NBA Free Agents 2011: DeAndre Jordan and the 10 Worst Signings Thus Far

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2011

NBA Free Agents 2011: DeAndre Jordan and the 10 Worst Signings Thus Far

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    With the NBA season officially underway, the majority of free-agency moves have been made, and while some teams got impact players at bargain prices, there are numerous bad contracts that have been inked.

    Since the NBA opened its doors on December 9th, we have seen competing teams drive up an athlete's offer sheet, with paydays given more for a name than talent and lucrative contracts issued as a result of a wafer-thin position class.

    Each and every year, there are a plethora of unwarranted and unfitting deals inked, and this offseason has proven to be no exception.

Eddy Curry: One Year, $1.35 Million from Miami Heat

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    Eddy Curry's signing is not one of the worst for its length or dollar amount, but rather for his potential, or lack thereof, to fit in with the Miami Heat.

    Even if Curry steps foot on the court this year, how is he going to contribute? Regardless of how much weight he has dropped, does he stand a chance at keeping pace with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Norris Cole or Chris Bosh when they run the floor? No.

    Additionally, unlike Joel Anthony, Curry will have little value on the defensive end. He was never a premiere shot-blocker, and was a subpar rebounder for someone his size.

    The Heat were smart not to guarantee Curry anything, but at the same time, why sign a player who has no chance of making a positive impact even if he is healthy? 

Kwame Brown: One Year, $7 Million from Golden State Warriors

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    The Golden State Warriors had a clear need for a defensive presence in the middle, but Kwame Brown's contract is an unwarranted one, even if it is only for a year.

    Not only did the Warriors have cheaper options to look at, but they could have paid Brown substantially less than that. Brown has been extremely disappointing since he made the jump to the NBA a decade ago, and that is not about to change. There was no need to pay him so much.

    Additionally, Golden State recently signed Kyrylo Fesenko, which is a route they arguably should have explored before Brown.

    Brown's ineptitude makes his latest salary a joke. One that isn't funny.

J.J. Barea: Four Years, $19 Million from Minnesota Timberwolves

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    There is a reason why teams like the New York Knicks were hoping that J.J. Barea would accept the mini-exception to join them, as $2.5 million is a more reasonable salary for the impact he has.

    Barea can score when called upon, and he is an extremely accurate three-point shooter, but his playmaking skills are below average for that of a point guard. He is more than willing to dish the ball off and let others create for themselves, but reading defenses and anticipating their next move is not his strong-suit.

    Will the point guard be a positive addition for the Minnesota Timberwolves? Yes, but he will not make a contribution that warrants an annual salary of nearly $5 million, especially with two others like Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour fighting for playing time.

    Yes, Barea rose to the occasion in the postseason, but a career 7.2 points and 2.9 assists per game floor general, who is an arguably excessive addition, has no business being issued a $20 million contract.  

Tyson Chandler: Four Years, $58 Million from New York Knicks

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    The New York Knicks have been without a true center for the better part of a decade, but at the price they paid for Tyson Chandler, they could have gone a little longer without one.

    At 7'1", Chandler can be a game changer. He is a rebounding and shot-blocking machine, and can even put up some points on a good night. The only problem is, Chandler's good nights aren't exactly all that prevalent.

    For his career, Chandler is an 8.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game talent, numbers that hardly justify him earning nearly $15 million annually. New York needs consistency, and the big man can hardly be considered the poster child for such an attribute.

    Chandler has the potential to transform the Knicks' entire defensive culture, yet his contract also has the potential to be rendered a huge bust.

Marcus Thornton: Four Years, $33 Million from Sacramento Kings

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    Marcus Thornton can score—that is undeniable—but you have to believe that the Sacramento Kings threw so much money his way for the sole purpose of keeping him away from other potential suitors.

    Sacramento has a surplus of perimeter scorers, and Thornton's presence is arguably overkill. Additionally, he has only had two very impressive seasons, and who's to say he doesn't drop off the radar once again?

