With the NBA facing what will likely be a prolonged lockout, we are now left to contemplate the circumstances which ultimately brought on this unfortunate situation.
And while there were certainly many elements which factored into the disagreement over a new CBA, the bloated salaries of some players has got to be one of the most glaring issues.
Consequently, this slideshow will attempt to uncover some of the biggest culprits—the most overpaid players on each NBA team.
(2011-12 NBA player salary information was taken from DraftExpress)
First and foremost, this is not meant to be any knock on Joe Johnson.
Johnson is a very talented and versatile player, and his five consecutive All-Star appearances are testaments to that.
However, he is scheduled to earn a little over $18 million for the 2011-12 NBA season—making him the league's ninth-highest-paid player.
And while the Atlanta Hawks' wing is good, he won't likely find very many people who believe that he is—or deserves to be paid like—a top-10 talent.
Kevin Garnett is a former MVP, a 14-time All-Star, a nine-time All-NBA First-Teamer and a former NBA champion.
Nevertheless, at 35 years of age, he is not the player he once was.
So even though he is still very productive on the court, there is no way that he is worth his contract of just below $21.3 million—good for the third-highest in the NBA.
After a promising 2009-10 season, the Charlotte Bobcats took a turn for the worse in 2010-11.
And with a team populated by overpaid players, things aren't looking too bright for the franchise.
In 2011-12, Corey Maggette is due $10.3 million, Boris Diaw $9 million and DeSagana Diop $6.9 million.
So with these three accounting for what could turn out to be about half of the team's salary, the Bobcats are certainly one of the most overpaid teams in the NBA.
After earning the NBA's best record in 2010-11 behind MVP Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls were sent home from the playoffs earlier than they would have liked.
What's more, during their elimination a few of the team's flaws became evident—namely their weak shooting guard play and lack of a secondary scoring punch.
Now these shortcomings could be easily fixed through free agency, but at this point, the Bulls don't have a ton of financial flexibility.
One of the primary reasons for this the contract of Luol Deng, who is due $12.3 million in 2011-12.
And while Deng is certainly a solid player, there is no question that he is overpaid.
At one point, the tandem of Baron Davis and Antawn Jamison would have been very imposing.
However, both of the two-time All-Stars are now well past their primes, and they have also dealt with their fair share of injuries.
Consequently, the $15 million and $13.9 million price tags attached to Jamison and Davis, respectively, are quite glaring.
But seeing as though the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently rebuilding and not too worried about immediate success, they can rest easily knowing that they will have lots of financial flexibility when these two contracts come off the books.
After winning the 2010-11 NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks will face some tough decisions whenever the lockout ends.
Chief among these will be whether or not they will commit to standout free-agent starting center Tyson Chandler.
And while it seems like a no-brainer, the matter is complicated by the fact that they have about $45 million invested in backup center Brendan Haywood over the next five years.
Consequently, it's evident that Haywood—despite being a solid center—is overpaid.
Heading into the 2011-12 season, the Denver Nuggets have only a few players under contract.
The team's top-paying deals belong to Andre Miller ($7.8 million), Al Harrington ($6.2 million) and Chris Anderson ($4.2 million), and while these might be a little bit high, it would be a bit of a stretch to call them overpaid.
After eight consecutive playoff appearances—including an NBA championship—the Detroit Pistons have missed the past two postseasons.
One of the primary reasons for this is that they have quite a few overpaid players on their roster.
And while there are a few players who could vie for the most overpaid title, Richard Hamilton has got to take the cake.
For the next two seasons he is due to earn $12.65 million, and considering that he only played in 55 games with a 14.1 point-per-game average, Pistons management must regret structuring his contract in the way which they did.
Andris Biedrins has seen his on-court performance significantly drop off during the past couple of seasons.
Consequently, he has vastly underperformed for his $9 million contract.
But seeing as though Biedrins is still only 25 years old and with plenty of room for improvement, he could easily shed his overpaid label.
The Houston Rockets are another team without a ton of money invested in the 2011-12 season at this point.
Their top contracts are set to go to Kevin Martin ($11.5 million), Luis Scola ($8.6 million) and Kyle Lowry ($5.75 million), so therefore, it would probably be unfair to call any of the Rockets overpaid.
After the contracts of Mike Dunleavy and TJ Ford expired following the 2010-11 season, the Indiana Pacers were able to shed over $19 million from their team.
However, the team still has next offseason to look forward to, when James Posey's contract will also come off the books.
In 2011-12, Posey is set to pull in over $6.9 million, and considering that he only scored 240 points all season, he is certainly overpaid.
Among all of the Los Angeles Clippers contracts, one stands out as drastically larger than all of the rest.
In 2011-12, Chris Kaman is due to make $12.2 million—nearly $4 million more than the team's next-highest-paid player.
However, this is rather problematic, considering that Kaman is 29 and has been plagued by injuries during the past few seasons.
Therefore, it's not too much of a stretch to tag Kaman as the team's most overpaid player.
Unlike most NBA teams, the Los Angeles Lakers already have a ton of money invested in the 2011-12 NBA season.
And while their stars account for most of the money, there is still one player who seems to be rather overpaid.
Luke Walton is due to take in $5.68 million—a rather large sum for a guy who only averaged nine minutes per game in 54 games last season.
At this point and time, the jury is still out on whether or not the Memphis Grizzlies are overpaying some of their players.
