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10 Worst Dollar-for-Dollar Contracts in the NBA Today

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIJanuary 8, 2017

10 Worst Dollar-for-Dollar Contracts in the NBA Today

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    With each and every passing offseason, NBA players and organizations find themselves thrust into the business side of basketball. The back-and-forth process of defining a contract begins and a battle of wills soon follows.

    All for the proper pairing of player value and monetary reward.

    Although we as a fanbase have begun to pull for the individuals to be granted contracts that their play suggests, it is not uncommon for an organization to overpay. In fact, there are more than a dozen players who are grossly overpaid.

    As for the worst of the worst, it's not too hard to label those very players.

    Although some will point to the common names who ride the bench and see a solid salary, stars are not safe from consideration. After all, big money breeds large expectations.

    As for who has failed to live up to those lofty beliefs, search no further than the following slides.

10. Francisco Garcia, Sacramento Kings

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    Position: Guard/Forward

    Age: 31

    Experience: Seven seasons

    Contract: $29.8 million over five years


    The best way to define Francisco Garcia is as a player who is paid a significant amount of money over a lengthy period of time. Also like DeSagana Diop, Garcia rarely does much to marvel when he actually finds his way onto the floor.

    Not enough to warrant an average of just under $6 million per season.

    At the time of his big deal, Garcia had just put up 12.7 points per game on 39.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Since then, Garcia has missed 98 games in three years.

    He is also coming off of a 2011-12 regular season in which he shot 37.6 percent from the floor and just 29.0 percent from distance.

    Whatever the Sacramento Kings signed Francisco Garcia for, it's safe to say that they are no longer reaping the benefits of his services, if they ever have been.

    With all of this, Garcia is one of the better locker room guys in the league. He's not only a great leader, but is one of the few veterans on the Kings run by inexperienced and immature talent.

    Let's just hope that Garcia can work out the kinks and get back on his pace to mediocrity.


    2011-12 Season Averages

    10.74 PER, 16.3 MPG, 4.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.8 BPG, 0.7 SPG

9. DeSagana Diop, Charlotte Bobcats

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    Position: Center

    Age: 30

    Experience: 11 seasons

    Contract: $32.393 million over five years


    The misery of DeSagana Diop's deal needs no explanation. For those uncertain of who he is and why he's overpaid, time for a briefing.

    Diop is an 11-year veteran currently in the middle of a $32 million contract. While some will reference his ability to maintain an 11-year career as the reason for his heavy contract, the big man has never been more than a glorified role player.

    In fact, his career best averages include 3.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Regardless of how efficient he was in Dallas, there is no way around how outrageous this contract is.

    During the 2011-12 NBA season, Diop couldn't even secure the starting center slot with the Charlotte Bobcats. That's the same Charlotte franchise that won just seven games and relied upon the inconsistent production of Byron Mullens and Bismack Biyombo.

    Regardless of how personable a guy that Diop may be, there's no way around how overpaid he is. There's also no way to debate the fact that this is one of the worst dollar-for-dollar contracts in the NBA.

    For those who find themselves in the mood to argue, check out last season's stat line. 1.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game is worth $6,925,400?

    I didn't think so.


    2011-12 Season Averages

    6.84 PER, 12.0 MPG, 1.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.5 BPG

8. Emeka Okafor, Washington Wizards

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    Position: Center

    Age: 29

    Experience: Eight seasons

    Contract: $72 million over six years


    It should be noted that the only other player in the NBA with a total average of at least 10.0 rebounds per game since 2004-05 is Dwight Howard. It should also be noted that Emeka Okafor has never contributed such play on a contender.

    An average of $12 million a year suddenly qualifies for this list.

    Regardless of his past success, Emeka Okafor is coming off of the worst year of his eight year career. Although injuries plagued a majority of his season, Okafor finished with a pedestrian 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

    It was the first time Okafor averaged less than 9.1 rebounds since entering the league in 2004.

    If Okafor is in fact headed for a steep decline, expect the former Connecticut star to move on up this list. Until that occurs, however, it's fair to rank him this low considering how solid a player he has always been, even if the comparisons between he and Dwight Howard have wrongfully tarnished his reputation.

