20 NBA Scrubs Making Absurd Money
Whether you love the on-court product or hate it, the NBA has proven time and time again what many hate to admit: the sport of basketball is just as much a business as it is an athletic display.
With every owner and general manager dreams of the day that they are referred to as a successful business man, quite a few have failed to live up to those lofty expectations. Others, however, have shattered expectations in negative ways that one could never dream of.
Here are twenty examples of who the bank was bet on for all the wrong reasons.
Amar'e Stoudemire, New York Knicks
Current Contract: 5 years for $99.7 million—$18,217,705 in 2012
Had Carmelo Anthony never come to town, Amar'e Stoudemire may have proven worthy of his $100 million deal. Unfortunately, Melo did arrive and took the team onto his back upon doing so.
Suddenly the big-money man is looking like a potential odd man out. Not what James Dolan wants to hear about his dream signing in the summer of 2010.
Season Averages: 17.73 PER—17.5 PPG—7.8 RPG—1.1 APG—1.0 BPG
Andray Blatche, Washington Wizards
Current Contract: 5 years, $15 million—$6,442,083 in 2012
He really doesn't make that much money, I just don't know why a team would give him a chance to play on their team. He's constantly butting heads with his coaching staff, publicly criticizes his own franchise and lacks even the slightest sense of fundamental basketball.
His playing in only 26 games throughout the 2012 season is yet another puzzling chapter in Blatche's story, as the Wizards instructed him to fix his conditioning issues before he could play again. Something tells me he hasn't done it.
Season Averages: 26 GP—10.63 PER—8.5 PPG—5.8 RPG—38% FG
Andris Biedrins, Golden State Warriors
Current Contract: 6 years for $62 million—$9.0 million in 2012
Andris Biedrins showed plenty of promise before this deal was signed, which takes a bit of the blame off of the Golden State Warriors. Regardless of who is at fault, this deal just hasn't worked out.
Biedrins is under contract through next season and has a player option for the 2013-14 NBA season. In each of those seasons, he is poised to make a hefty $9.0 million. This is one of those situations in which a team just cannot find a way out.
Season Averages: 15.7 MPG—8.77 PER—1.7 PPG—3.7 RPG—1.0 BPG
Antawn Jamison, Cleveland Cavaliers
Current Contract: 4 years, $50 million—$15,076,715 in 2012
You have to respect the hell out of Antawn Jamison for his loyalty to such an underachieving franchise. Once credit is given where credit is due, you must begin to question why he's receiving the money he is.
Jamison has played an efficient year in Cleveland, posting a respectable 16.17 player efficiency rating while averaging 17.2 points per game. Jamison isn't a franchise-changing player, though, and has hardly led the Cavaliers to anything but mediocrity since coming to town in 2010.
Season Averages: 16.17 PER—17.2 PPG—6.3 RPG—2.0 APG—40.3% FG
Ben Gordon, Detroit Pistons
Current Contract: 5 years, $50 million—$11.6 million in 2012
Although Gordon closed the year out strong, scoring 26 points in 22 minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers, 2012 was yet another disappointing season for the $50 million man. By disappointing, of course, the comparison is drawn between his monetary value and on-court value.
In 2004, Ben Gordon was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the third overall draft choice. Gordon averaged 20-plus points in two of his five seasons in Chicago, tallying above-average scoring numbers in the other three years.
In three years in Detroit, however, Gordon has never put up more than 13.8 points per game and has never topped 44 percent shooting.
Gordon is a talented player who could thrive elsewhere. Until he receives the opportunity, however, he's stuck on this list as one of the most overpaid players in the NBA.
Season Averages: 26.2 MPG—13.52 PER—12.5 PPG—2.4 APG—2.3 RPG
Beno Udrih, Milwaukee Bucks
Current Contract: 5 years for $32,697,500—$6.665 million in 2012
First and foremost, there's something very wrong when an organization is paying a backup point guard $32 million and their franchise point guard just over $10 million.
When you tack on the fact that Udrih had the worst year of his career, it becomes clear that improper distribution of money is a serious problem out in Milwaukee.
While Beno Udrih may have the talent to warrant the money, the team he's being paid by just doesn't make sense as his financial suitor. This is a head-scratcher all the way through.
