5 NBA Teams Experiencing Buyer's Remorse on Offseason Pickups
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The Brooklyn Nets, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Phoenix Suns are now all experiencing second thoughts about the signings they made this offseason.
At the time, the handful of teams in question thought they were taking on players whose talents could significantly help the franchise.
Brooklyn figured there was no harm in a max-contract for Joe Johnson, given he could produce 20/5/5 when playing his best ball.
The Lakers saw in Steve Nash a guy who just doesn't age.
The Hornets thought they had a perennial All-Star on the injury list, not a perennially injured player who may never be an All-Star.
The Suns thought they were adding a potential star, not someone who would jack up ill-fated, poor shots.
And the Clippers thought veteran leadership would add depth.
All of these teams are now experiencing buyer's remorse. Let's look closer at the players involved and just how poorly they are performing (if they are even on the court) for their respective teams.
Joe Johnson is the sixth-highest-paid player in the league.
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When the Brooklyn Nets acquired Joe Johnson, the thought around the fantasy basketball world was that his usage would decrease but his efficiency would increase. It turns out both have decreased.
Johnson is seeing just about one shot fewer per game than he did last season in Atlanta, but he is shooting only 40.9 percent from the floor, his lowest mark since his second season in the league (2002-03).
Johnson is also shooting below his career average from the free-throw line and turning it over just as much as last season, this time with Deron Williams doing the majority of the ball-handling.
All in all, Johnson just hasn't delivered. The Nets have been very good, but in spite of Johnson, not because of him. Perhaps he just needs some time to adjust to his new teammates.
But at the moment, the Nets may be experiencing a little buyer's remorse after sending away a slew of role players (including Anthony Morrow) and draft picks to obtain Johnson's max-contract.
Los Angeles Clippers
Now teammates with LAC; neither has done much.
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Going into the season, many were billing the L.A. Clippers as the league's deepest team. That may be true.
But they have yet to get their full squad assembled. Grant Hill has yet to play this season and Lamar Odom has been in notoriously poor shape and is only starting to get his basketball legs under him.
It's always risky using retread veterans as stop-gap replacements and backups, but it works well for teams so heavily stacked with youth like the Clippers. They likely won't regret spending the money on the aged tandem if at least one of them pans out, but the buyer's remorse is that they both won't.
Yes, Grant Hill is on 40-year-old metal ankles, and Lamar Odom hasn't been relevant for a season and a half, but the Clips were hoping for more than what they've gotten from them so far.
How bad has Odom been?
Try 29.8 percent from the floor in 13.8 minutes a night. Try 2.2 points per game. He had a thunderous jam (0:32 in video) in the Clippers' win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 28th, but he has a total of just 37 points on the season. One jam does not a season make!
Add to this that Odom is the fourth-highest-paid player on the Clippers, and the nightmare lives on. At least Grant Hill is signed for less than $2 million this year.
Los Angeles Lakers
Nash will return to find this guy absent from the sidelines.
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Steve Nash was billed as the key to the L.A. offense. So far, he has played a total of 50 minutes this season and is still over a week away from returning from the broken leg he suffered.
But it's not just that. Nash turns 39 in a few months and is coming off a serious injury.
Chauncey Billups was able to fully rehabilitate his torn Achilles last season, but that was with a full offseason. Aged players that fully recover from major injuries are the exception, not the norm.
Can Nash come back to an All-NBA level and ignite the Lakers offense?
After falling to the now-6-10 Orlando Magic, they need something, and Mike D'Antoni knows a thing or two about how to use Nash. The question is whether Nash will be anything like his former self or whether D'Antoni will be attempting to utilize a guy who is on his last legs.
New Orleans Hornets
The days that Gordon was looking like a future All-Star seem so distant.
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Eric Gordon didn't seem likely to re-sign in New Orleans, but he had no choice. He was a restricted free agent.
The Hornets landed Anthony Davis in the 2012 NBA draft and made a trade to take on a $10 million contract in Ryan Anderson. Adding these pieces to Gordon was supposed to give the Hornets a bright future.
But they never added them to Gordon, because Gordon isn't playing. He's been battling the same knee injuries over the last two-plus seasons, and there doesn't seem to be any real end in sight for Gordon or the Hornets.
The Hornets thought they did the right thing by re-signing their restricted free agent, but it seems it might have been best to let him walk all along. But hey, you know what they say about hindsight: If Gordon were healthy, this Hornets team would be a lot more dangerous.
Instead, they are shelling out $13.6 million for a guy who doesn't look as though he has a future in this league.
Beasley just can't seem to get it as a former No. 2 overall pick.
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Michael Beasley has never been a high-percentage shooter, but his inaccuracy has reached new levels this season in Phoenix.
Last year in Minnesota, he shot 44.5 percent from the floor in the 47 games in which he appeared. He was 45 percent from the floor during the previous season (2010-11).
This year, his workload has increased to 12.1 shots a game (from 10.6 last season), but he is hitting under 40 percent from the floor and just 28.9 percent from three-point range.
In addition to that, his rebounding is still awful for someone that claims to be 6'10" (one of the more exaggerated statures in the NBA; he's closer to 6'7").
One bright note is that he is picking up more assists, but it's come at the cost of nearly doubling his turnovers. His A/TO ratio is negative.
Beasley has been a bust since he came into the league, but with a heftier price tag, as he is due an average of $6 million over the next three seasons under a guaranteed contract. The Suns are going to be regretting this one for a while.