NBA Free Agents 2013: Grading and Judging the Worst Moves of the Offseason
With the storm of Free Agency essentially over (the majority of notable players have found a home), I could not think of a better time to kick off a hardwood rant, surrounding the 10 most disgusting contracts GMs have handed out this offseason…
The new CBA has prevented a lot of our classic Eddy Curry, Hedo Turkoglu, Gilbert Arenas, and Josh Childress contracts from happening, but some of these contracts will undoubtedly make fans question their leadership (cut to nodding Knicks fans during the Isaiah Thomas era). Without further adieu, here are your worst contracts of the offseason so far. But first, to get you back in the NBA mindset…
Honorable Mention: Manu Ginobili resigns with the San Antonio Spurs for 2 years, $14 million.
Ginobili’s playoff performance proved that he is entering the twilight of his career. Aside from his spectacular game five performance, Ginobili just was not the same player he used to be. The contract is only two seasons so it certainly isn’t terrible, but it just seems that $7 million a year for an oft-injured 35-year-old coming off his worst statistical season is a little excessive. At the start of Free Agency, I was expecting he would land in the $3-4 million range. Maybe the Spurs are paying $3.5 million per year for basketball abilities and $3.5 million for bat snatching abilities.
10.) David West resigns with the Indiana Pacers for 3 years, $36 million.
David West is coming off a comeback season in Indiana in which he helped propel the Pacers to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He certainly deserved a contract extension. Known throughout the league as a first-class player, West remains a bonafide banger. His toughness on the court is impeccable and he provides great leadership for a young Pacers team. With that being said, he is also 33 years old and has a history of knee issues. When West initially signed his 2 year, $20 million deal with the Pacers, it seemed like an incredibly fair price. This time around, he got more years and more money. Even though 33-year-old forwards with knee issues tend to age quickly, I would have preferred giving West a 2 year deal with an option for a third. The Pacers are a small market team with major dollars invested in Roy Hibbert, George Hill, Danny Granger, and now West, and they still need to lockdown Paul George, their best player. The Pacers better tread safely; they are very close to entering luxury tax hell.
9.) Chase Budinger resigns with the Minnesota Timberwolves for 3 years, $16 million.
Chase Budinger is a young solid player. However his numbers from year 1 and year 4 are painfully similar. What does this mean? It means that while Budinger is not regressing he is also not improving. Throw in the fact that he is also coming off a major injury that and you have to ask yourself why the Wolves would ever give an extension to him that was multi-year and the FULL MIDLEVEL EXCEPTION. The only logical explanation here is that David Kahn hypnotized Flip Saunders and signed Budinger?
8.) Tony Allen resigns with the Memphis Grizzlies for 4 years, $20 million.
First off I would like to say that I love what Tony Allen brings to the table. I think he is one of the leagues most underrated players; he is the best perimeter defender in the league hands down. However, at 31 years old, giving Tony Allen four years does not make much sense. Tony Allen is most likely going to lose a step in the coming years because he is exiting his prime; thus his defense will suffer. If Allen becomes a mediocre defender in this league he becomes an awful contract because he is a below-average-at-best offensive player. The Grizzlies also just traded Rudy Gay, a true asset, because they were terrified of the luxury tax. I think a 2-year deal worth $10 million would have been more appropriate.
7.) Martell Webster resigns with the Washington Wizards for 4 years, $22 million.
Martell Webster is coming of a breathtaking season in which he might have convinced a few fans that he can actually play in this league. There are two reasons though why this contract is horrible. First, Webster could easily be a candidate for the good-stats-on-a-bad-team player (see Isaiah Thomas (Kings), Jared Dudley, Gerald Henderson, Alan Anderson, etc.); you don’t fool me Martell Webster. And second, the Wizards just drafted Otto Porter. So to recap, the Wizards just paid the full mid-level exception to a player who had his best season in his 8th year in the league, which was also a contract year, and after they drafted Otto Porter who is presumably the starter. I repeat, the full-midlevel exception for a bench player who turned it on during a contract year! Some GMs aren’t spending wisely.
6.) Kyle Korver resigns with the Atlanta Hawks for 4 years, $24 million.
Kyle Korver can do one thing in this league, which is stroke the 3-ball. The bottom line is that there are cheaper options for 3-point shooters. Personally, I believe teams are overvaluing players that only know how to shoot threes (see Jason Kapono, Steve Novak, and every other white players in the NBA). Let me ask you, would you rather have Kyle Korver for $6 million a year or Dorrell Wright for half that?
