Maybe we aren't completely out of the fiscally irresponsible woods, but the massive contracts given to guys like Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Emeka Okafor and Hedo Turkoglu are finally coming off the books, offering some much-needed cap relief along with (hopefully) a lesson learned.
You won't find those players or any other expiring contracts on this list of toxic contracts, however.
A big expiring deal is actually considered an asset regardless of the player's production, as it can be used to bring back locked-up talent. There's value in having options, and expiring deals provide that.
The following 10 players haven't produced enough to justify their deals, usually because of injuries or a decline in athleticism. Whether it's the size of the contract or the length, these deals are damaging because they keep their teams from having flexibility, both with the cap and the direction of the team.
Of course, not all awful deals are created equal, and some teams are more easily affected by a bad contract. For that reason, we'll also rank these contracts on the toxicity meter, with a "1" being palatable and a "10" being deadly for the team unlucky enough to be saddled with the deal.