This happens to every single team. They overvalue a player and pay him way more than his play value is actually worth. Every team has done this on some level, and every team has a player that they could get rid of. This happened a lot in one specific summer. In the summer of 2016, there was a big spike in the salary cap due to both the natural inflation and the signing of a new CBA and TV deal. With such a massive expansion in the cap, there were plenty of people who got signed to massive deals. But it happens more than in just one summer.
This is such a regular occurrence that happens in the league, and every team in the league has at least one contract on their team that is going to force them to not be competitive come free agency or it might stop them from making more bad decisions. Each of the contracts does have something in common, though; they are all for multiple years and each gets paid tens of millions of dollars per year. Here are the 30 teams who all overvalued and overpaid a player and now has to suffer the consequences of not having enough money to improve their team on the market like they should be able too. The contracts and worth will start with the '18-'19 season and how much is still left to be paid to them.
30 Atlanta Hawks: Miles Plumlee
Miles Plumlee has a contract that has him signed for two years and $25 million. To the Hawks' credit, they did not sign Plumlee but rather traded him into their lineup. This was not a trade that they won. In the trade, they gave up Dwight Howard and the 31st pick, which got traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. They got Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the 41st pick (Tyler Dorsey). Dwight Howard had another year where he was able to get another season where he averaged a double-double and was fifth in the league in rebounds and 10th in the league for blocks all while averaging 16.6 points.
Miles Plumlee, on the other hand, was only able to get 4.1 rebounds a game this season while getting 0.5 blocks and getting 4.3 points. His value is not what he is getting paid. While he is currently on track to get paid $25 million over the next two years, this contract will hold them back from improving on their 24-58 record, which was the worst in the Eastern Conference. Plumlee is not the sort of player who is a role player nor is he a building block for your team. He is not nearly as well rounded as his brother Mason, who currently serves as the backup to the Denver Nuggets.
29 Boston Celtics: Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward has a contract for two years with a third-year player option and $98 million. Okay, I know this seems crazy to put this man on the list but it is really the only other route to go. Everyone else on the team has great contracts; the Celtics have done a great job at signing players to their worth and not a penny more. The only reason he can make this list is that he got paid $29 million to play a total of 5 minutes. He got paid exactly $5,945,580 per minute this season. Plus, he is coming back from a really nasty injury. He came down after trying to contest a shot, and the footage showed that his foot was turned a different direction.
He might not come back to the same All-Star level performer that he was.
In his last season with the Utah Jazz, he was able to average career highs of 21.9 points and 5.4 assists. He also got 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals while shooting 47.1% from the field, 39.8% from three, and 84.4% from the line. If he comes back to this form for the Celtics, then you might as well crown them the Eastern Conference champions for 2019. They will be a scary team, but if they aren't sure he can come back then they need to ship this $98 million away.
28 Brooklyn Nets: Timofey Mozgov
Timofey Mozgov is signed to a two-year, $33 million dollar deal. Timofey Mozgov had an okay season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and got signed to a massive contract by the Los Angeles Lakers and traded to the Brooklyn Nets. He is being paid way more than any person has his ability should be paid. For the Nets, he only played in 31 games while starting in 13 of them. In that short amount of playing time he only got 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds, while getting 0.4 blocks per game. Mozgov stands a staggering 7'1" and weighs in at 275 pounds.
He should be able to be a dominating physical force rather Mozgov is more of a space filler on the team. Right now he is being paid more like a maximum level player where in reality he is a minimum contract guy who occasionally plays. Right now, Mozgov is under contract to get $16.5 million over the next two seasons. That is something they should either work on a buyout for ship him off elsewhere to take up cap space on someone else's roster. There are a few teams out there who can afford to pick up his contract but I think mostly they should just agree to a buyout.
27 Charlotte Hornets: Nicolas Batum
Nicolas Batum is signed to a two-year deal with a third year as a player option, and the contract is worth $76 million. He was the 25th pick overall in the 2008 NBA draft. He has never been a great player and has never won an individual award. Batum is the player who is going to be paid the most money next season which should make him the best player on their team but he is the third to fifth best on any given day. In the last season, he had injuries on and off which restricted him to 64 games and 31 minutes per game.
In those games, however, he only managed 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. He also he shot 41.5% from the field with 33.6% from three and 83.1% from the line. Not bad numbers, but he did not even come close to the stars on the team in Dwight Howard and Kemba Walker. Nicolas Batum had a decent run serving as third fiddle to Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, which is the same role he will be serving while Dwight and Kemba are in town. However, his $25 million a year, which is double what Kemba makes, says he should be the very best.