Season Averages: 18.3 MPG—13.16 PER—5.9 PPG—3.8 APG—1.7 RPG
Brendan Haywood, Dallas Mavericks
Current Contract: 6 years for $55 million—$7,624,500 in 2012
Brendan Haywood is a reliable rotation player who deserves somewhere between $4 million and $6 million per season. In 2015, when Haywood will 36 years old, the former North Carolina Tar Heel has a club option worth $10,522,500. In the year before that, he's set to make $9.798 million at the age of 35.
As much as I've enjoyed watching Haywood grow as a player, I cannot justify this. When age, money and longevity are all weighed, this deal just doesn't make sense.
Season Averages: 21.2 MPG—12.95 PER—5.2 PPG—6.0 RPG—1.0 BPG
Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls
Current Contract: 5 years for $75 million—$13.5 million in 2012
I'm a big fan of Carlos Boozer's game and find it hard to agree with most of the criticism sent his way. What I do agree with, however, is that he hasn't lived up to the hype of a $75 million man.
When the Bulls and Boozer signed on the dotted lines, the plan was for Boozer to come in and offer them 20 points and 10 rebounds on a nightly basis. The former Utah Jazz power forward was expected to take on the role of No. 2 scorer, easing the workload for eventual MVP Derrick Rose.
Instead, Boozer has been a very good player, but just not good enough to warrant $75 million.
Season Averages: 19.79 PER—15.0 PPG—8.5 RPG—1.9 APG—1.0 SPG
Charlie Villanueva, Detroit Pistons
Current Contract: 5 years for $35 million—$7.54 million in 2012
Charlie Villanueva has been a career underachiever, never reaching seven rebounds per game in a single season of his career. He's also failed to average greater than a block per game in every season he's played, had just one season of greater than 13.0 points per game and never tallied 30 minutes a night.
Yet somehow, he's worthy of $35 million over five years.
Season Averages: 13.8 MPG—16.29 PER—7.0 PPG—3.7 RPG—38.5% FG
DeSagana Diop, Charlotte Bobcats
Current Contract: 5 years for $32,393,000—$6,925,400 in 2012
The fact that the Dallas Mavericks signed DeSagana Diop to a five year, $32.393 million deal defies logic. The fact that the Charlotte Bobcats would trade for the underachieving player, and overwhelming contract, may just take the cake for worst move of the era.
Fortunately for Diop, Michael Jordan has made quite a few of those moves since taking over the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010.
Whether masked by the errors of the MJ era or not, Diop has been very disappointing. He made close to $7.0 million in 2012, a number a player of his caliber should not be seeing. If not for such a weak Bobcats' unit, Diop may not even have a job.
Season Averages: 12.0 MPG—6.84 PER—1.1 PPG—3.1 RPG—0.5 BPG
Devin Harris, Utah Jazz
Current Contract: 5 years for $35.2 million—$9.319 million in 2012
Devin Harris did all he could to extend the Jazz's series with the San Antonio Spurs, putting up averages of 20.0 points and 6.0 assists between Games 3 and 4. Unfortunately, his greatest efforts just weren't enough and Jazz fans were once again brutally informed of an unfortunate truth...
Devin Harris is not the right player for the Utah Jazz's system.
Season Averages: 27.6 MPG—16.08 PER—11.3 PPG—5.0 APG—1.8 RPG—1.0 SPG
Emeka Okafor, New Orleans Hornets
Current Contract: 6 years for $72 million—$12,541,812 in 2012
Is Emeka Okafor one of the better defensive centers in the NBA? Absolutely. Is Emeka Okafor worth the $12,541,812 he made in 2012? Absolutely not.
The 2004 second overall draft choice averaged admirable numbers of 9.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 28.6 minutes per game. The fact of the matter is, Okafor only played in 27 games and each of those statistics marked career-lows.
Hard to justify giving money to a player on the decline, even if he has been one of the most consistent big men in the NBA...
Season Averages: 28.9 MPG—15.13 PER—9.9 PPG—7.9 RPG—1.0 BPG
Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando Magic
Current Contract: 5 years for $53 million—$10.6 million in 2012
Hedo Turkoglu may be one of the most versatile players in the NBA, but he's also an aging player whose contract has damaged any chances of placing talent around Dwight Howard in Orlando. Turkoglu is also 33 years old, on the decline in terms of production and under contract through 2014.
Not the best move by Otis Smith to bring this contract on, was it?
Season Averages: 11.78 PER—10.9 PPG—4.4 APG—3.8 RPG—0.8 SPG
Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks
Current Contract: 6 years for $123.7 million—$18,038,573 for 2012
At this point in time, Joe Johnson is 30 years old and one-third of a trio that has failed to live up to expectations in each of the past four seasons. In 2015, Johnson will be 34 years old and receiving $24,894,863.
