With the NBA set to lockout this summer, there's no better time to analyze some of the league's worst player contracts.
It happens all the time. Teams overpay for free agents to desperately fit a team need. An aging player gets a big contract as a reward for staying within the franchise. And don't forget that this is the NBA, where player contracts are usually guaranteed.
There are plenty of bad contracts in today's NBA and, with a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the league, plenty of time to discuss them.
Here are 10 bad NBA contracts that teams are looking to deal away.
The NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks are going to have a difficult time keeping Brendan Haywood on the roster for the foreseeable future.
Haywood signed a six-year, $55 million contract with Dallas last summer and was expected to anchor the team's starting center position. Not only was Haywood supplanted by Tyson Chandler, but he averaged a meager 4.4 PPG in the regular season and saw sparing playing time in the postseason.
He's 31 years old and on the books for about $7.6 million next season. The Mavericks will have to pony up to keep the younger, better Tyson Chandler as well as other key role players.
Trading Haywood now would open up some needed cap room for Dallas as the NBA heads into a labor dispute.
The snake-bitten Portland Trailblazers are once again forced to deal with a potential superstar who cannot stay healthy for the life of him.
Brandon Roy's four-year, $69.5 million contract makes him one of the biggest gambles in the NBA. When Roy is healthy, he's a clutch performer and arguably a top-ten player in the league (career average of 19 PPG). But after multiple knee-injuries and reported disputes with Trailblazers management, there is little wiggle room for the franchise shooting guard.
He's 26 years old, so he still has time to turn it around. He will make almost $15 million dollars in 2011-12 and that salary is growing each year. There's plenty of teams out there that would take a chance on a player as talented as Roy is.
Tyrus Thomas' roller coaster potential landed him a new four-year, $37.5 million contract from Michael Jordan's Charlotte Bobcats.
Thomas has been nothing but a head case since he entered the league. Despite his explosive leaping ability and offensive skill set, he's never been able to consistently crack the starting lineup or reduce his high rate of turnovers.
The team just drafted power forward Bismack Biyombo, a defensive prodigy, and it wouldn't make any sense to pay Thomas over $7 million next season to come off the bench. He's still young at 24 years old, but after four NBA seasons of one-dimensional basketball it may be time to make a deal.
As a Chicago Bulls fan, it pains me to say that Carlos Boozer's contract strongly overvalues him as a player.
The Bulls splurged on Boozer in free agency last summer for five-years and $80 million. He's strong offensively and hauls in a solid amount of rebounds. But his poor, sometimes nonexistent defense and the strong play of Taj Gibson in the NBA postseason really diminish the value of his big contract.
He's only played two full seasons in his NBA career. When Boozer is at the top of his game, he's an All-Star talent. But if the Bulls package him into a trade for Orlando's Dwight Howard, they wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
There's still some hope that Boozer can live up to his potential. But until he does, his contract will always be questioned.
The minute Travis Outlaw signed his contract in New Jersey, people wondered what the Nets were thinking.
Travis Outlaw was part of the Nets' extremely underwhelming free agent class last summer. He was given a four-year, $28 million deal with the hope that he would blossom into a solid player given extended playing time in New Jersey.
He didn't get any worse, but he certainly wasn't any better. Bill Parcells' once said "You are what you are". With 9.2 PPG and very suspect defense, Outlaw was exactly what he was.
While Outlaw certainly doesn't warrant his $7 million per season, there's still hope he can be of value in a lesser role on a different team. The Nets are unpredictable, so who knows if they will keep him or not.
Josh Childress averaged less PPG (5.0) than millions of dollars earned (6.5) on his contract for the Phoenix Suns in 2010-11.
Childress' return from Greece to the NBA has not been as successful as anyone had hoped. He was nowhere near his career averages of 10.1 PPG and almost 2 APG this season. He's signed on for four more years at around $26 million.
Phoenix has a lot of problems and they can't afford to pay Childress that kind of money for the extremely low value they get from him.
He's clearly not the player he was before he left the NBA in 2007-08.
Ben Gordon's obscene five-year, $58 million contract with the Detroit Pistons has been nothing but bad news for Detroit fans.
Gordon has recorded his two worst seasons as a pro back-to-back, finishing far below his career averages in almost every category. He's a very streaky shooter and horrible defensively. To top it all off, he doesn't even start for the lowly Pistons.
He's going to earn a whopping $11.6 million next season to shoot threes...and shoot more threes. The Pistons drafted point guard Brandon Knight in the first-round of the NBA Draft, meaning that Rodney Stuckey will move to shooting guard.
Detroit would absolutely love for someone to take Gordon off of their hands. But with his growing contract and diminishing play, they may have trouble finding many takers.
Rip Hamilton's fall from grace with the Detroit Pistons is amplified by his $12.6 million salary in 2011-12.
Unlike the aforementioned Ben Gordon, Hamilton was still somewhat effective for the Pistons last season averaging 14.1 PPG and drawing a lot of fouls.
He's 33 years old with only two years left on his contract. Contending teams looking for a shooting guard like the Bulls are interested in Hamilton's services, despite the mass of his contract.
He's still playing well at his age and has tons of playoff experience. This contract is bad mainly because of the money and Hamilton's awful attitude display last season.
But in a new environment, he could turn his career around.
Gilbert Arenas three-year, $62.4 million contract not only hurts the Orlando Magic's cap, but it also halts their future.
Arenas makes $19.2 million next season to be a back-up point guard and a major problem in the locker room.
At one time he was one of the most dynamic, prolific scorers in the NBA. Multiple injuries, a gun incident in Washington, and a season-long suspension from the league later and Agent Zero is well on his way to becoming one of the major free agent flops of all-time.
It will be difficult for the Orlando Magic to move his massive contract. Not only is he close to untradeable, but his salary prevents the Magic from adding more talent to surround Dwight Howard with in a contract season.
But this is the NBA, where Kwame Brown and Darko Milicic can still find a team. The Wizards were able to trade him, and if Arenas actually comes to play next season the Magic could convince a team he still has something left in the tank.
The second-highest paid player in the NBA is? You guessed it! Rashard Lewis?
Lewis makes an unreal $22.1 million next season for the Washington Wizards. Lewis can still shoot the three and has shown a new found commitment to defense.
But Washington just drafted foreign sensation Jan Vesely, and the 34-year-old doesn't exactly fit the team's youth movement.
It's highly unlikely that a team is going to take on Lewis' contract no matter what the price. But the Wizards are certainly going to try. Keep in mind, the man will make 50 percent of the team's overall salary cap next season.
That's a recipe for disaster, and without question the worst contract in the NBA.