26 Chicago Bulls: Cristiano Felicio
Felicio is under contract for three years and $24 million. For the year, he was able to average 5.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.0 assists. He did that while playing in 55 games, starting in 16 of them and playing 17.8 minutes in those games. Felicio was signed to a deal with the very little experience he had. He was a restricted free agent and they still insisted on signed him to this deal, making him the Bull with the most guaranteed money. They might be very high on him though and were scared to lose his ability to protect the rim or stretch the floor.
When you have players like Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine, and Kris Dunn, who have the talent to take this team to another level if they can play free agency and the draft, they can make a play in the playoffs. That will not be possible with Cristiano Felicio still on the roster and taking up $8 million a year. We believe that there are multiple teams that would much rather take his contract then their own bad contracts, but regardless he is their worst contract. His contract would not be one hard to trade away; his talent (or lack thereof) is the issue.
25 Cleveland Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson's contract is for two years and $36 million. He might need all $18 million a year to save up for his child's college tuition if he was worried about getting the $100 fine for falling for a DeMar DeRozan pump-fake. He did get this contract after the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to capture the first championship in franchise history. It was in this playoff run, specifically the Finals, where he really showed dominance as a man who could dominate the glass and hustle on every position, and he has yet to live up to that claim.
This season he played in only 53 games, starting just 22 of them.
In those games, he averaged 5.8 points and 6.6 rebounds. Those were by far his worst numbers since his rookie season. The Cavs are likely Finals-bound and it is due to the shoulders of LeBron James, and the underrated play of Kevin Love. If LeBron returns to the team or not, they really need to move on past Thompson and understand that his best games are behind him. Maybe he can get out of his funk and learn to hustle and get those very much needed offensive rebounds, but if he does not show anything in the conference Finals, then it is time to find a trade partner.
24 Dallas Mavericks: Harrison Barnes
Barnes has a contract for one year and a second-year player option for $49 million. For a player got a max contract and came from a team who won 73 games he seemed well worth the money. He does have decent numbers on his team; he's the leading scorer for his team, but his defense leaves a lot to be desired. His season numbers were 18.9 points with 6.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Those are decent numbers but nowhere near the all-star max contract he is being paid. His net rating is among the worst in the league. That is no surprise knowing that the Mavericks were among the league's worst this season with only 24 wins. He certainly did not carry them to the next level.
The Mavericks are currently projected for the 3rd pick in this year's draft. That could change come lottery time. That could get them one of the many stars in this year's draft to pair along the star-to-be Dennis Smith Jr. It could be nice to land another great player in free agency but Harrison Barnes' contract is holding them back. They might make a play at trading him for a star along with their pick.
23 Denver Nuggets: Paul Millsap
Paul Millsap has a contract worth $60 million for one year with a second-year team option, which is going to get denied. This is a bad one. Paul Milsap was an All-Star in '17. He was not an All-Star in '18 after being injured for most of the season, having played in only 38 games. In that time he did average 14.6 points and 6.4 rebounds, which are amongst his worst averages since he got into the league. Millsap underwent left wrist surgery late in November and returned after the All-Star break in February. His All-Star games are behind him. This 12-year vet is on the way down to his career. And in his 13th year, he will probably be at career lows and still get paid $30 million.
The Nuggets were on the brink of making the playoffs this year after losing a nail-biter to the T-Wolves as their season ender. In that final game, he shot 3-for-8 for 10 points and they lost the game by 6. Now he was not the exact reason that they lost, but if you are being paid $30 million then you should be the reason that you win. It is time to ship him out.
22 Detroit Pistons: Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin's deal has got three years with a fourth-year player option and is going to cost the Pistons $141 million. Blake Griffin is still suffering from the same issue he was to start his career. He missed the whole first season of his career with a broken kneecap. Except for three seasons, he has never played in more than 67 games in a season, most recently suiting up in just 58 games. He has suffered from back spasms, a torn quad, staph infections, sore quads, sore knees, knee surgeries, broken toe, sprained MCL, concussions and ankle issues. He got a max contract but he will be 33 during the player option and he is no LeBron, so his injuries are definitely going to affect his ability to play over the next four years.
This last season he did average 21.4 points and he got 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists.
He did get traded to Detroit midway through this season and once he got to play with the Pistons all of his numbers, except for assists, went down. His numbers are only going to dip as he continues playing. Now it could only be the system, and now that Stan Van Gundy is out, they could bring in a coach to play to his strengths, but I believe he will just be a hindrance in their offense who also does not play defense.
