NBA Free Agency 2012: 10 Players Destined to Get Wildly Overpaid
As exciting as NBA free agency is, some of the contracts handed out are just plain ridiculous.
Every year, some GM will break the bank on a player who, while talented, is nowhere near deserving of the kind of money he's being paid.
Take Kris Humphries, for example. Yes, the man can rebound and is a double-double machine, but what else does he bring to the table besides his work on the glass? In his scoring, he doesn't really have much of a jump shot to write home about. Simply put, he's no Kevin Love.
And yet, he is probably going to be signed to a long-term, lucrative contract this month and thus, get paid far more than he is worth.
The sad part is that Humphries won't be the only overpaid one entering next season.
No. 10: Eric Gordon
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Gordon is one of the most talented scorers in the game and as he enters restricted free agency, he is bound to receive a great number of offers, all of which the New Orleans Hornets have vowed to match. Yet, as much as I love watching him, Gordon isn't worth a max level deal.
Don't get me wrong. Gordon can score.
In four NBA seasons, he has averaged 18.2 points per game but has only played in over 70 games once.
Nothing against the former Indiana Hoosier, but a max level contract is a lot to gamble on an oft-injured player who does little more than score points. If he misses a lot of time, such a contract could slowly begin to look like a bad investment.
No. 9: Lou Williams
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Lou Williams averaged a career high 14.9 points per game for the Philadelphia 76ers. Ready for the crazy part? He led the team in scoring.
Given that, Williams opted out of his deal, for hopes of landing a bigger contract that would allow him to continue his hot shooting ways. No teams have expressed a major interest in him as of now, but the fact remains that he is a great shooter and could command a lot of money to come off the bench.
Unfortunately, Williams just isn't worth top sixth man money. Yes, the man can shoot, but he's so small at 6'1", 175 pounds.
Throw in his lack of defense, and he's a prime case for being overpaid this summer.
No. 8: Jameer Nelson
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Nelson has done a fine job creating a spot for himself in the NBA, but the fact is that he's overrated.
A great scoring point guard in college, he has taken his scoring mentality to the pros and it just hasn't worked. In eight seasons, he has averaged just 12.4 points per game.
The sad truth is that Nelson is a good college player who is just average in the NBA. He wants to be a scorer, but he is just too small at 6'0", 190 pounds, and nowhere near as good an athlete as some other guys his size, like Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Still, lots of teams need point guard help this year. That said, Nelson will get lots of calls and a fat paycheck that he hardly deserves.
No. 7: Randy Foye
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Out of all of the free agents available, Foye easily has the most heart. He's not a great athlete at 6'4", 213 pounds, but he can shoot the hell out of the ball.
Filling in for an injured Chauncey Billups last year, he averaged 11 points per game and shot 39 percent from long range. Keep in mind, this was in an offense where he didn't have much of a role except for shooting threes.
That said, teams that need help with shooting guard could easily look to him to fill a hole and to have a more prominent role in an offense.
Yet, writing a big check for Foye is a bad idea.
Yes, Foye has talent, but he's just a shooter—a role player. I like watching him, but he shouldn't get starter money for any reason. Hopefully, teams will take this into consideration before making him an offer.
No. 6: Ryan Anderson
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Anderson is the reigning NBA Most Improved Player, and he's definitely going to get a raise this offseason.
Yet, when push comes to shove, he's just another tall forward who can sink jump shots and play average defense.
The former California standout averaged 16.3 points and 7.7 rebounds last year but also shot 39 percent from long range. If you ask me, Anderson looks a lot like Hedo Turkoglu during the prime of his career, but with less scoring and slightly more rebounding.
Considering how Turkoglu's deal is one of the worst in the NBA right now, teams should shy away from making Anderson a big offer.
No. 5: Antawn Jamison
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In the prime of his career, Jamison was a great forward. He could score points consistently and was also a decent rebounder.
Now, he's 36 years old and, while still a good scorer, isn't anywhere close to what he once was.
Playing for a young Cleveland Cavaliers squad in 2012, Jamison averaged 17.2 points per game, but shot only 40 percent from the floor. Yes, his scoring touch is still there, but at what cost? He can't create his own shot anymore and relies way too much on his jumper.
Still, lots of young teams with money are in the hunt for some veteran leadership and given how well Kyrie Irving did with Jamison as his teammate last year, he'll surely get his fair share of contract offers.
No. 4: Kris Humphries
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Humphries is a double-double machine and his tenacity in going after every rebound is quite impressive. Last year, playing for the Nets, he averaged a career best 13.8 points and 11 rebounds.
As great a defender as Humphries is, his offensive game is still pretty raw. He can't really score points outside of the paint and has a hard time creating his own shot. More importantly, he is going through a messy divorce from Kim Kardashian, and teams would be wise to shy away from that type of potential drama.
Were his offensive game more like that of Kevin Love, then he would be worth a max level contract, hands down. Sadly, he's just an undersized big man.
No. 3: Jason Kidd
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In the prime of his career, Kidd was a constant triple-double threat. He had great size for a point guard at 6'4", 210 pounds, and was just a phenomenal athlete.
Today, Kidd is 39 years old and no longer a triple-threat. He also doesn't dish out assists nor drive to the basket with the same aggression he did 10 years ago. All he does is dump the ball off to the stars and sink the occasional three-pointer. Still, he remains a great leader.
That said, teams with young guards who need mentoring will surely go after Kidd with a one-year deal worth a good chunk of change.
Unfortunately, given how his skills have declined in recent years, Kidd isn't worth anything more than the veteran's minimum. Despite that, teams will surely write a big check for him, even for a one-year deal.
No. 2: Roy Hibbert
A restricted free agent, Hibbert just agreed to a max level offer sheet with the Portland Trail Blazers. The former Georgetown Hoya just had a career year for the Indiana Pacers and put up career bests in all major categories.
Though as talented as Hibbert is, he just isn't a max level player. Yes, he just had a career season, but let's take some things into consideration.
First off, he has only had four years in the league and is still developing.
Moreover, the numbers he put up last year were good, but not eye-popping for someone 7'2", 260 pounds. Hibbert averaged two blocks per game, but only 8.8 rebounds and 12 points. That said, what if this past season was his peak year?
Needless to say, Hibbert should be a more dominant force at center given his size. For all we know, he could average 20 and 10 a game next year and for many years after that.
Still, the fact that he has received a max level offer that will guarantee him so much money next year could be a potential salary cap disaster in the making.
No. 1: Jeremy Lin
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Lin is in a special class of free agents. He's a restricted one, but he also has Early Bird Rights. That means that the New York Knicks can re-sign him for up to 175 percent of the average NBA salary and go over the salary cap in doing so.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, GM Glen Grunwald would ideally like to pay the Harvard grad about $24.5 million over four years, while the Toronto Raptors are prepared to offer $40 million over four years if their pursuit of Steve Nash falls through. The Knicks can also match that offer under the Gilbert Arenas Rule.
That said, let's not forget one crucial fact here. Lin is talented, but he has only ever started 25 NBA games and was a nonfactor until coming off the bench to replace an injured Carmelo Anthony this past winter. Though he did put up good numbers, he also committed a lot of turnovers, thus proving that he still has a lot to learn.
Plus—though I hope this isn't the case—there's always the possibility that Lin could be a flash in the pan.
No matter how you look at it, there's no way for him NOT to be overpaid, what with the contract he'll receive and the number of endorsements that will follow.