Bad deals happen every day in our society. The simple fact is that there are more idiots than smart people in this world.
The NBA is far from exempt from that theory. The bad deals happen every year in the league. We're all very leery in 2010 because there's about four worthwhile free agents and 100 other guys who are going to get overpaid.
Granted, there's more money flowing openly this summer than ever before. But there's a long littered road of bad contracts in NBA executives' offices.
Teams try to make us forget about previous mistakes and only focus what can be in the future. The Bulls, Nets, and Knicks have all sold thousands of season tickets based solely on the promise of landing LeBron James.
Well, we're here to remind you how badly a deal can go sour if your team's too frivolous with their wallet.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Knight played one season in 1996-97 with the Lakers and averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in just over 16 minutes a game.
THE CONTRACT: That somehow inspired Celtics honcho Rick Pitino to ink Knight to a seven-year, $22 million deal.
WHAT HE DID AFTER: Pitino was convinced he got the big man the team needed. That love affair was over after one year of 6.5 points and five rebounds per game. Knight played five more years in the league in L.A. and New York with minuscule numbers.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Miles never averaged more than 9.5 points or 5.9 rebounds a season in his first four seasons in the league, two with the Clippers and two with the Cavs.
THE CONTRACT: Portland signed the then 22-year-old to a six-year, $48 million deal.
WHAT HE DID AFTER: Three years of low-double-digit points per game but never played more than 63 games in a season. Portland tried to get money back after a supposed career-ending knee injury, only to see Miles stick it to them for another $18 million after appearing in 34 games for the Grizzlies in 2008-09.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: A quality shooting guard, for certain. Nobody's arguing what he was. But by the time the Wizards shipped Chris Webber to Sacramento in 1999, Richmond was spent. He averaged 19.7 points per game that season.
THE CONTRACT: Four years, $40 million from Washington
WHAT HE DID AFTER: Two declining years, including missing 45 games in the second year. What did they expect from a 34-year-old? The Wizards bought the final two years of the deal for $10 million.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Agent Zero was a middling star with solid numbers in his first four years in Washington, Arenas missed most of the Wizards' first-round loss in the 2007 playoffs and 69 games in 2007-08.
THE CONTRACT: Arenas somehow commanded a six-year, $111 million deal. Moreover, he convinced management that they needed to re-up Antawn Jamison for four years and $50 million.
WHAT HE HAS DONE AFTER: Got himself suspended for having a gun in the locker room. That's the highlight. He played two games in 2009. Two. We're only talking about this guy as a star because of his contract. His 22.8 points per game in his 32 games in 2010 don't equal superstar.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: After two sleepy years in Washington and a so-so year with the Clippers, Simmons had a huge 2004-05 season, averaging 16.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, good enough for the NBA's Most Improved Player award.
THE CONTRACT: Four years, $47 million from the Milwaukee Bucks
WHAT HE HAS DONE AFTER: 13.4-4.4 for the Bucks the first year, played 21 games in 2006-07. Dealt to the Nets, where his numbers are far from double digits. Played just two games last year.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: After being a 20-point-per game guy for the first eight years of his career, Brand played just eight games due to injury and averaged 13.6 points per game in 2007-08.
THE CONTRACT: Philly signed him to five-year, $80 million deal
WHAT HE HAS DONE SINCE: He missed 53 games his first year and averaged 13 points and six rebounds in 76 games last year.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Stojakovic had six straight years averaging 19 to 24 points per game in Sacramento and Indiana.
THE CONTRACT: The Hornets thought that Peja was the final piece of the puzzle to get Chris Paul a title. They gave Stojakovic a five-year, $64 million deal in a sign-and-trade with Indiana.
WHAT HE HAS DONE SINCE: He played 13 games in 2007. His numbers went from 16.4 ppg in 2008 to 12.6 ppg last year.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: His numbers rose each of his four years in Chicago, rising to 16.1 ppg in 2004-05. The seven footer was pulling five rebounds per game. (Hello, red flag.)
THE CONTRACT: The Knicks thought they needed a big man to put them over the top. So they dealt for him and gave him a six-year, $60 million deal.
WHAT HE HAS DONE SINCE: A thoroughly solid 2006-07, where he averaged 19.5 points and seven rebounds per game. Since then, he's played in a total of 10 games.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Six straight years of mid-teen rebound averages for the Pistons. He never averaged more than 9.5 points per game.
THE CONTRACT: Four years and $60 million
WHAT HE DID AFTER: 10.6 rebounds per game in 2006-07, but hasn't averaged double digits since. Often injured and an overall financial albatross.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Three seasons in Denver, where he averaged 13 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
THE CONTRACT: The Mavericks dealt for the big man at the 2002 trade deadline. Mark Cuban later gave him a seven-year, $70 million deal.
WHAT HE DID AFTER: One decent season in Dallas (9.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg), the Raefster was dealt to Boston and later to Portland, where he bottomed out in 2007-08 with 1.7 points and rebounds per game.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: O'Neal looked like a true star after averaging 21 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks during the 2003 season. His growth helped lead the Pacers to the conference finals.
