Bloated Contract Syndrome: The 10 Most Overpaid Players in the NBA
NBA commissioner David Stern announced this past week that he wants to slash the NBA's payroll by 700 million dollars. It's quite clear the NBA has become a bad investment for most owners who have acquired a team in the last decade, or who are in smaller markets.
Like Microsoft in the 90's; the NBA had it's own boom that was a direct result of Michael Jordan. During this time, the NBA became a money making machine for owners. Based on this success, players began to be compensated based on potential talent or two-three years of good play.
In the NBA, first round picks are guaranteed money and all other contracts negotiated in free agency are guaranteed contracts which is unlike football.
Over the last decade we have seen a spending spree by multiple owners putting pressure on smaller market teams to compete. This has caused an irrational allocation of money on average players or even great players who have underperformed once given a large contract.
Former second pick overall turned bust Darko Milicic, signed a four year 20 million dollar deal this past off-season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Darko is entering his eighth NBA season, while playing on his sixth different team. Darko won't crack this top ten, but is a classic example of a player being over payed.
So sit back, relax and enjoy as we dissect the NBA's top ten most overpaid players.
#10 Samuel Dalembert, Sacramento Kings | 2010-11 Salary $13,428,129
In eight seasons, Samuel Dalembert has yet to average over 11 points per game. He is used primarily for his defensive ability specifically blocking shots, but ranked just 10th in the NBA in blocked shots last season. His best days were with the Philadelphia 76ers and are clearly behind him. He is lanky and gets dominated down low by other big men.
Sacramento decided to trade for him last season and eat his big salary for this year. Fortunately, the Kings have just one more year of paying this sloppy, unskilled center who's contract will expire following the 2010-11 season.
Dalembert who resides from Haiti is an inspiration for many, but the fact remains that his salary clearly out weighs his performance.
#9 Mike Dunleavy, Indiana Pacers | 2010-11 Salary $10,561,984
Last season Mike Dunleavy(9.9 ppg 2009-10 season) had his worst season statistically besides his rookie year. Dunleavy, a former third pick overall out of Duke lacks athleticism to create his own shot. Although he is a good shooter, Dunleavy isn't even a second option on most teams anymore.
Golden State took the bold move and signed him to his current contract. After being traded to the Pacers, Dunleavy has slowly declined. Duke Vitale might think he is worthy of his salary, but most in America can agree that Dunleavy is the beneficiary of having a well respected dad as an NBA head coach.
#8 Sasha Vujacic & Luke Walton,Los Angeles Lakers | Salary Combined $10,735,113
This duo of Luke Walton (2010-11 Salary $5,260,000) and Sasha Vujacic (2010-11 Salary $5,475,113) have had a successful nightlife in Hollywood, but have failed to translate that to the basketball court.
Vujacic who recently proposed to Maria Sharapova, put his money to good use with a nice big rock.
Both have shown flashes of good play, but remain stuck at the end of the bench for a Lakers team that looks to three-peat this season.
#7 Brian Scalabrine, Chicago Bulls | 2010-11 Salary $854,389
Looking more like an Irish sheep breeder, Brian Scalabrine reminds most of us as the walk-on at college that gets a loud ovation once he enters the game.
His non-athletic body has been the focal point of his career, along with his flamboyant red curly hair. He enters his tenth season with the Bulls.
It amazes me how he has lasted so long in the NBA. But lets not fool ourselves here, that fact that he is in the NBA is an embarrassment.
Most teams use him as a good-luck-charm as Scalabrine has been to the NBA finals five times (3 Nets, 2 Celtics).
I'm sure many players sit at home wondering how he has a job in the NBA, while they can't even get a 10-day contract.
#6 Marcin Gortat, Orlando Magic | Salary 2010-11 Salary $6,322,320
At 13.4 minutes a game last season, Gortan has become a cheerleader on the bench who comes off at the end of quarters to give Dwight Howard a rest.
The free agent market for back-up centers is deep, allowing most teams to get them at a discount. The Magic fell in love with Gortat and angered many owners by giving Gortat 30 million in free agency.
Gortat who resembles Bruno on steroids, has a charismatic personality but lacks athleticism and uses his high energy to compete.
#5 Elton Brand, Philadelphia 76ers | Salary 2010-11 $15,959,099
Once upon a time, Elton Brand was a top 15 player in the NBA. Over the last two years he has averaged just 13.45 points per game.
Brand has suffered through devastating injuries throughout his career, but still managed to sign a lucrative contract with the 76ers.
Philadelphia might deal Brand at the trade deadline if possible, as Elton is due 51 million over the next three years.
#4 Michael Redd, Milwaukee Bucks | Salary 2010-11 $18,300,000
With reports surfacing that Redd could be out the entire season, many in Milwaukee are bracing for another season without Redd. Michael Redd who is in the final year of his six year $91 million contract, suffered a major knee injury two seasons ago and has not been himself since.
The Bucks are optimistic on this year's team, and will be able to fill Redd's(11.9 points per game last season) absence nicely with the re-signing of John Salmons.
Redd, who at one time could single handily win games is quite familiar with bags of ice and trainers as his career is winding down.
#3 Andres Biedrins, Golden State Warriors | Salary 2010-11 $9,000,000
With the signing of David Lee, the Golden State Warriors find themselves with two young big men. Although you can make an argument that Andres can play the power forward position instead of center, the Warriors are still waiting for him to become the player they thought he could be when they gave him good money.
Last year Biedrins played in only 33 games averaging a measly five points per game. The Russian who is known more for his spiky hair that resembles a Guido, is owed $36 million over the next four years.
#2 Kenyon Martin, Denver Nuggets | 2010-11 Salary $16,545,454
Kenyon Martin was a broken leg away from leading the Cincinnati Bearcats to the final four. Now, he is one year away from giving the Nuggets financial serenity.
Martin, who early in his career helped lead the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals multiple times, had leverage when he became a free agent and cashed in.
The Denver Nuggets felt they could pair him with Carmelo Anthony and bring a title to Denver. Instead, Martin has been outplayed by teammate Nene Hilario and has come off the bench at times.
Kenyon is in the last year of his seven year $90 million deal. While his relations with hip-hop star Trina are over, Martin looks to improve on his horrific 11.5 ppg last year.
#1 Andrei Kirilenko, Utah Jazz | 2010-11 Salary $17,823,000
AK47 as most know him as, has become one of the biggest busts in recent NBA history.
Kirilenko, who is known more for his open relationship with his wife, averaged just 11.9 points per game last season. Head Coach Jerry Sloan has often times feuded with Andrei and almost traded him this off-season in a four team deal involving Carmelo Anthony.
Andrei who is in the last year of his contract will not be missed in Utah and could be traded at the deadline this season.
During games, Kirilenko is known for being tuned out and inconsistent. At one time in his career he was being compared to Dirk Nowitzki, now he is likened to a poor man's Hedo Turkoglu.
While Kirilenko is laughing all the way to the bank. When he gets back home to Russia and is retired, he will send Jerry Sloan a letter signed:
From Russia With LOVE!!!!!