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Worst Deals in the NBA

October 24, 2011
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In honor of Halloween, we at blogNBAsketball have decided to rank the top 5 most frightful contracts in the NBA today. Being overpaid has been like a right of passage in the league since the 1980′s and, in this economy especially, the following gentlemen should feel immensely proud of their respective incomes:

 

5. We start off with a tie. Coincidentally, these are also two guys who were traded for each other last season. The Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards did a 1-for-1 swap of insane maximum contracts.  Who is the highest paid player for the Magic, you ask? It’s not Dwight Howard kids, it’s Gilbert Arenas. He signed a max contract in 2008 to the tune of 6 years and $111 million. He currently has 3 years left at nearly $20M per. In the summer of 2012 he can opt-out of his deal…but let’s just put him down for the full amount why don’t we. The only thing scarier than his paychecks are his planks (except that one where he sat on a toilet at Lowe’s, that’s a classic). I’d rank him higher here but I add points due to the fact that he once tried to dunk off a trampoline during an All-Star game timeout…one of the sickest moments in NBA history. Rashard Lewis, currently of the Wizards, made out like a bandit in the summer of 2007. He was the best free agent in a historically weak crop. Back then, the Seattle SuperSonics (R.I.P) were rebuilding and Lewis was an All-Star. The Orlando Magic, at the time, had a pile of money and were desperate to pair Howard with a viable second scoring option. The result was a 6-year, $110 million deal, out-shooting all other offers by at least $20 mill. I list him no higher than 5th because he does only have two years left on his deal. He can also still score 20+ per night on a regular basis. But if the ‘Wiz’ get back to the playoffs it’ll be because of John Wall and not ‘Sweet Lou’ (ah, Kevin Calabro, we miss you).

 

4. A year ago Elton Brand of the Philadelphia 76ers would’ve probably been #1 on this list, but he bounced back last season and surprisingly stayed healthy. New coach Doug Collins was a huge factor in getting Elton back to respectability. He took the pressure off EB and just let him “have fun again.” He does still have 2 years left at $17.5M and $18.1M each. His 5-year deal in 2008 with Phillie, leaving the Clippers at the alter, is a testament to the sheistiness of “super” agent David Faulk. Brand missed almost all of the 2007-08 season and still got paid max $. While he‘s still a solid bigman in the league his health is my main reason for putting him here at #3. He’s just about due for another ruptured ‘something or other’.

 

3. The Los Angeles Clippers were ecstatic when they traded for Mo Williams, and it had very little to do with Mo Williams…they were able to shed the obese contract of Baron Davis. While the Cleveland Cavaliers only have him for two more years, it will seem like ten to coach Byron Scott n’ crew. Concerns about his focus, his weight, and his health (which is related to his weight) ended his days in Clipperland. Oh, not to mention his attitude. B-Diddy claims that he’s going to mentor 1st overall pick Kyrie Irving in Cleveland…in what, directing low-budget movies?? Davis was upset when he got wind of the trade last season, but it had nothing to do with the Cavs’ record. Leaving Hollywood for the NBA’s version of Spike Lee must have been agonizing. I hope the $28.6 million he’s still guaranteed will get ‘Lil’ Scorsese’ through those cold Ohio nights (his monster beard will help too).

 

2. Nobody misses Don Nelson more than Golden State Warriors center Andris Biedrins, and no one owes him more either (especially now that Mark Cuban was forced to pony up Nellie’s past-due contract $). After playing big minutes and exuding confidence for the Warriors during their classic playoff run of 2007, Andris signed a 6-year, $63 million deal the following summer. While his income of $9M/year over the next 3 isn’t close to the worst on this list, I’m factoring in productivity here. I’m also punishing Biedrins for arguably the worst free-throw style this side of Chris Dudley. His confidence is all but gone, too. The only person that could possibly miss Nellie more would be his own wife, if he ever decided to leave the Hawaiian islands long enough to interview for an NBA job again.

 

1. And now to our guest of honor…Carlos Boozer of the Chicago Bulls. Last summer, in all the chaos of The Insurrection, the Bulls settled on ‘Booze’ to fill their power forward vacancy. Amare Stoudemire was already headed to the ‘Big Apple’ and Chris Bosh to South Beach, so…Chicago was stuck with Boozer. Carlos Bruiser started off early in 2010-11, tearing his wrist while tripping over a bag in October. Upon returning to the lineup months later, he struggled to fit-in. Then, as the playoffs went on, he faded like a flat-top (wait, did Carlos ever have hair?). Now to the gaudy numbers: he signed a 5-year, $80 million deal just last summer. In 2014-15 will make over $16 million. With a history of injuries reminiscent of Bill Walton, I doubt he’ll play more than 16 games that year. Rumor is Joakim Noah is interested in working with Hakeem Olajuwon in the near future. The Bulls are going to need every one of those post moves…even when healthy, Boozer leads all NBA bigmen in jumpers attempted. New Orleans Hornets PF David West, currently a free agent, is a close second in that category…and he’s also my pick to be #1 on this list next Halloween.

