Like Elton Brand, These 7 Players Should Be Amnestied
The price of success is the highest to pay. The price of failure is impossible to overcome.
With every contract offered, a general manager takes a calculated risk that could end up in the worst-case scenario. From potential injury to a player simply not panning out, the distribution of serious funds is often a gamble.
As we all know, every gamble comes with a risk to lose it all.
NBA executives are well aware of this fact as they suffer from big-money deals that have gone terribly wrong.
Fortunately, the new collective bargaining agreement has offered an opportunity for them to rid themselves of such a headache without cutting into their salary cap. God bless the creation of the amnesty clause.
The question is, who deserves it most? While we could point out an overpaid player on every team, no one deserves it quite like these unfortunate seven.
Andray Blatche, Washington Wizards
Position: Power Forward
Salary Remaining: $23,384,762 over three years
2011-12 Per-Game Averages: 24.1 minutes, 8.5 points, 5.8 rebounds
Andray Blatche is one of the most mercurial players in the NBA. He's a consistent locker-room distraction whose on-court production just doesn't warrant the patience. Prior to the 2012-13 season, the Washington Wizards' patience must run out.
Blatche is set to make an average of just under $8 million over each of the next three seasons. To make this worse, this back-loaded deal has Blatche seeing a raise in pay in each season.
Get rid of one of the worst contracts in basketball, Washington. Offer yourself a chance to build around a promising core.
Josh Childress, Phoenix Suns
Position: Small Forward
Salary Remaining: $21,000,000 over three years
2011-12 Per-Game Averages: 14.4 minutes, 2.9 points, 2.8 rebounds
You could suggest Hakim Warrick for this role and even imply that he deserves a slide of his own. The fact is, Warrick is actually on the court contributing in a positive way.
By comparison, what in the world is Josh Childress doing?
While Childress has the talent to thrive, he's simply never put it all together. He only received 14.4 minutes per game in 2012 for the Phoenix Suns, which makes you wonder how he deserves so much money over the next three seasons.
The Suns have taken great strides towards building a legitimate future, but they will go no further if they hold onto this lofty contract. The opportunities open up if they rid themselves of such a deal.
Brendan Haywood, Dallas Mavericks
Remaining Salary: $37,707,000 over four years
2011-12 Per-Game Averages: 21.2 minutes, 5.2 points, 6.0 rebounds
Brendan Haywood is one of the more underrated players in the NBA. He's a consistent option in the paint who offers a strong effort on both ends. Unfortunately, he's terribly overpaid and playing on a team that could use all of the helpful youth they can afford.
Haywood is set to earn $8 million in 2012-13, as well as higher than $9 million in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. This money comes for a player who has contributed in a solid, well-rounded way. Unfortunately, it also comes for a player averaging much less than starter's minutes.
As nice of a player as Haywood is, the Mavs must let go of his big deal.
Mike Miller, Miami Heat
Position: Shooting Guard
Salary Remaining: $18,600,000 over three years
2011-12 Per-Game Averages: 19.3 minutes, 6.1 points, 45.3% 3PT
Mike Miller was the hero of the NBA Finals, closing out the series with an NBA-record seven three-point field goals by a reserve. What we must not lose through all of the hype and commotion, however, is that it was visibly painful for Miller to simply walk up and down the court.
If he doesn't retire, this is the only logical move for the Miami Heat to make.
Miller will command a salary of $5.8 million in 2012-13. In each of the 2013 and 2014 seasons, the former Florida Gator will haul in greater than $6 million.
For the Heat to properly pad their roster for multiple title runs, they must rid themselves of a contract that could be split between two separate players.
Marcus Morris, Houston Rockets
Salary Remaining: $10,929,921 over four years
2011-12 Per-Game Averages: 7.4 minutes, 2.4 points, 29.6% FG
Marcus Morris is an immensely talented player who has the versatility to play either forward position. He has the upside to be an All-Star and the on-court maturity to contribute right now. Unfortunately, he's deep on the depth chart at either the 3 or 4.
At small forward, Marcus Morris is sitting at No. 3 behind second-year player Chandler Parsons and rookie Royce White. At power forward, Morris is looking up at both Luis Scola and Terrence Jones.
Morris happens to be making nearly $2 million in each of the next two seasons. He's also making upwards of $2.9 million in 2014 and requires a qualifying offer of upwards of $4 million in 2015, when he enters restricted free agency.
The Rockets must give this kid the chance to play elsewhere via trade or amnesty; don't just bury him in a deep, young crop of forwards.
John Salmons, Sacramento Kings
Position: Shooting Guard
Salary Remaining: $22,666,000 over three years
2011-12 Per-Game Averages: 27.2 minutes, 7.5 points, 40.9% FG
John Salmons is the highest-paid player on the Sacramento Kings roster. Considering he's the generously-ranked sixth-best individual player on the roster, that fact is outrageous.
In 2012, Salmons is set to make $8.083 million. While that amount will decrease in each of the next two seasons, the former Miami Hurricane will still make greater than $7 million a year. Fortunately, that includes a non-guaranteed amount of $7 million in 2014.
The talent is there for the Kings to make a run towards the playoffs in the near future. Unfortunately, Salmons has the worst of many bad contracts on the team. Start at the top and rid yourself of this $22 million headache.
Charlie Villanueva, Detroit Pistons
Position: Power Forward
Salary Remaining: $16,640,000 over two years
2011-12 Per-Game Averages: 13.8 minutes, 7.0 points, 3.7 rebounds
Charlie Villanueva is scheduled to make upwards of $8 million in each of the next two seasons. With Greg Monroe in All-Star form and Andre Drummond a likely first-year starter, this means that the Pistons' $16.64 million man will not be starting in 2013.
He won't be playing the role of sixth man either, as that role will go to either Corey Maggette or Tayshaun Prince.
To break it down simply, the Pistons have major money invested in a player who will be a rotational option at best. While one might suggest they trade said player, he just so happens to be in possession of an untradeable contract.
Unless the Pistons plan to package him with a player they can't afford to lose, they're stuck until they use their amnesty clause.