21 Golden State Warriors: Andre Iguodala
Andre Iguodala's two-year contract will cost the Warriors $34 million. Although he was once Finals MVP, he is a great role player on the Warriors and has been in the running for the last two years for the Sixth Man of the Year award. The 34-year-old is a key player in the Warriors rotation for moral reasons. He will be paid $16 million this next season and $17 million the season after. That is a lot of money for someone who has his stats. He has averaged 6.0 points and 3.8 rebounds while getting 3.3 assists. This 14-year veteran has a lone All-Star season in 2012, and all of his stats have been on the downward track since he joined the Warriors. His numbers are only going to get even worse the longer he plays.
Even if he is a stellar role player who won Finals MVP just three years 0ago, he is not worth the money. On top of that, he is the only player on the roster who is signed through the 202 season, not in the starting line-up and getting at least $17 million. He will be paid just a million less than Draymond Green, who has been an All-Star for the last three years and is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
20 Houston Rockets: Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson has two years on his deal and will get paid $42 million – that's $21 million a year for a player of his caliber. He is currently the second highest paid player signed for next year on the Rockets roster. He won Most Improved Player in 2012 while playing for the Orlando Magic, but his role has slowly decreased in his two seasons with James Harden and company. This last season he averaged 9.3 points a game which is 4 points down from last year. He also averaged 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 three-pointers made. It is clearly not one of his better performances. Yet he is being paid to be the second best player on the team where he is not even close to playing like that.
Ryan Anderson did a lot to help the Magic and the Hornets/Pelicans during his playing time there. He was instrumental in helping the Magic post-Dwight Howard. He was also there to help Anthony Davis understand the league and probably helped him to understand the importance of spreading the floor. But he just is not going to help the Rockets this postseason or any postseason. He is averaging 3.2 points in the playoffs, which is just his second lowest since his first season in the league.
19 Indiana Pacers: Al Jefferson
Al Jefferson will get paid $10 million through his one-year deal. There are five players on the Pacers who are scheduled to make $10 million or more next season, and Al Jefferson is by far the worst one of them. The other four are constant starters and Jefferson is just one of the bench players if you can even call him that. He only played in 36 games this season while starting in just 1. He was only able to manage 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds. This is such a huge falling out from his lone All-NBA season, where he averaged 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds. After 14 years in the league, it just might be about time for him to turn in his retirement papers and call it quits. He has made more than his fair share of money during his time.
Now in comparison to the rest of the league, the Pacers are poised to do very well in free agency in a couple years having a lot of players who are signed for market value contracts. They have done very well in not overpaying players. Their best move was probably trading away Paul George and his accolades, so that they could get more manageable contracts rather than paying him the max deal.
18 Los Angeles Clippers: Danilo Gallinari
Gallinari's contract is worth $44 million and is for two years. If DeAndre Jordan declines his player option, and all signs are pointing toward him declining it, Gallinari will be the highest paid player raking in $21 million. After another injury-plagued season, Danilo Gallinari played in only 21 games. There was a ton of hype for him entering this season along with the rest of the Clippers and they almost made it to the playoffs. That will constantly be an issue with the Clippers, as they cannot expect him to be available for a full season.
In his 10-year career, he only averages 48 games a season.
Gallinari did average 15.3 points with 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Those are not bad numbers, for a role player. It is absolutely unacceptable, however, for your highest paid player. Now he might have a great season next year; he could make the 11th year of his career the only one where he is not plagued with injuries. And he has quite a long list of injuries during his career such as sore knees, a knee contusion, torn meniscus, multiple ankle sprains, bruised thighs, illnesses, multiple strained muscles, and a broken hand. Gallinari is not worth the money he is being paid.
17 Los Angeles Lakers: Luol Deng
Luol Deng has a contract of two years for $37 million. He is the most overpaid player in the league. It looked like a bad deal when they signed it, and it is now confirmed that he made way too much money. He is scheduled to make $11 million more than the next highest paid player, which is Lonzo Ball. Deng played in 1 game for 13 minutes this season. Want some math? He made $1,322,307.69 a minute this season, the second highest per minute player this season, right after Gordon Hayward. He has seriously fallen off from his two All-Star seasons with Chicago.
The Lakers are poised to make a splash this offseason with enough juice to sign two max contracts. They could sign even more and make a good run at the title. There have been numerous rumors flying around stars in the league like LeBron James, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard. Any of the three could help them make it to the playoffs, and two of them could make a deep run. But if they can dump Luol Deng and make a real push for all three, they would be the Finals for sure. His will not be an easy contract to dump, though.