That's more than Kobe Bryant receives at the same age, with Kobe actually finding success in the postseason; five titles worth of success.
Johnson is a phenomenal talent who can take over a game at any given point in time. Unfortunately, he's done nothing to prove himself as a legitimate postseason threat. Until that occurs, this contract is bogus.
Season Averages: 18.50 PER—18.8 PPG—3.9 APG—3.7 RPG—0.8 SPG
John Salmons, Sacramento Kings
Current Contract: 5 years for $39.0 million—$8.5 million in 2012
John Salmons made more money than anyone on the Sacramento Kings' roster, including star big man DeMarcus Cousins and former rookie of the year Tyreke Evans. He also seemed more out of place than at any other point in his career.
With a fresh start, Salmons could re-discover his form. Regardless of what Salmons does as an individual, he will remain a part of the Kings' rotation. A very expensive, slowly losing-it rotation member.
Season Averages: 27.2 MPG—7.5 PPG—2.9 RPG—2.0 APG—0.9 SPG—29.5% 3PT
Josh Childress, Phoenix Suns
Current Contract: 5 years for $33.5 million—$6.0 million in 2012
Josh Childress was signed to the Phoenix Suns with the intention of grooming their next Shawn Marion. Unfortunately, Childress has had two injury-plagued seasons with the Suns and failed to even sniff double-digit scoring in either season.
At the heart of Childress' struggles are his limited opportunities.
The former Stanford Cardinal has averaged less than 17 minutes in each of his two seasons with the Suns. While 2013 is a long ways away, he'll need to have a breakout season to even slightly justify this contract.
Season Averages: 14.4 MPG—11.16 PER—2.9 PPG—2.8 RPG—1.0 APG
Luke Walton, Cleveland Cavaliers
Current Contract: 6 years for $30 million—$5.68 million in 2012
I just don't understand why Luke Walton makes the money he makes. I understand that he's a great locker-room personality and valuable in practices due to his on-ball defense. With that being said, when a player hardly ever plays, why offer him $30 million?
Season Averages: 12.1 MPG—3.41 PER—1.8 PPG—1.6 RPG—1.2 APG—36.9% FG
Rashard Lewis, Washington Wizards
Current Contract: 6 years for $118.2 million—$22,152,000 in 2012
If you want an idea as to how much money Rashard Lewis is making, only Kobe Bryant made more money than the former Sonics star in 2012. Bryant also averaged 20.1 points more than Lewis and had a player efficiency rating that was 12.58 points higher.
In case you have yet to understand what I'm trying to say, Rashard Lewis is the most overpaid player in the NBA.
While Lewis isn't necessarily a bad player, with the exception of a dismal 2012, it's hard to imagine why he's always made so much money. Even in Seattle, Lewis received a 7 year, $65 million deal.
Some people just never learn...
Season Averages: 26.0 MPG—9.37 PER—7.8 PPG—3.9 RPG—23.9% 3PT
Richard Jefferson, Golden State Warriors
Current Contract: 4 years, $39 million—$9.282 million in 2012
Richard Jefferson has always been one of the more likable guys in the NBA, but that does not mean he is worth $39 million over four years. Nor does it bring memories of Jefferson's prime, when these figures may have actually made sense.
Instead, the Warriors are the latest team caught up in a situation in which a respected player makes too much money. His $9.282 million salary in 2012 was met by just 9.2 points and 41.6 percent shooting from the floor.
Jefferson may or may not remain warm in the heart of a Nets fan, but he certainly does not command the money he makes.
Season Averages: 27.7 MPG—11.15 PER—9.2 PPG—3.5 RPG—1.4 APG
Tyrus Thomas, Charlotte Bobcats
Current Contract: 5 years for $40 million—$7,305,785 in 2012
Tyrus Thomas remains one of the more proficient shot-blockers in the NBA, but beyond that, he hasn't done much to prove worthy of his $40 million contract. A major reason for this is the fact that Thomas has hardly seen the court in 2012.
Regardless of his lack of playing time, Thomas just hasn't lived up to expectations. He's young and athletic enough to turn things around, but to say he has earned the money he's making would be blasphemous.
Season Averages: 18.8 MPG—9.06 PER—5.6 PPG—3.7 RPG—1.1 BPG—36.7% FG