THE CONTRACT: Seven years and $126 million
WHAT HE HAS DONE SINCE: Injured often, he played just 206 games over the next four seasons. Toronto and Miami both thought they could revive him. He was done to 13.6 points and seven rebounds last year in Miami at $22 million.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: He was an instant fan fave in Sacamento, a blue-collar guy that just got it done to the tune of 13.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game over his first two seasons. A torn rotator cuff limited him to 24 games in 1996-97.
THE CONTRACT: He opted out of his deal and played three middling years in Portland. That apparently inspired Miami to sign him to a seven-year, $86 million deal.
WHAT HE DID AFTER: 11 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in four seasons in south Florida. The Lakers and Suns tried to bring him back to life, but he left the league after 2.9 ppg and 2.7 rpg with the Suns in 2005-06.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Howard was the first $100 million player in the history of the league after an All-Rookie 1994-95 season and an All-NBA guy in 1995-96.
THE CONTRACT: Seven years and $105 million
WHAT HE HAS DONE SINCE: Solid second-tier star numbers when he was on the court in Washington. It added up to one playoff appearance with no wins.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: He peaked in his fourth year in Milwaukee with 21 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
THE CONTRACT: It led to a trade to Seattle, where he averaged 19 points and eight rebounds his first year. That was good enough for the Sonics to sign him to a seven-year, $86 million deal.
WHAT HE DID AFTER: A spiral into alcoholism halved his former output before his last productive year in Boston in 2003-04. He bounced around to three more teams in two years before calling it quits.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Three solid years to begin his career in Golden State and Philly (trade deadline deal in 1997-98), he averaged 16.5 points and eight rebounds.
THE CONTRACT: Smith seemingly didn't take advantage of a post-lockout free agent-apalooza. He only got a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Timberwolves. As it turns out, Minnesota had an under-the-table $80 million deal that kicked in after three years to help the Wolves with cap space.
WHAT HE DID AFTER: The NBA voided that deal and fined the Wolves with money and draft picks. Smith has bounced around to nine different teams and is still in the league, making just $825,000 last season.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Three years of rising stats in Detroit, capped by a 19.5 ppg average in 1995-96.
THE CONTRACT: The Knicks signed him to a six-year, $100 million deal. Houston became the poster child for the Scott Layden era in New York, a time that injured the franchise more than anything Isiah Thomas ever did.
WHAT HE DID AFTER: It's not that Houston was ever a bad citizen. He just wasn't worth the money. Around the same numbers as he put up in Detroit, a very one-dimensional player. Ironic that Houston is now being used to help court James.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Four quality years in New Jersey, where he peaked in his final year with 16.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
THE CONTRACT: A max-contract sign-and-trade with Denver before the 2004-05 season that cost the Nuggets three first-round draft picks and a seven-year max deal.
WHAT HE DID AFTER: Middling numbers, injuries, and an ever-rising salary. Being saddled with that contract has likely cost the Nuggets a deeper run into the playoffs.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: The 1997 draft pick had two disappointing years in Indiana before breaking out for 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in 1999-2000. He had a big NBA Finals that elevated his worth.
THE CONTRACT: Seven years and $51 million
WHAT HE DID AFTER: Double digits in points just once after. The numbers just kept going down until Croshere finished his NBA time with Milwaukee in 2008-09.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Five years of mediocrity in Sacramento and Seattle. Never better than 5.4 points and 4.2 rebounds for this seven footer. He averaged 12.5 points and seven rebounds for the Sonics in the 2005 playoffs.
THE CONTRACT: That apparently put it over the top for Thomas and the Knicks, which offered him five years and $30 million.
WHAT HE DID AFTER: He never averaged more than three points per game and played four total games from 2007-2009.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Koncak was a good bench player, averaging five points and six boards from 1986-89 for the Hawks. He averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds in the 1989 playoffs.
THE CONTRACT: Six years, $13 million—more than Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, or Larry Bird made at the time.
WHAT HE DID AFTER: He played out his contract with the same eighth-guy-in-the-rotation numbers he'd always put up. Don't blame Koncak. I have generally regarded this as the worst but I've changed my mind over the last couple years.
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: He played two years in Washington, averaging two points and 2.5 rebounds per game in 12 minutes per game.
THE CONTRACT: Apparently, his sweet hairdo was enough for the Sonics to dump a seven-year, $35 million deal in his lap before the 1996-97 season.
WHAT HE DID AFTER: A whopping 3.8 points and four rebounds per game in 18 minutes a game in that 1996-97 season. That was the best production McIlvaine managed in five more years in the league. Moreover, the deal seriously peeved Shawn Kemp, the team's star at the time who was sent out.
Come to think of it, maybe Jim McIlvaine saved them from a $100 million deal and 20 paternity suits with Kemp.