    Overall, Emeka Okafor has the past production to warrant a contract of this caliber. His inability to lead a team to the postseason, as well as a serious drop in statistical value from 2011 to 2012, has led to the label of overpaid.

    Time to see if a move to Washington can remove his name from such an unfriendly compilation.


    2011-12 Season Averages

    15.13 PER, 9.9 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.0 BPG

7. Nene Hilario, Washington Wizards

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    Position: Center

    Age: 29

    Experience: 10 seasons

    Contract: $67 million over five years


    Nene Hilario is one of the most popular players in the NBA. His glaring smile and consistent play has justified that favorability, thus making the Brazilian big man one of the more well-known names around the world.

    Unfortunately, popularity means nothing for the fact that he is grossly overpaid.

    Nene currently averages $13.4 million per season. That has him as the sixth-highest paid center in the game and within the same tax bracket as Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum and Tyson Chandler.

    Regardless of how solid and consistent Nene's production might be, he is far from the same class as the players previously listed.

    It's difficult to criticize a guy who contributes in every statistical category. It's also hard to knock inconsistency. Regardless of these facts, however, it is clear that Nene Hilario is receiving more money than his play would suggest.

    The fact that he hasn't played just one full season in his 10-year career is just further reason to be skeptical.


    2011-12 Season Averages

    18.65 PER, 13.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.0 BPG

6. Ben Gordon, Charlotte Bobcats

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 29

    Experience: Eight seasons

    Contract: $50 million over five years


    Did you know that Ben Gordon is being paid an average of $10 million per season? If so, were you also aware that, according to his level of pay, Gordon is the sixth-best shooting guard in the NBA today?

    Learn from this experience, folks. Numbers do lie.

    To be fair, Ben Gordon remains one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA. The UCONN alum shot 42.9 percent from distance during the 2011-12 regular season, leading the Detroit Pistons in that category.

    Unfortunately, Gordon isn't being paid to shoot and do nothing else. Equally as unfortunate is the fact that he's doing just that by failing to contribute significantly in any area beyond his jumper.

    If you cut Ben Gordon's salary in half, it'd be hard to argue his worth. When you consider that Gordon is one of just six shooting guards in the league to receive double-digit millions on a yearly basis, however, it's easy to poke holes in the logic.

    Unless Ben Gordon proves capable of turning around the lowly Charlotte Bobcats, this label of doubt and disappointment will remain.


    2011-12 Season Averages

    13.52 PER, 12.5 PPG, 2.4 APG, 2.3 RPG, 42.9% 3PT

5. Tyrus Thomas, Charlotte Bobcats

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 26

    Experience: Six seasons

    Contract: $40 million over five years


    Tyrus Thomas has become one of the most synonymous names with the term "draft bust." Although Thomas is a much better player than he is given credit for, there is a term that does fit him.

    And that term is overpaid.

    The Charlotte Bobcats inherited a $40 million deal over the span of five years when they acquired Tyrus Thomas. The reason for this deal was the wide-spread belief that the former LSU Tigers' star would translate his elite athleticism into elite play.

    Something that never came to fruition.

    Thomas is coming off of a season in which he averaged just 5.6 point, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. It should be noted that his 18.8 minutes per game came with inconsistency and unpredictability. His 9.06 Player Efficiency Rating, however, cannot be justified.

    Now, Tyrus Thomas is a player lost in a poor reputation and a terrible franchise. His ability to block shots with the best of them has been lost within his inability to live up to the hype and money he has been granted.

    As they say, some gifts can also bear the burden of a curse. Tyrus Thomas is living proof for such a claim.


    2011-12 Season Averages

    9.06 PER, 18.8 MPG,  5.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.1 BPG

4. Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando Magic

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 33

    Experience: 12 seasons

    Contract: $54,047,550 over five years


    In case you haven't noticed, a solid amount of the players on this list are very talented. Just because one has talent, however, does not believe that the player is deserving of a gigantic contract.

    For instance, the $54 million deal that was sent to Hedo Turkoglu.

    For those unfamiliar with the Turkish forward's work, he breathes versatility. Not only can Turkoglu handle the ball as well as the average NBA point guard, but he facilitates and rebounds at an adequate level. Throw in the fact that he is reliable from distance and you have yourself a complete package.

