourth team in five seasons. Mason has converted 41.9 percent from three-point range and made a handful of clutch, last-second shots to help secure victories.
John Salmons, Bulls
The seven-year veteran is enjoying a career season split between the Kings and Bulls, who acquired him at the trading deadline. Salmons has fueled Chicago's playoff push by averaging 19.8 points (on 50.6 percent shooting) in 20 games. Overall, his 18.7 scoring average is 10 points higher than his career average.
Devin Harris, Nets
In his first full season with the Nets, Harris has blossomed into one of the most dynamic young point guard in the NBA. Harris is averaging 22.1 points, 7.1 assists and 1.7 steals while keeping the Nets in postseason contention a lot longer than expected.
Ramon Sessions, Bucks
The 56th pick in the 2007 draft is averaging 15.4 points and 7.3 assists in 34 starts, including a triple-double against the Lakers on April 1. Sessions could be in demand as a restricted free agent this summer.
Hedo Turkoglu, Magic
Turkoglu, the 2007-08 Most Improved Player, is averaging 16.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists for the fourth-best team in the league. He has the option to become a free agent after the season.
Trevor Ariza, Lakers
Whether as a starter or reserve, the defensive-minded swingman is a valuable contributor to the Western Conference leaders. Since joining the starting lineup March 11, Ariza has averaged 11.2 points and shot 51.4 percent from the field.
Grant Hill, Suns
At 36, Hill has played in every game and given Phoenix 11.7 points (on 52.5 percent shooting) in 29.9 minutes. He has a chance to appear in at least 80 games for the first time since 1997-98. Fellow forward Matt Barnes ($797,581) has been good value for the Suns, too.
Antonio McDyess, Pistons
McDyess fits this category in a roundabout away. He began the season on Detroit's books for $7.5 million. But after trading McDyess to Denver and re-signing him following his buyout with the Nuggets, the Pistons are now on the hook for only a prorated portion of the veteran's minimum. Not bad at all for a player who is averaging 12.7 points and 11.3 rebounds since the All-Star break.