Power Ranking the Biggest Fails of the NBA Offseason
So far this offseason, there have been a myriad of moves that come across as intelligent and a few that come across as the opposite.
For the Brooklyn Nets, convincing Deron Williams to re-sign was nothing short of brilliant, although history may remember this as the offseason that locked the Nets into mediocrity.
In order to convince Williams to re-sign, GM Billy King executed a trade with the Atlanta Hawks to bring Joe Johnson and the horrible contract that comes with him to Brooklyn. The team also re-signed Gerald Wallace to a four-year, $40 million contract and brought back Brook Lopez with a maximum contract.
Basically, the Nets should be decent next season but will have very little financial flexibility in the coming years. So while the Nets achieved their goal in convincing Williams to return, they aren't exactly bona fide championship contenders either.
Over time, every NBA team makes a mistake at some point. The problem for some teams is that they consistently make bad decisions and aren't competitive because of them.
As you will notice, most of the teams on this list haven't been competing for championships recently, mainly due to the decision making by those in the front office.
5- Raptors Missing out on Steve Nash and Signing Landry Fields
The Toronto Raptors hatched a master plan for this offseason. They were going to sign the league's best Canadian player, and he was going to lead them to the playoffs for the first time in four years.
In order to ensure that the Raptors landed Steve Nash, GM Bryan Colangelo offered Knicks guard Landry Fields a three-year contract worth $20 million.
Fields has not played at a level that warrants that contract, so it was clear that Colangelo was trying to keep the Knicks out of the Nash sweepstakes. In theory, it seemed like a great idea, as long as Nash decided to sign with the Raptors.
As you know by now, Nash was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers in a sign-and-trade and the New York Knicks declined to match the offer sheet to Fields.
So in their attempt for Nash, the Raptors were spurned by the player of their affection and now have to foot the bill for an average shooting guard.
The only reason that this is only fifth on the list is because the Raptors have had a good offseason outside of the Nash/Fields debacle.
Acquiring Kyle Lowry for a single first round pick ensured that Canada's only franchise will have a capable point guard when next season tips off.
Jonas Valanciunas, who they took in the lottery last year, is set to make his NBA debut this year and is expected to contribute immediately.
Colangelo deserves credit for rescuing this offseason from the embarrassment of being passed over by Nash and the media grilling that came with their signing of Fields.
4- Indiana Pacers Re-Signing George Hill to a Huge Deal
The Indiana Pacers re-signed George Hill to a five-year, $40 million contract earlier this offseason.
When did Hill transform into a player that has earned a $40 million deal?
Hill is a solid player, but he simply isn't worth that type of an investment.
Last season, Hill averaged 9.6 points, 2.9 assists on 44.2 percent shooting while playing just over 25 minutes per game. Hill's production doesn't warrant eight million dollars a season because there haven't been any indications of him exploding in the future.
His production was a little better when he was with the San Antonio Spurs, as he averaged double-digit points in two seasons. However, the Spurs traded him to the Pacers last year so they weren't forced to offer Hill a contract that he didn't deserve.
The Pacers are focused on building the best overall team because at the moment, they don't have any superstars to get them to the next level. Their best hope is to build a deep talented team that could potentially upset a star-laden team in a playoff series.
If the Pacers were serious about winning a championship, they would have let Hill walk to maintain more financial flexibility.
Hill isn't going to get Indiana over the hump, but they are paying him like a player that they are expecting to do just that.
3- Houston Rockets Using the Poison Pill to Sign Omer Asik
Omer Asik has started a grand total of two NBA games over the span of his two-year NBA career.
This season, Asik set his career high in scoring, averaging a whopping 3.1 points per game and 5.3 rebounds while playing just 14.7 minutes per game. His PER was below average at 13.44, and he rarely faced strong competition from the opposition's back-up center.
Yet for some reason, Asik was offered a three-year, $25 million contract from the Houston Rockets.
The Chicago Bulls weren't eager to see Asik leave the Windy City, but couldn't afford to match the lucrative contract's final season. In year three of the deal, Asik will make $15 million.
If the Bulls had matched, the $15 million they would have owed Asik in 2014-15 would have sent them deep into the luxury tax.
While Asik is one of the better interior defenders in the NBA, that alone doesn't warrant a contract that loaded.
If Asik turns out to be a quality starting center then he will be worth the money, but that is a big if.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey has been very aggressive this offseason and has decided to take the team in a different direction. To say that Houston has decided to undergo a youth movement would be an understatement, as almost every veteran that was with the team last season is now gone.
Houston is doubling down on the fact that Asik will be able to handle the rigors of playing more minutes, while maintaining his great defense without defensive-minded team mates.
2- Brooklyn Nets Spending Spree
Everyone knows that Mikhail Prokhorov is a very rich man and will do whatever it takes to build a winning team in Brooklyn. But with the salary cap in place, the Nets will have to be smarter in the future if their goal is to win an NBA title.
The Nets already acquired Joe Johnson's massive four-year, $90 million contract earlier this offseason. After that, they signed Brook Lopez to a four-year deal worth $58 million. That's quite the investment for a center that is below average on the glass and defensive end of the floor.
Brooklyn also resigned Gerald Wallace to a four-year, $40 million contract. Considering the fact that Wallace is 30 years old and on the decline, the Nets overpaid for a wing player that isn't world class.
Since Lopez isn't a consistent rebounder, the Nets need a power forward who is strong on the glass.
Enter Kris Humphries, who the Nets brought back with a two-year, $24 million deal. Humprhies is an excellent rebounder but isn't worth the $12 million per season that he will be receiving.
For next season, the Nets will have a solid starting five but will have one of the weaker benches in the NBA.
Nets management focused on building a competitive team for their first season in Brooklyn. They certainly accomplished that task, but at what cost?
Has GM Billy King hamstrung the Nets for the future due to this offseason's decisions?
My answer is yes, but we won't have the final answer for a few years.
1- Orlando Magic Circus
How did it come to this?
That is the question that Orlando Magic fans ask themselves daily when surveying their team's current situation.
How did what appeared to be such a promising future go up in smoke?
Dwight Howard's tenure in Orlando is almost over, and all parties are ready to move on from the "Dwightmare."
The Magic have a new GM in Rob Hennigan, who has refused to deal Howard for a bargain price.
While Hennigan shouldn't take bottom dollar for Howard, he must move the franchise's all-time scoring leader prior to next season.
A few years ago, the Magic were viewed as a team that had a bright future due to an emerging young nucleus. Now, the Magic appear to be a team destined to be in the lottery for the next couple of seasons.
Rather than offering Ryan Anderson a new contract, the Magic traded him to the New Orleans Hornets for Gustavo Ayon. So last year's most improved player is no longer with the Magic, but Jameer Nelson and his diminishing game was re-signed to a three-year, $19.7 million contract.
The Magic are still overpaying Chris Duhon, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, so it isn't like they could have been active in free agency.
Nothing good, outside of the team drafting Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O'Quinn, has happened for the Magic, who are on the precipice of beginning another trying season.
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