During the biggest and most controversial free agency we've ever seen, there has been a plethora of players who seemingly slipped through the cracks and into proverbial stardom with contracts general managers will learn to forget once the next free agent market hits.
Yes, LeBron, Wade and Bosh will be worth every penny of those hundred million dollar contracts once the city of Miami plans its championship parade next summer, but we're here to look at the contracts that are worth talking about—just not in a good way.
Let's start this list with some big names, shall we?
With the Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies in the distance for LeBron James and his dreams, they did what many desperate organizations would have done—give lucrative contracts to non-lucrative players.
To say Johnson isn't a lucrative, or attractive player may be slightly far-fetched—i mean, he did put up 21.3 points, 4.6 boards and 4.9 assists for a Hawks team that were among the top in the east—but for Gay, it really isn't.
Gay is a true athlete. He could jump out of the arena if he wanted to, yet he just does not boast the type of aura, or stardom of a max player—or even Johnson.
Johnson and Gay, who signed for six years, $119 million and five years, $82 million, respectively, will have their teams desperately shopping the final years of their contracts in the near future.
The man can flat-out score. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but he can—just without the "flat-out" part.
Salmons, who averaged 15.4 points last season, may be worth the bang, but how much can you pay a guy who can't really do anything else but score?
Surely he can rebound right? Pass? Wrong.
Tallying up 3.3 boards and 2.8 assists a night, Salmons hit the jackpot with the Bucks riding an intense high after making the playoffs in god knows how long.
Although those numbers aren't terrible, considering he's a shooting guard/small forward, is it really worth $8 million a year?
You were probably wondering when this picture was going to pop up.
Like the rest of his 2003 draft class, Darko Milicic is also getting paid this offseason. Is he deserving? Probably not, but that's just how David Kahn rolls.
His four-year, $20 million deal might not ring any bells of "lucrative," but for Darko, it's more than what he deserves.
Kahn, arguably one of the worst general managers in the game, signed Darko based on talent and the little time he played last season.
Let's see how being judged based on" talent" will work out for Darko this time around.
Everyone deserves a second chance.
One of the greatest shooters to ever graze an area—oh wait, i'm having flashbacks of 2005 when J.J. Redick was shooting lights out at Cameron Indoor.
Yet another Duke standout bites the dust. Christian Laettner, Jay Williams, Trajan Langdon, William Avery, J.J. Redick?
Not this offseason.
The Duke sharpshooter garnered a ridiculous amount of attention this offseason from teams needing backcourt shooting depth.
In the NBA, a shooter may be hard to find, but don't players have to prove themselves before they are hoisted into a pressure-filled situation making close to $7 million a year?
9.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists. For a three year contract, i'd rather take Ray Allen $10 million per than pay another overrated Duke recruit.
Not much hype surrounding the Tracy McGrady clone from South Beach. Maybe because he not as good as the high school phenom, who also happens to be related to Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison—pretty good company right?
Anyhow, Wright did not do horribly last season. He averaged 7.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in only 20 minutes.
If he were to start, he could possibly put up numbers to match John Salmons—and hopefully his contract as well.
Why pay someone who hasn't proved anything to a three-year commitment worth $11 million?
Who knows? The 25-year-old might pan out to something worth looking at in two years.
Who knew Frye, coming out of Arizona as a power forward would eventually average over two three-pointers per game? I guess Steve Nash does make everyone around him better. If that's the case, Knicks personnel should be facepalming as we speak.
Frye had a resurgence in his career last year, averaging 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Impressive statistics considering he hadn't averaged more than double-digits in scoring in the previous three years.
His 172 three pointers made and 392 attempts was roughly ten times as much as he had made, and attempted in his entire four year career before joining Nash and the Suns.
Maybe he's worth the money at 5-years, $30 million, but he better take that check to the bank before the the Suns reconsider the investment.
If the Nets are paying for Petro's size, i'll understand—seriously, i do, but how can you use the size if he's sitting on the bench, ailing an injury?
The contract, three-years, worth $10 million isn't too bizzarre for a big man—considering he can actually be on the court.
Petro, who has played 22, 27, and 36 games the past three seasons, doesn't seem to be worth the risk—especially at over $3 million per year. Don't let the increase in games fool you, it's still relatively low, but he seems to be trying right?
SImply put, Petro was highly touted out of France, and was even drafted in the late first round in 2005, but he simply has not panned out for any team he's been associated with.
At age 24, he still has fresh legs—and a fresh contract to play with,..he just needs some tougher limbs.
The loss of Chris Bosh to the Heat really put the Raptors in a predicament regarding their roster for the upcoming season.
Johnson, a VERY poor man's Chris Bosh, was re-signed for five-years and $34 million. For a guy who has not proved himself to be a great player worthy of a hefty paycheck, he sure hit the jackpot with the desperate Raptors.
Johnson averaged 6.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in just under 20 minutes per game. Not bad if you match his per game stats to per 48-minutes, but that number is just an assumption—and you know what happens when you assume, don't you?
Although he has not been given the chance to shine—either in Detroit or Toronto—investing $34 million in someone proves the world lives on blind faith and sometimes, it pays off. We'll just have to see.
With all the talent in the world coming out of LSU in 2006, Thomas has been considered to be a bust thus far in his career.
The Blazers traded him away on draft night for LaMarcus Aldridge, the Bulls weren't convinced he was going to be an integral part of their future, and now, the Bobcats are signing him to a huge payday. I find it a bit ironic.
Five-years, $40 million for a player who averaged 9.4 points, and 6.2 rebounds for a surprise Charlotte team.
Those aren't bad numbers, but $40 million for nine points and six rebounds? I'd rather take a D-leaguer and sign him to a league minimum.
And finally, the moment you've all been waiting for...
The winner for the most overpaid player in this year's free agency is—none other than Brendan Haywood.
The seven-footer was signed to a lucrative (yes, i mean lucrative) six-year contract, worth $55 million.
The league has a sick infatuation with big men who average a near double-double a night, and are marshmallows in the paint. Yes, you heard me, i called Haywood a marshmallow in the paint.
The guy was pushed around throughout his NBA career by bigger, more aggressive players—and the first season (i should say, half a season) he averages above ten rebounds a night, he gets nearly $10 million a year?
I'm not buying the perennial salary dump, nor am i buying the ability of Haywood to do what he did last year to garner a payday of this magnitude.
Amar'e's gone, and you don't have Dwight Howard, but the west still boasts Yao, Duncan, Gasol, Aldridge, Jefferson, and other big men who are bound to squash Haywood using two graham crackers and a hershey bar.
This reminds me of another one-hit wonder whom the Mavericks signed a few seasons ago.
*cough* Dampier *cough*