5.) Al Jefferson signs with the Charlotte Bobcats for 3 years, $41 million.
Michael Jordan: You’re overpaying a big man again (see Tyrus Thomas, DeSanga Diop, and Reggie Williams). Big Al can be the low-post scoring the Bobcats sorely need, but $14 million a year is waaaaaaay too generous. I thought the Spurs would have been a perfect match for Big Al (let’s get back to this point), but Michael Jordan is finally determined to build a contender; I just think he legitimately does not know how. Al Jefferson is not a player you want to add to an up-and-coming team, as he can be a ballhog and plays zero defense.
4.) Jeff Teague resigns with the Atlanta Hawks for 4 years, $32 million.
Danny Ferry, you are our first two-time offender of the atrocious contract award!!!!!!!!!!!! Jeff Teague is a very solid point guard who is a mix between mediocre starter and spectacular backup. At $4-5 million, Jeff Teague is a great value. At $8 million a year, he’s a salary-cap disaster. This is an instance of a restricted free agent maximizing his value. Generally for teams that want a RFA, they need to overpay to ensure the other team does not match. Well, the Hawks were actually stupid enough to match the Bucks’ offer! Have fun Hawks fans, having Teague as a starting point guard was probably not so easy but having him start and be grossly overpaid is a double whammy!
3.) Tiago Splitter resigns with the San Antonio Spurs for 4 years, $36 million.
Tiago Splitter enjoyed a breakout season for the Spurs (it will definitely will be remembered not for the solid season but for LeBron James daddying him); However, if I were the contending Spurs I would throw all my cards on the table and sign Big Al Jefferson. The Spurs are all in anyway and Jefferson is simply better then Splitter, even Paul Millsap would have made more sense. This contract is additionally awful because Splitter is going to be 29 years old next season; if his breakout season is averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds and he’s 29 years old, how much higher is his ceiling? RC Buford tends to prove all his critics wrong so it would not surprise if Splitter outplays his contract, but at a glance $9 million a year for Tiago Splitter is what I consider disgustingly overpaid.
2.) Tyreke Evans signs with the New Orleans Pelicans for 4 years, $44 million.
The Pellies are clearly in win-now mode. They swung the bold move for Jrue Holiday and followed that with this contract. The ‘Cans have Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, and Eric Gordon, a formidable trio with valuable role players like Ryan Anderson and Al Faroq- Aminu in the background. So where does Tyreke Evans fit in, especially with the expected bounce-back year from Austin Rivers? Evans is a tweener at various positions- he can’t play point guard because he hates passing; he can’t play shooting guard because he is not a good enough ball handler and cannot cover opposing shooting guards. Furthermore, in each of his first four seasons Evans has continuously regressed statistically. When it is all said and done, Dell Demps, you need to ask yourself… do you really want to be paying your sixth man this kind of money. Evans is still young and Monty Williams can definitely bring him back to what he was supposed to be, but only all-stars or players very close to being all-stars should get the contract that Evans just received. I would not bet that Evans reaches that level.
1.) Jose Calderon signs with the Dallas Mavericks for 4 years, $29 million.
Jose Calderon should just change his to “I am an expiring contract in 36 months” Calderon. This contract is so ridiculous that I might start a twitter page called @JoseCalderonsExpiringContract with #WorstSigningOfTheOffseason. Seriously, the Mavericks completely struck out with this move. You would think professional General Managers would be smart enough to realize that signing a regressing 31-year-old point guard is not the most efficient way to preserve cap space. If there is a silver lining to this contract, it is that I would rather pay Jose Calderon $29 million over four years then Bobby Bonilla $31 million over the next 25 years… (Cut to Met fans nodding vigorously).
Did we mention the Knicks are bring the Peace back? Metta World Peace is en route, for two years…
Free agency is coming to an end the only thing left to do is see what kind of idiot overpays for Nik Pekovic and/or Brandon Jennings. This column just could not wait though. Check back later for the best contracts of the offseason. It’s going to be a long offseason…
- Tyreke Evans to the Pelicans, Al Jefferson to the Bobcats and all this week’s NBA Moves! (exquisitesportstalk.wordpress.com)
- Atlanta Hawks match offer for Jeff Teague, generally spurn the Bucks (bloodrunningredandgreen.wordpress.com)
- Free Agent Tracker (fantasyballaus.wordpress.com)
- Splitter will stay in San Antonio through the 2016 – 2017 NBA season (94feetofgreatness.wordpress.com)
- Hawks match Bucks’ offer, retain Jeff Teague (mysanantonio.com)