In 2010-11, the team made a surprising run in the playoffs, and they even did so without star forward Rudy Gay.
So if the team is able to improve upon that performance next season, then it will seem as though a couple of their massive contracts are justified.
If not, then the about $30 million per year that Memphis has invested in Gay and Zach Randolph will certainly qualify as a reach.
However, as it looks now, it seems more like they are probably overpaid.
Chris Bosh is a perennial All-Star who helped his team reach the NBA Finals in 2010-11.
So considering that he doesn't even make the league maximum, how can he be considered overpaid? Well, it's all relative.
Therefore, Chris Bosh is the Miami Heat's most overpaid player.
After dealing away the fat contracts of Corey Maggette and John Salmons, the Milwaukee Bucks ultimately took back a few big salaries too.
And while one could possibly argue against Stephen Jackson's $9.3 million contract, Beno Udrih's $6.9 million deal is much more glaring.
Consequently, the Bucks' new backup point guard is the team's most overpaid player.
For the 2011-12 season, the Minnesota Timberwolves don't owe any players more than $5.3 million. Consequently, it's tough to say that they are overpaying anyone at this point.
Travis Outlaw has only averaged double-digit points twice in his eight-year career, and last season was not one of them.
Therefore, it's fairly reasonable to call this 27-year-old overpaid, considering that he is earning $7 million per year through 2014-15.
Without a doubt, Emeka Okafor is one of the NBA's better starting centers. In fact, he nearly averaged a double-double last season—all while ranking among the league leaders in field-goal percentage.
However, all of that still does not justify his $12.49 million price tag for 2011-12, as his contract makes him the most overpaid player on the New Orleans Hornets.
Chauncey Billups is one of the best point guards in the NBA.
However, he will be 35 when the 2011-12 season tips off, and toward the end of last season's campaign, he was significantly hampered by injuries.
So given that his age and health will likely cause him to regress on the court, his $14.2 million contract will likely make him a little bit overpaid.
Outside of Kevin Durant, no one on the Oklahoma City Thunder makes all that much money. Consequently, it wouldn't really be fair to tag any of their players as overpaid.
Prior to his prank-gone-awry and the subsequent suspension, Gilbert Arenas was one of the NBA's biggest stars.
However, he looked like a different player in 2010-11, only averaging 8.0 points per game after joining the Orlando Magic.
Therefore, it seems completely egregious that he would still be the league's fifth-highest-paid player in 2011-12, earning a whopping $19.27 million.
The Philadelphia 76ers have a few players who could qualify as being overpaid, but one stands out among the rest.
Elton Brand, despite experiencing somewhat of a resurgent 2010-11 campaign, is that individual.
In 2011-12, he will be bringing in a little over $17 million, making him the 12th-highest-paid player in the NBA.
And seeing as though only put up 15 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest, he is certainly one of the most overpaid guys in the league.
Other than Vince Carter, no one on the Phoenix Suns is really overpaid too much.
However, Carter's future on the team is in jeopardy, seeing as the Suns delayed his contract-extension deadline to the start of free agency.
Nevertheless, there is still a (very remote) chance that the team picks up his $18.3 million salary for 2011-12—and if they do, he will definitely be among the most overpaid players in the NBA.
Greg Oden has had a tumultuous professional career thus far, only playing 82 games during his three years in the league.
And while the 23-year-old center could still turn out to be a very good player, he has yet to show too much promise.
Consequently, his $8.79 million contract is a bit much, allowing him to edge out Brandon Roy ($14.94 million) and Marcus Camby ($11.07 million) as the Portland Trail Blazers' most overpaid player.
There are no players on the Sacramento Kings who have giant contracts, but one individual stands out as being somewhat overpaid.
In his six-year career, Francisco Garcia has only twice averaged a double-digit scoring total, and only twice played more than 67 games.
And seeing as though his past couple of years have not seen much improvement, his $5.8 million contract seems like a bit of a stretch.
San Antonio Spurs forward Richard Jefferson has seen his numbers drop off dramatically over the past couple of seasons.
Consequently, it seems a bit much that he would be paid about $30 million over the next three seasons.
Therefore, Jefferson takes the cake as his team's most overpaid player, beating out the aging but still effective Tim Duncan, whose $21.3 million contract expires after 2011-12.
The Toronto Raptors have a few players flirting with the line of being overpaid, but they are all effective enough to withstand too much salary criticism.
Consequently, Andrea Bargnani ($41.5 million, four years), Jose Calderon ($20.3 million, two years) and Amir Johnson ($25 million, four years) can get off without really being called overpaid.
Heading into the 2011-12 season, the Utah Jazz boast a promising, young frontcourt, consisting of Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
However, the odd man out appears to be Mehmet Okur, who was limited to only 13 unproductive games in the 2010-11 season.
And if that wasn't enough, the 32-year-old is due $10.89 million in 2011-12, making him the most overpaid player on the Jazz.
Rashard Lewis could very well be the most overpaid player in the entire NBA.
The Washington Wizards forward is due just under $21.1 million in the 2011-12 season, making him the fourth-highest-paid player in the league.
What's more, Lewis has witnessed a significant statistical drop-off over the past few seasons, culminating with him only putting up 11.4 points per game for Washington last season.
And seeing as he will be 32 when the season tips off and coming off an injury, Lewis will likely experience yet another drop in production.
Therefore, when one thinks about overpaid NBA players, they ought to immediately consider Rashard Lewis.