 

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Lakers Should Pursue Mo Williams

January 5, 2012

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According to the media, the Los Angeles Lakers have been weak at the PG spot since Nick ‘the quick’ Van Exel was running the show back in the late 90′s. Even during the 5 championships since, Derek Fisher and his colleagues at the 1-spot have been taking the brunt of the negativity in Lakerland. The CP3 trade almost solved this problem once and for all, but alas…the Lakers were left with the same backcourt as last season. While Steve Blake is playing more like he did in Portland and ‘Fish’ is surprisingly productive after months of sitting at the negotiating table, an upgrade is still badly needed. For this, the Lakers should look no further than right down the hall at Staples Center.

No, Chris Paul is not walking through that door people…but maybe Mo Williams is. After Lamar Odom, the next player most affected by the Chris Paul trade…non-trade…then trade again was Williams. The starting PG for the Clippers at the end of last season is now being used sporadically as a combo guard off the bench…giving CP3 and Chauncey Billups a blow whenever it’s needed. Mo came into this season in the best shape of his life and is playing like it. He’s averaging over 10 points per game in a reserve role, while adding 4 assists to just 1 turnover per game. Do the math here…he could be putting up close to 20 and 8 as a starter (in theory). On the other side of the ball, no one will ever confuse Williams for a great defender. But he has as much potential to play solid defense as Blake or Fisher do. I think the energy of being the Laker starting PG would bring the best out of Mo on both ends of the floor.

The Lakers should seriously look into bringing Mo over to their side of the arena. He’s as familiar as anyone with Mike Brown‘s system after his years in Cleveland. Maurice also has shown that he knows how to play with a dominant superstar who likes to have the ball in his hands (Lebron James). Playing alongside Kobe Bryant will be a breeze for him, especially with all the open spot-up three’s coming off Bynum and Gasol post-ups. Okay, now here comes the bad part…Williams won’t come cheap. He is making $8.5 million this year and has a player option for next season (just put him down for that as well). It’ll take some assets to get him from the Clippers via trade, they still need a shooting guard and some frontcourt depth. Mitch Kupchak should be on the phones as we speak looking for a 3rd team to try and get this deal done (are the Rockets still available?).

The Lakers can still salvage some good from the botched Chris Paul trade. The Clippers have an extra point guard now…and he’d look great in purp n’ yellow.

 

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{for more Lakers coverage, checkout the LAL Team Page}

 

Kupchak, Lakers Facing Pressure

December 16, 2011

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The Los Angeles Lakers franchise has seen many pressure moments since moving to Staples Center in 1999. The come-from-behind-victory against the Sacramento Kings in 2002 (thank you Robert Horry), the Game 7 comeback versus the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals, how about Kobe Bryant requesting a trade in 2007 while at a strip mall? All of these were nerve-wracking times for Lakers fans. Well, now the organization faces a daunting task never before seen: keeping up with the Los Angeles Clippers (…I never thought I’d ever say that). The team won’t admit it, but allowing the Clippers to be the best team at Staples is just not an option. Make no mistake, Mitch Kupchak and the Laker franchise are under a pressure they have never before seen.

With the exception of 2004, when they made a run to the 2nd round of the playoffs behind Sam Cassell and Elton Brand, I can’t remember a time when the Clippers had a better roster than the Lakers…..till now. On paper, the ‘Clips’ have a more talented lineup than their neighbors down the hall, as well as even more potential for star power. Their major weakness is frontline depth, but the Lakers aren’t much better after trading away forward Lamar Odom. The effects of ‘The Paul Debacle’ are huge and may be felt for years to come…..not unless the Lakers add another superstar (or two…see Blake Griffin and Chris Paul).

