NBA Free Agency: Five Players Who Will Be Overpaid This Offseason

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IJuly 1, 2012

NBA Free Agency: Five Players Who Will Be Overpaid This Offseason

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    On July 11th, NBA teams can begin signing free agents. For these next several days, rumors will swirl from around the league, likely confusing us with each twist and turn.

    Every year, there are some free agents who are overpaid by a team. These teams are either enamored by his play over the course of a short period of time, or because this specific player has garnered interest from many teams in the league.

    Here are five players who will likely be overpaid during this free agency period. 

Goran Dragic, PG

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    Goran Dragic averaged only 11.7 points and 5.3 assists per game, yet is considered to be one of the hottest commodities on the market.

    If you look closer, Dragic played most of the season sitting behind Kyle Lowry, and averaged 26.5 minutes per game.

    When he was thrust into the starting role in April, he was fantastic, averaging 18.9 points, 7.7 assists and had an 84.2% free throw percentage.

    With all of these things considered, look for Dragic to get interest not only from his present team, the Houston Rockets, but also from ones like the Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets and his former team, the Phoenix Suns.

    It is likely that at least two of those teams will be in the running for Dragic, especially if Deron Williams decides to join the Mavericks. In this case, the Nets will need a starting point guard.

    With reports that he wants a contract in which he earns a yearly salary of $10 million, look for Dragic to be overpaid by some team who is impressed with his totals as a starter.

Steve Nash, PG

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    Steve Nash is a future Hall-of-Famer as he finishes out one of the more illustrious careers in NBA history. 

    Nash has done basically everything as an individual basketball player, winning two MVP awards, but has never reached the NBA Finals.

    Many pundits have speculated that Nash would consider playing for the Heat, because they would give him his best chance at winning a title during his career.

    However, the Toronto Raptors have stepped in and have decided to offer the Canadian point guard a multi-year deal, where he makes an excess of $12 million dollars a year.

    In addition, the Knicks have expressed an interest in a sign-and-trade deal for Nash, signaling that they think it will be difficult to sign him outright.

    At the end of the day, Nash might return to his home country to finish out his career, taking an absurdly great contract financially. 

Eric Gordon, SG

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    After being traded to the New Orleans Hornets, Eric Gordon did not play much on the court, only joining the team for nine games.

    During his time on the court, Gordon did put up 20.6 points and 34.4 minutes per game, showcasing why he was the centerpiece of the Chris Paul trade.

    Don't get me wrong, he can put up 25 points per game if he stays healthy and if his point guard can feed him the ball.

    However, that is the problem. Gordon has only played more than 65 games in a season once in his four-year career. 

    With the talks that his agent is looking for a maximum contract, Gordon's value will likely increase as teams like Indiana, Portland and Phoenix continue to put out offers.

    At the end of the day, it is likely that the Hornets will match any offer that Gordon accepts, just because of his high potential.

    However, Gordon is not worth a maximum contract at this stage in his career.  

OJ Mayo, SG

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    When OJ Mayo was drafted in the top-five picks in the 2008 Draft, many believed that they were looking at a future All-Star.

    Instead, he has struggled with his current role on the Grizzlies and even conceded his role as the starter two years ago.

    Mayo is likely going to be playing on a new team next year, considering that his role has decreased each year and because of Memphis' luxury tax issues.

    Teams like the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers will be interested in his services, just because he did put up 18.5 points per game in his rookie season, when he was the starter.

    His enormous potential is reason to give Mayo a chance, but he is definitely not worth nine to $10 million dollars a year—a salary which he might definitely receive. 

    The Southern California alum is going to get big money from someone who believes that Mayo will become the All-Star shooting guard that he was once believed to be.

Omer Asik, C

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    The Chicago Bulls fell short of their expectations this past season, losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs.

    Now, this early exit can be attributed to injuries to Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, two of Chicago's most important cogs.

    During this offseason, the Bulls have flirted with trading Luol Deng and experimented with possibly rebuilding their roster.

    Trading Deng would clear up more salary cap for the Bulls to sign both Omer Asik and Taj Gibson, two of their young role players who they need to re-sign to stay in contention.

    However, Asik is said to command a contract where he is paid $8 million dollars a year by the Rockets and the Bulls might not match this offer because Asik only played 15 minutes a game.

    Lauded for his defense, the "Turkish Hammer" will likely be overpaid, and might be finding a new home next season.