16 Memphis Grizzlies: Chandler Parsons
Chandler Parsons will be paid $49 million over two years. Poised for superstardom, he was instead hobbled by injuries. He is the third highest paid player on the team. He got a max contract after having multiple season-ending knee injuries. During that max season, he played in 34 games for the first season and 36 games in the second season. In that time he averaged 7.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. His shooting percentages are bad as well, as he's shooting 39.1% from the field with 34.5% from three and 72.2% from the line.
Parsons' contract is just the beginning of the salary cap issues for the Grizzlies. Having three aging players all on max contracts is a big issue for them, and any hopes of having a return season to the playoffs anytime soon. It is just about time for them to blow it up anyway. There is still plenty of value in Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. Get rid of them, maybe get some more draft picks and start to build to the future. This looks to be one of the better draft classes in recent memory and has potential stars littered throughout it. It could be best to store up some picks and see who can make it big in the league.
15 Miami Heat: Kelly Olynyk
Kelly has got a contract for two years with a third-year player option and is worth $35 million dollars. Although the worst contract they are still paying out is Chris Bosh, who is being paid $52 million over two years, but they cannot do anything to get rid of it, so those numbers do not really count. But Kelly's contract is one they can get rid of and they should get rid of. In his fifth season in the NBA, he is getting paid big bucks, averaging just 11.5 points and 5.7 rebounds with 2.7 points and not doing much more in the playoffs.
He did play in 76 games this season, while starting in 22 and averaging 23.4 minutes in those games. The reason he got such a high contract for an average role player at best is that he had a great playoff game in Boston. That is all he really did to garner such a contract. The Heat are on the brink though. They are going to be trading away Hassan Whiteside undoubtedly, if they can find a single suitor in the league. Finding another one for Kelly Olynyk is the best thing they can do to make it farther than the first round of the playoffs.
14 Milwaukee Bucks: Matthew Dellavedova
Delly has got a deal for two years and $19 million. The man had one good game against the Warriors and was heralded as the next great defender in the league. In 2018, he was only able to average 4.3 points with 1.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He shot the ball 36.2% from the field, with 37.2% from three and 92.6% from the line. Dellavedova did that while having career lows in both games played and started. He only started 3 out of the 38 games he played in, and was even less help in their playoff run this year. Matthew Dellavedova is on his last legs in this league and won't find a suitable team anywhere in the league with his lack of a skill set. He's not a good shooter, he's not a good defender anymore, and he's not a good playmaker. Just like that, he is the least worthy player to sign.
Delly is just the start of their cap issues. They are also overpaying Khris Middleton, Tony Snell, and John Henson. All of them are getting over $10 million for at least one more year but also through 2021. They are not in any position to make a deeper playoff push than going out in the first round. Again.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves: Gorgui Dieng
Gorgui Dieng is going to get paid $49 million over three years. He is one of three players who is signed to play through the 2021 season. One of those players is Andrew Wiggins and the other is Tyus Jones, on his rookie deal. Dieng has fallen since last season. After playing and starting in every game last year, he only played in 79 and did not start a single one of them. He only averaged 5.9 points this year, which was a big dip from his 10.0 last year. This year he got 4.6 rebounds, which is quite the difference from the 7.9 the season beforehand. Everything he was able to accomplish in seasons prior is a waste this year and all the years that are still to come on his contract.
Dieng is a huge cog in their plays to be a real contender in the league. They are a good role player or a big development from Andrew Wiggins away from getting out of the first round or being better than an 8th seed in the Western Conference. Dieng is not the player who can bring them to that level, and if he was then that should have happened this season.
12 New Orleans Pelicans: Solomon Hill
Solomon Hill has a contract worth $26 million over two years. Jrue Holiday showed his worth this season and this playoff run that ended in 5 games to the Warriors. Anthony Davis is arguably the best player in the league. Then Solomon Hill is the next highest paid player on their payroll. With that, one would expect big production, and that is not even close to what he gives them. He played in a whole 12 games this season and started in just one of them. In those 12 he helped the team by grabbing 2.4 points and 3.o rebounds this season. Those are really bad numbers for someone who is making $13 million a year.
The Pelicans showed that they are on the brink of greatness.
Maybe when, or better yet if, they get DeMarcus Cousins back then they should be able to make a real play at the title. But with Solomon Hill taking up too much space on both the cap and bench, it is hard to say that they could ever really be contenders in the league. He might be a real morale booster in the locker room and an even better teammate on the floor, but his production is the issue that needs to send him to another team or just waive him.
