Teams Already Lamenting 2012 Offseason Investments
The 2012 NBA offseason presented multiple franchises with the opportunity to improve the quality of their teams. For some, this has led to an extreme improvement in terms of their on-court production as a unit.
Unfortunately, there are a select few teams already lamenting their offseason investments.
From untimely injuries to underwhelming production, there are a handful of cases in which teams appear to have overpaid. While there is plenty of time for the results to change, there is reason to doubt the chance of their being a change.
So, who is regretting their financial commitments?
After anchoring one of the most powerful defensive units in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers rewarded center Roy Hibbert with a four-year, $58 million contract (via Indy Star). Through nine games of the 2012-13 NBA season, Hibbert is making them regret such an action.
No matter how well he's played on defense.
As of November 16th, Hibbert is averaging 8.2 points on 38.6 percent shooting from the floor. This comes at a time in which the Pacers are relying heavily on Hibbert's offensive versatility out of the post.
The reason for this dependence is the fact that Danny Granger will miss three months of action after receiving an injection in his left knee to treat patellar tendinosis (via ESPN).
According to Steve Aschburner of NBA.com, Hibbert is well-aware of the fact that he must improve. In fact, he's already targeted the source of his struggles.
“It’s very frustrating,” Hibbert said, cooperative but looking a little tortured. “It’s very hard to get into a rhythm … personally. I think I’m doing good defensively, but offensively I need to get going and help the team out. I want to do more than I have been. I have to figure out a way to get that done."
Until Hibbert starts picking up his production on the offensive end of the floor, the Pacers will continue to struggle to string together victories. Their defense is top-notch, but they've long struggled with scoring the basketball.
Thus far, they're averaging an NBA-worst 87.8 points per game. Hibbert shooting less than 40 percent certainly doesn't help the cause.
New Orleans Hornets
When the New Orleans Hornets re-signed Eric Gordon for $58 million, they acknowledged there was a risk (via ESPN). After all, Gordon missed 57 games for them in 2011-12 and has already missed the first seven games of 2012-13.
According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, he could be out until the middle of December.
Although Gordon is expected to produce at an All-Star-caliber level upon his return from injury, there is no way around how devastating his inability to remain in good health has been. He has now missed 64 games for the Hornets, which comes after he missed 46 games in 2010 and 2011.
That's 110 out of a possible 237 games that Gordon has been absent from.
Once he returns, we could see the former Indiana Hoosier prove to be worth the money. Until that occurs, however, he is leaving one of the league's top defenses without their leading scorer.
An absence being sorely missed by a team that is averaging just 89.5 points per game.
Is there any move that has been as criticized as the Philadelphia 76ers trading Andre Iguodala for Andrew Bynum (via ESPN Dallas)? Upon evaluating this list, it's fair to say no.
It's unclear when that answer might change.
Although Bynum is projected to resume basketball activity on December 10, he may not make his regular season debut until January (via NBA). If that proves to be the case, the Sixers will have spent two full months without Bynum in the rotation.
With the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics all starting hot, that could potentially push Philadelphia out of the postseason picture.
Should Bynum's absence prove to be so disastrous for the Sixers, one has to question whether or not they made the right move. Bynum is set to become a free agent after this season, which makes for the possibility of his signing elsewhere.
That or the Sixers abandoning him altogether.
Michael Beasley has extraordinary talent and the upside to become a star in the NBA. Standing at 6'10" and possessing elite athletic ability and underrated jump shooting skills, it's hard to believe he hasn't become an All-Star just yet.
It's also difficult to describe how bad he's making the Suns look for giving him a three-year, $18 million deal (via ESPN).
Thus far in the 2012-13 NBA season, Beasley has been the same inconsistent player that forced Miami and Minnesota to run him out of town. Although the upside is there for Beasley to turn it around, this is not just a slow start.
This is a continuation of what has made him one of the most polarizing players in the NBA.
Beasley is presently averaging 13.1 points per game on a slash line of .351/.267/.750. He's also scored in single-digits in four of his first nine outings.
If Beasley doesn't turn it around soon, this could mark the end of his opportunity to shine.
The Toronto Raptors made waves this offseason, signing small forward Landry Fields to a three-year deal worth $20 million (via ESPN New York). Thus far during the 2012-13 NBA season, however, Fields has failed to live up to the expectations set out for him.
Through the first five games, Fields averaged just 2.4 points per game on 20.8 shooting from the floor. According to Raptors play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin, Fields underwent ulnar nerve transposition surgery.
Devlin later reported there was no timetable for Fields's return.
Not only have the Raptors lost their overpaid investment, but they've opened the door for rookie Terrence Ross to prove Fields expendable. Should such transpire, the Raptors could be stuck with a hefty contract they are not putting to use.
Quite the unfortunate development for a budding franchise.