There is significant  pressure on GM Mitch Kupchak to bring another franchise player to Lakerland, and some of it is coming from right inside his own organization. Kobe Bryant recently said: “I expect them to still try to be aggressive and make moves to build a championship team. If that’s the case, I’ll stand out of the way and let them do what they do”…translation? you’re on the clock again, Mitch. But I disagree with Stephen A. Smith’s prediction that Bryant will soon request a trade out of frustration with the front office. When asked about the other team in L.A. being more exciting than his own, Kobe said with a huge smile: ”I’m definitely going to watch them, but i’m not concerned about that…I like jewelry.” It hardly sounds like he wants to walk away and leave the city to CP3 and Blake…no way, not this superstar. I can’t see The Black Mamba packing up and walking away from his basketball family (Vanessa Bryant, maybe, but not Kobe Bryant). This is just another challenge for him…and one that he’ll embrace with a passion.

I agree that Bryant is quietly furious these days. But hey, he’s not the only one…Mitch Kupchak and Jerry Buss feel the exact same way. According to Mitch, the league vetoing their trade for Chris Paul was “completely unexpected.” He added…”we did our best to express our displeasure.” The team didn’t want to move Odom either, especially not to the rival Dallas Mavericks, but it became apparent after a one-on-one meeting with Lamar following the trade fiasco that he could no longer wear the purple n’ gold. Bryant should be blaming the Odom trade on his overly emotional former teammate not his steady and practical general manager. Kupchak’s hand was forced, and Mark Cuban’s deep pockets were the only place to turn to for a quick solution.

Think the Lakers will stand pat? Just ask Pau Gasol. Even he knows that the trade talks will only heat up. When asked about the Orlando Magic reportedly pulling Dwight Howard off the market, said “you don’t know if they’re just saying that…”they’re probably saying that to get a better offer and then pull the trigger.” And when that trigger gets pulled, Pau knows it will be him facing that bullet. It’s so obvious you could call it with braille (Chick Hearn R.I.P.). Gasol reminds me of a soon-to-be father…he’s all packed and ready to go for when he gets that call.

For the first time ever, the big talk in Southern California going into the NBA season is which L.A. team is going to be better. Maybe this is actually a good thing for everyone involved. On teams, competition breeds better play…this same logic should apply to franchises competing.

The Lakers won’t be allowed to rest on their laurels (or rings)…there’s no grandfathering when it comes to playoff seeding.

Pressure may break pipes, but it also makes rivalries.

 

{for more Heat coverage, checkout the LAL Team Page}

 

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14 Responses to Worst Deals in the NBA

  1. gsw on October 30, 2011 at 2:17 am

    beidrins is worse than boozer. at least boozer aint scared!

  2. yosoysean on November 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    No Brandon Roy? 3 years about $50 mil left (plus an unlikely to be picked up team option) for a player whose knees will probably never be healthy.

    • KNEZ on November 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      I hear you Sean. Truth is, I would’ve put an honorable mention list on here but it would’ve been longer than my article. I just can’t put Brandon Roy on this list. The performance he had against Dallas in Game 4 was inspirational and a testament to his heart. Maybe he’ll be on next year’s list, with 2 more yrs to go on the deal…we’ll see what he has left in those legs. Knee surgeries like his usually take 2 years to fully recover, if at all. I think he’ll be back next year and be very good. Great stuff.
      -Knez

  3. NEW JERSEY DEVIL on November 8, 2011 at 1:30 am

    as nets fan we dodged a bullet here. i was sure ud include travis outlaw on ur list.

  4. Nichter on November 14, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Arenas is #1, Hands down. Considering the gun charges, the drop off in production, and his creaky knees. It’s not even close.

  5. Roth Caplin on November 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Gilbert Arenas shouldn’t be on this list…he’ll be waived within days

  6. Terry on December 1, 2011 at 5:58 am

    1. Joe Johnson
    2. Gilbert Arenas
    3. Elton Brand
    4. Baron Davis
    5. every other player in the league

  7. Sinan56 on December 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    saw ur rumor that gilbert may not be waived afterall…..is that true??

    • Martin Knezevic on December 2, 2011 at 8:53 am

      Sinan56,
      They’ll probably wait first to see what kind of roster they’ll have this season. Dwight Howard is s a big Gilbert Arenas fan. Plus, they need all the talent they can get to surround Dwight. Check back on this one…..
      -Knez

  8. Handyman on December 2, 2011 at 8:01 am

    i think arenas has a lot of game left. elton brand, not so much.

  9. Alexandar on December 3, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Rashard Lewis is worth the $, he is a pernnial all-star.

  10. DunNY on December 5, 2011 at 8:29 am

    why is everybody voting for Gilbert, he can still play!

  11. Melvin on December 6, 2011 at 3:27 am

    ANdris Biedrins doesn’t belong here. Other than that its pretty dead on..

  12. Reagan on January 31, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    wHAT aBOUT jOE jOHNSON?!

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