Well, since the 2016-17 NBA regular has been over with for about a week it’s time to attack the guys who were paid a pretty penny after the salary cap spike to do…nothing. I’m going to exclude the Lakers giving out those horrid contracts to Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov because they had to do so by rule to reach the NBA’s cap floor and I will leave out Joakim’s contract with the Knicks because, I mean, Phil Jackson did give out, but that’s another story for another day. I do understand that the market price for average to below average guys will blossom now, but still, there is no way that I would give out guaranteed contracts for $15,000,000 annually to guys that can barely stand up on an NBA court. Let’s take a look at a few of these contracts (in no particular order) and wonder how these so called Basketball Guru GMs still have jobs.
Portland Trail Blazers, Allen Crabbe (4yrs/74.8 mil) and Evan Turner (4yrs/70 mil)
Mr. Olshey!!! What are you doing?!?!?! 8 years and $145 million for 2 guys that will probably be traded to a tanker for a heavily protected 1st round pick or 2nd round picks in the near future was a bad idea from the beginning. I understand Portland might have gotten a little excited after competing with Golden State for 5 games in last year’s playoffs, but there was no need to hog-tie yourself with lower level role players. Just do some simple math and you will see that this duo that makes a little over $36 million a year on average, averages 19.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, and 4.4 apg COMBINED. They make more combined than arguably the Association’s best backcourt in Oakland. Let that sink in, or was Neil Olshey in a sunken place?
Memphis Grizzlies, Mike Conley (5yrs/152.6 mil) and Chandler Parsons (4yrs/94.4 mil)
Okay, I’ll cut Mr. Conley a little bit of slack on this because he did perform well this season, but I still do not feel that he is a guy worth upwards of $30 million a year. Yeah, he’s a solid point guard in this league, but in my opinion there’s only a select few guys that I would pay $30 million for and Conley is just not one of them. Only the ELITE players should be allowed to receive this type of money because in a year or two, the narrative will be how much Conley’s contract is strapping the Grizzlies organization and how they can’t find a trade partner for him. Sure he averaged a career high 20.5 ppg, but he is a career 14 ppg and 6-7 apg guy and that does not scream $150 million anywhere except for a team in Southwest Tennessee.
As far as Chandler Parsons, there’s no need for explanation. He hasn’t been seen since the 13-14 season and still has managed to grab around $150 million in contracts. If he can get a max contract, then nobody should say that Derrick Rose shouldn’t get max deal this Summer because at least he is a former MVP with knee problems.
New Orleans Pelicans, Solomon Hill (4yrs/48 mil)
Who in the heck is this??? For $12 million?? I think somebody in the New Orlean’s Front Office dropped the ball and accidentally added too many zeros on the end of this contract because I’m pretty sure those contract numbers were for 4 years and $4.8 million. Hill just so happened to sign the contract before they realized the error on their end. Seriously, $12 million per year for a guy who averaged 4.2 ppg and 2.8 rpg the year before. Oh wait, maybe they looked at the 14-15 season when he averaged a whopping 8.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg while playing 29 minutes per game. WAIT, it gets even better! This season while playing 30 minutes per game he averaged 7 ppg and 3.8 rpg with a .383/.348/.805 shooting clip for TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS. He definitely put some VooDoo on the New Orlean’s franchise and be on the lookout for a potential lawsuit from the Pelicans to Hill to get their money back.
Charlotte Hornets, Nicolas Batum (5yrs/120 mil)
Once again, Batum is like Conley, a solid player, but not an elite player and that is why he is on this list. I don’t want to hear anything about the market has increased or any of that nonsense. Batum is not worth $24 million per year in any market or cap era plain and simple. 15.1/6.2/5.9 is a solid stat line, but it is not worth 5 years of cap inflexibility. He is getting paid money that stars who lead their teams on deep playoff runs or are in title contention year in and year out and Batum is far from being in that category. Air Jordan didn’t think this decision as he has done many times because Batum just is not a guy worth limiting your franchise’s future for.
Boston Celtics, Al Horford (4yrs/113.3 mil)
I knew some team was going to make a mistake in signing Al Horford to an unnecessary contract. I never saw it, and I never will see what these Gurus like about him. I understand team guys that can play with all types of players hold immense value, but for a going price of over $28 million a year, there’s no value for that. If Horford was a 20-10 guy his last season in ATL and then had a drop off then there wouldn’t be as big of a problem with this contract because at least he had the production before. The fact that he averaged 15 ppg and 7 rpg over his last 2 seasons with the Hawks and then followed up this season with slightly less production it screams Boston was reaching for a player when they had assets and future talent that did not need the services of Al Horford because he solves none of their problems. Boston needs a REAL big that can rebound for them not a 6’9 Kelly Olynyk.
The good news for these guys, is that free agency 2017 is coming soon and there will be a new crop of guys that are severely overpaid. Once July hits, these guys will soon be trade bait at the 2018 deadline and will soon be another teams problem.
Written By: Nyck Young
All contract numbers were obtained from Spotrac. Stats were obtained from nba.com/stats and espn.com/stats.