Outlandish free-agent contracts happen every year. There are always players who have simply been serviceable, perhaps slightly above average, for most of their careers yet somehow land a massive contract.
Often times, teams look back on specific deals with deep regret. Players that underperform or fall victim to injury haunt teams who overbid for their services.
Come the 2012 free agency period, there will almost surely be a bevy of players signed to contracts that are over the top.
Here are predictions of who these players will be, where they will land and how much money they will be pocketing.
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Contract: Five years, $45 million
Omer Asik has become a defensive stalwart for the Chicago Bulls, but his offensive abilities are beyond raw. There's concern if Asik will ever possess offensive skills besides the ability to dunk the ball.
But because of his defensive prowess, Asik will likely garner an eye-opening deal.
If you think I'm foolish for thinking the defensive-minded Asik will receive a huge deal, keep in mind that Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, also a defensive specialist, is making over $10 million a year.
Cleveland is a likely suitor for Asik. He would provide the Cavs with a large presence in the paint, but is he really worth a pricey deal?
Team: Phoenix Suns
Contract: Five years, $65 million
O.J. Mayo has shown flashes of promise throughout his young career, but he hasn't shown enough to receive a lucrative contract.
Nevertheless, he will likely be judged by his potential in free agency. Mayo undoubtedly has the potential to become a consistent 20-points-per-game scorer.
The Phoenix Suns are likely going to lose Steve Nash this summer and will surely be looking for someone who can create at least some excitement.
Adding Mayo is an intriguing thought, but does he really deserve to be paid $13 million a year?
Regardless, Mayo's likely to receive an outlandish deal that over-hypes his value.
Team: Brooklyn Nets
Contract: Five years, $65 million
Michael Beasley is in the same boat as Mayo. He's a promising young player but he hasn't done enough to prove he's worth the big bucks.
Notwithstanding, Beasley will strike a deal based on his potential, and the Nets are a great guess of where he will land.
With much uncertainty for the Nets this offseason, they should be active. Regardless of whether or not Gerald Wallace declines his player option, Beasley would be an added source of offense to the team's frontcourt.
If Beasley return to his old form and continue making strides from there, a hefty deal will end up haunting the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets for years.
Team: Charlotte Bobcats
Contract: Three years, $18 million
This may not appear to be an overly-outlandish deal, but it is if you take a deeper dive.
With Bobcats point guard D.J. Augustin likely to leave this summer, West would be a decent replacement as a combo guard who could even play with youngster Kemba Walker.
However, West is an average talent who has reached his ceiling. Still, don't be surprised if Michael Jordan gets desperate with this team and begins scrounging up veterans who are nothing more than serviceable.
Team: Philadelphia 76ers
Contract: Five years, $50 million
Big men tend to land weighty contracts. Just ask Tyson Chandler, Joakim Noah and DeAndre Jordan.
Hawes isn't as productive as those players, but he's still above average and has looked superb in the playoffs for Philly.
Don't be surprised if the Sixers throw a boatload of money at him to retain his services, and don't be surprised if they end up deeply regretting the deal. Hawes can produce, but he will never be an elite center.
Team: Utah Jazz
Contract: Five years, $60 million
The Utah Jazz are desperate for help in their backcourt, and offensive-minded shooting guard Nick Young could enhance their production.
Young doesn't do much on the hardwood besides score, and he's not worth a long-term, pricey deal.
Be that as it may, the youngster will strike it big this summer and receive a deal that beckons him to become an All-Star.
Team: Sacramento Kings
Contract: Four years, $58 million
If Gerald Wallace turns down his player option, it's likely that several teams will throw excessive money at him.
The Kings have some cap room and are in need of a veteran presence. Therefore, it wouldn't be shocking to see Sacramento throw approximately $14 million a year at Wallace—a player they drafted back in 2001.
While Wallace may be versatile, he's definitely not deserving of such a deal.
Team: New York Knicks
Contract: Five years, $40 million
Jeremy Lin made a name for himself with the Knicks, and because of the "Gilbert Arenas rule," it's very unlikely he will venture to a new location this summer.
While Lin has been impressive, it would be foolish of the Knicks to give him a long-term deal. At this point, he's had a stellar two months in the NBA. He needs to showcase his talents more consistently before such a deal is warranted.
Even without a proven track record, there's a good chance that the hype of "Linsanity" will cause the Knicks to throw Lin some extra cash (although it won't be anything overly outlandish, as they already have the weighty deals of Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler).
If Lin shows to be merely an average point guard or battles injuries throughout his tenure in New York, the deal with not be worth it over the long haul.
Team: Houston Rockets
Contract: Six years, $80 million
JaVale McGee has remarkable athletic ability and his potential is through the roof.
Still, he is lacking in basketball I.Q. and is highly undisciplined.
Despite these concerns, it's almost guaranteed that he will command an eye-popping deal this summer. With the contracts starting-caliber centers have been receiving lately, it's only natural to believe McGee will follow suit.
The Rockets need a long-term center, but these figures could very likely end up looking foolish.
Team: Sacramento Kings
Contract: Five years, $75 million
Kris Humphries has become an efficient producer for the lowly Nets. If nothing else, he's a solid fantasy player.
But while he may be a quality piece, he's not worthy of an inflated contract.
Once again, because of the lack of quality big men, Humphries will very likely find himself cashing in this summer.
The Kings have the cap room to make a play, but the reality is they would be wise to wait. If they do go "all-in" this summer (signing Humphries and another player like Gerald Wallace), they could find themselves in a world of hurt down the road.