    Unfortunately, this package compiled an 11.78 Player Efficiency Rating and is well past his brightest of days. To pay him nearly $11 million per season stretches well-beyond logic.

    With a roster dominated by youth, Turkoglu will be an important piece of the Orlando Magic's confusing puzzle. He'll be asked to mentor young players such as Maurice Harkless and lead this team to anything but the basement of the league.

    His inability to do so should be yet another sign of his status as one of the game's most overpaid players.


    2011-12 Season Averages

    11.78 PER, 10.9 PPG, 4.4 APG, 3.8 RPG, 0.8 SPG

3. Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 30

    Experience: 10 seasons

    Contract: $75 million over five years


    To be fair, Carlos Boozer is coming off of a very good season in which he finally appeared to find his comfort zone in Chicago.

    Averages of 15.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game were each admirable, while his Player Efficiency Rating of 19.79 ranked in the Top 15 amongst power forwards.

    Unfortunately, Boozer isn't being paid to be a top 15 player at his position. He's being paid as if he's one of the best in the league.

    After taking over the NBA with his elite pick-and-roll play alongside Deron Williams in Utah, the Bulls decided that they could recreate the beauty. Unfortunately, Boozer has yet to click alongside Derrick Rose and the Bulls' mega-million commitment has turned into a disaster.

    A disaster that will last until the end of the 2014-15 NBA season.

    The truth of the matter is, the Chicago Bulls are not capable of making any significant offseason moves until Boozer's contract is up. Paying an average of $15 million a year will do that to a franchise, especially when the reward is so minimal.

    Despite Boozer's solid production, that's exactly what his contributions can be described as. Unless he turns into the 20 and 10 threat the Bulls had expected, his label of overpaid will not disappear anytime soon.

    Time to turn things around.


    2011-12 Season Averages

    19.79 PER, 15.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.0 SPG

2. Andris Biedrins, Golden State Warriors

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    Position: Center

    Age: 26

    Experience: Eight seasons

    Contract: $62 million over six years


    I think it's fair to say that Andris Biedrins has one of the worst contracts in the history of professional basketball. If you'd like to debate that fact, take into account Biedrins' 2011-12 campaign.

    A season in which he made $9.0 million and averaged just 1.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.  Yeah, Andris Biedrins is that guy.

    The Golden State Warriors have been stuck with this nightmare contract since 2008. Should Biedrins accept a player option for the 2013-14 NBA season, that's likely to continue for at least two more years of basketball.

    And really, who would turn down a $9.0 million player option?

    Chances are, Andris Biedrins will not. This headache of a contract will continue to irk Warriors fans as they eliminate themselves from big money deals in free agency until the big man departs.


    2011-12 Season Averages

    8.77 PER, 15.7 MPG, 1.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.0 BPG

1. Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 31

    Experience: 11 seasons

    Contract: $123.7 million over six years


    The poster child for the overpaid has arrived.

    Before we get into the negatives, let's acknowledge what is fact: Joe Johnson is one of the most dynamic players in the NBA due to his ability to score, facilitate, handle the ball and defend multiple positions. Johnson is also one of the best clutch performers around.

    Unfortunately for Joe Johnson and his current legacy, he is not the second-best player in the NBA. This is important due to the fact that he is the second-highest paid player in the entire league.

    Although Brooklyn Nets' teammate Deron Williams is not too far behind in terms of pay, there is no way around how outrageous this contract is. While Johnson has always been one of the best scorers in the game, his all-around versatility has never led to anything but a second round exit in the postseason.

    Had his skill set brought along legitimate postseason success, we might be having a different conversation right now.

    The sad fact of the matter is, Joe Johnson is one of the better players of our generation. His ability to score the basketball was once unparallelled and has only decreased due to the emergence of former teammates Josh Smith and Al Horford.

    With a big year in Brooklyn upon him, Joe Johnson could finally earn this mega deal. Well, if he wins a title and all that.


    2011-12 Season Averages

    18.50 PER, 18.8 PPG, 3.9 APG, 3.7 RPG, 38.8% 3PT

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