NBA Free Agents: Buyers Beware

Dimitri KontopidisCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2008

Common logic no longer applies in our beloved National Basketball Association.

As a consumer, you should never pay for damaged goods. Apparently, someone forgot to let the Wizards and Sixers know that this golden rule applies to basketball as well.

Gilbert Arenas, $111 million. Elton Brand, $82 million.

Wizards and Sixers fans, you better pray to god that those ligaments and tendons stay intact, because you just paid a combined $193 million to two guys that couldn't even walk a couple months ago.

That's smart shopping.

Now, it's not fair to say that either of these two players are not worth the money, because they are both phenomenal franchise players—when healthy.

And though Elton Brand's injury may be considered more of a freak accident, Gilbert Arenas has a history of problems with his bum knee.

Even though he did play relatively well in the playoffs, it was clear that he wasn't nearly as explosive—and the fact that he couldn't finish the Cleveland series doesn't put anyone's mind at ease.

He became a volume jump-shooter, because without the quickness to get to the rack that's all that's left in his game. And Wizards fans know very well he will keep shooting—for better or for worse.

Brand, on the other hand, may not be as reliant on his athleticism as Agent Rackin' Up the Zero's is—but Achilles injuries can be career killers, and it's still unclear how he will respond. At 29 years old, it's not like he can afford to lose any quickness or hops.

Both of these players still make their teams better, but at what price? Certainly not $193 million—not when one little twist or turn is all it will take to shoot that money down the drain.

Of course, with household names like Arenas and Brand, it's easy to justify such a hefty price if you're a manager or owner at the other end. Proven Quality.

But those same managers and owners better hope that in the end, they get what they pay for.