One trend running rampant in the 2012 free-agent season is guys getting paid more than they should be. Here are just a few of the players bringing in oversized paychecks.
Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Hornets
Deal: four years, $36 million
Anderson had an outstanding season last year, easily deserving the "most improved" player honors he received. While playing with the Magic, he averaged 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, and the Hornets are expecting these numbers to transfer over to their team.
Maybe Anderson will play just as well in New Orleans as he did in Orlando, but $9 million a year is a big risk to take on a player who didn't really stand out until last season. Also, Anderson played alongside a strong center in Dwight Howard, and the Hornets' system does not match up. New Orleans is taking an expensive gamble on Anderson.
Jeremy Lin, Houston Rockets
Deal: three years, $25 million
Similar to New Orleans, Houston is taking a huge leap of faith for a player that really only had about six weeks worth of impressive performances. Everyone jumped on the Linsanity bandwagon immediately, but the Rockets are continuing to ride it out... at an extremely high price.
Kris Humphries, Brooklyn Nets
Deal: two years, $24 million
The good news? Brooklyn acted smartly and only signed Humphries to a two-year deal.
The bad news? Humphries will be receiving $12 million per year.
Certain players can get away with acting like prima donnas because of the numbers they produce and the league-wide reputation they hold. Kris Humphries is not one of those people. As a defender, he's definitely valuable. At the other end, however, don't let his numbers on paper fool you—his offensive performance is inconsistent at best.
The Nets are grasping desperately for a big man that will lead them, and Humphries isn't it.
Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets
Deal: four years, $60 million
Some people may make a case for Lopez earning $15 million a year, but those individuals are looking only at his offensive numbers. He certainly produces great offensive stats for a big man—averaging an impressive 19.2 PPG—but his rebounding and prowess on defense is severely lacking.
If Lopez doesn't step up defensively and aggressively grab more boards, he won't be worth the $60 million Brooklyn is shelling out for him.