    The money the Kings spent on Thornton would have been better spent on a defender to anchor in the low post. Instead, the team bolstered an already loaded offense.

    The motive behind the contract is even more questionable given that it didn't come cheap.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute: Four Years, $19 Million from Milwaukee Bucks

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    Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is only three years deep in the league, but he hasn't produced nearly enough to justify a nearly $5 million annual salary.

    For his career, Mbah a Moute has averaged 6.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He can shoulder the burden of abuse in the low post, but he is not an especially adept defender.

    In terms of offense, don't expect Mbah a Moute to contribute all that much. He has no range to his game, and is not aggressive at all on that end of the ball.

    The truth is, at this point, barring a breakout season, a justified salary for the small forward would have been along the lines of $2.5 million per year. 

Tayshaun Prince: Four Years, $27 Million

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    After buying out the contract of Richard Hamilton, it seemed that the Detroit Pistons were fully engaged in a youth movement. Then they re-signed Tayshaun Prince.

    Prince is a solid defender and capable scorer, but he is 31, and has nine years worth of mileage on his body already. He will be 35 when his contract expires, and who knows how effective he will be at that point.

    Had the Pistons inked Prince to a one-, or even two-year deal, it may have made sense. However, they signed him for four years at nearly $7 million annually. Again, he is a talented player, but he is one on the decline. 

    Now, not only is Prince overpaid, but he is a part of the team's future, and his long-term presence could hinder the development of Austin Daye.

    Prince's contract was a bad move in more ways than one. 

Glen Davis: Four Years, $26 Million from Orlando Magic

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    Even if you move past the fact that the Orlando Magic invested an average of $6.5 million per year in Glen "Big Baby" Davis and his conditioning problems, it is impossible to move past the reality that he has landed such a payday assuming a backup role.

    Ryan Anderson has been favored at the power forward position thus far, relegating Davis to the bench. It is a role he is accustomed to, but after the contract he just signed, his rotation rank doesn't measure up to his pay grade. 

    Davis had an impressive year with the Boston Celtics last season, but it was the first time he averaged double-digit point totals for his entire career. Prior to last season, seven points per game was Davis' greatest feat, which is less than impressive to say the least.

    At only 25, it is more than possible the best has yet to come from Davis, but at the same time, the Magic would have been best served acquiring him on a short-term deal, protecting themselves in the event he reverted back to his lesser productive days.

    Make no mistake, Davis' contract runs the risk of becoming a premature investment. 

Jason Richardson: Four Years, $25 Million from Orlando Magic

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    While Jason Richardson usually provides instant offense, the reality now is that he is an aging, one-dimensional athlete who isn't worth over $6 million annually.

    Additionally, re-signing Richardson made little sense for the Orlando Magic, who are hoping to entice Dwight Howard to stay. The shooting guard can score, but cannot do much else; Richardson is a defensive liability, which is not likely to appeal to the defensive-minded Howard.

    Not to mention that his longer-term deal only further restricts Orlando in the types of moves they are able to make going forward.

    The Magic are going to have to pull the trigger on a number of deals and acquisitions to grab Howard's attention. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of them.

DeAndre Jordan: Four Years, $43 Million from Los Angeles Clippers

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    The four years the Los Angeles Clippers gave DeAndre Jordan are not the least bit worrisome, but the $43 million is a different story.

    Jordan is extremely athletic and a shot-blocking machine, but he has not shown he can be consistent. For his career, the center has averaged 5.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Such numbers are solid, but they do not justify Jordan bringing in over $10 million annually.

    In the Clippers defense, they had no choice but to match the offer sheet Jordan received from the Warriors. Allowing a promising center to join a division rival would have been catastrophic.

    That being said, Jordan's lucrative contract isn't easy to embrace, as it serves as a prime example of how desperate the NBA's teams are for size. 

    You can follow Dan Favale on Twitter @Dan_Favale.