11 New York Knicks: Joakim Noah
Joakim has a contract for two years and $38 million remaining. He is going to be the highest paid player for the next two seasons and that is not good news for them. He will be 35 by the time his contract runs out, and that is not a good thing. In the 2018 season, he played in 7 games and started in zero of them. During those 7 games, he got 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds with 0.3 blocks. His contract is such a bad one that Phil Jackson was dangling Kristaps Porzingis and a future first-round draft pick just to unload Noah and no one took it. All in all, Noah is far removed from his days as a versatile defensive big man for the Chicago Bulls.
Noah's season can be summarized as just bad, all around. The worst part is how impossible a contract it is to get rid of. After being suspended for the first 10 games and then getting surgery to repair his rotator cuff he did not have a good start to the season. It was in January he was sent into exile from the team after a heated verbal altercation with the ex-coach Jeff Hornacek. He has talked to David Fizdale about returning to the team, but even Fizdale didn't commit to his return.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder: Andre Roberson
Andre Roberson is set to be paid $20 million over two years. You could make the argument that Carmelo Anthony has the worst contract but it's only for a year and I believe he will exercise the Early Termination Option on the contract. Roberson, on the other hand, has two guaranteed seasons left on the roster. He ended his season early with a ruptured left patellar tendon. Because of that, he was only able to play in 39 games this season, although he did start in all of them. In those game, he averaged 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds which are higher than his career averages to his credit, but the negatives are all too much with Roberson.
Even if he could be one of the league's elite perimeter defenders, he is too much of a liability on the offensive end to keep him in most games.
The other team just fouls him when they are in or close to the bonus, because he shoots and an abysmal 31.6% from the line, which makes him the worst in the league. The Thunder have shown once again that it is the Russell Westbrook show. It is so bad that the point could be made that he is the worst contract after getting the supermax, there is not much wiggle room to sign many new players to the team.
9 Orlando Magic: Bismack Biyombo
Bismack Biyombo has got a contract for one year with a second as a player option and could be paid up to $34 million in that time. This was a terrible deal when signed and has been nothing but that since. He will be the second highest player on the team for the next two years with only Evan Fournier being paid more, rightfully so. He is not worth what he is being paid at all, but he was one of the few players who got signed to a deal when the cap went through the roof. After playing in 82 games and starting in 25 of them he did not do much. He averaged 5.7 points with 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks, and wasn't able to make the most of things when he started in place of an injured Nikola Vucevic.
Biyombo was signed with Aaron Gordon, Vucevic, Mario Hezonja, Serge Ibaka, and Jeff Green all vying for minutes in Orlando's rotation. He was not even a commodity, and was more of a burden on the team. It was especially bad when Ibaka was there, but he still does not do enough to make it worth the money he is being paid. Biyombo needs to be traded this offseason for both the Magic and Bismack's benefit. He had to be signed with the belief he would get more than 18.2 minutes a game.
8 Philadelphia 76ers: Jerryd Bayless
Jerryd has got a contract for one years and $9 million. Just like the Celtics, it is very hard to find a bad contract on their team with so many young players on their team. Joel Embiid's contract extension kicks in next season and Robert Covington is also signed to a big deal but it is a deal that he is worth. The 29-year-old is a different story. He played in 3 games during the first year of his contract and raised that to 39 in his second year. In the 2018 season, he was able to average 7.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. He did that while shooting a 41.6% from the field and 37.0% from three and 79.5% from the line.
The Sixers are sitting pretty going into the future and do not really have all that much to worry about. Having plenty of space in the cap they have plenty of money to sign a superstar to the team while not having to get rid of anything or much of anything at all. The only thing they might have to sacrifice is their ego in accepting players of All-Star caliber to push them to the next level.
7 Phoenix Suns: Brandon Knight
Brandon Knight is on a two-year contract worth $30 million. This season, he missed every game and still got paid his $13 million. The year before that he played in only 54 games while starting in 5 of those games and averaging 11.0 points and 2.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds. Those aren't great numbers, even for the sixth man. Brandon Knight should be known around the league as the ultimate highlight reel, though, and not for the right reasons. He has constantly been on the wrong side of highlight reels. Knight has been spun around by Paul George, crossed up by Kyrie Irving in the rookie showcase, he was on the opposite end of a brutal DeAndre Jordan dunk, and he jumped over his bench to save the ball and a platter of Gatorade hit him in the head.
He is a player full of heart and hustle but that has ended with him being embarrassed on numerous occasions.
Outside of that, he is not a very consistent offensive or defensive player and is almost always on the team injury report. The Suns' roster is not that good at all, with a starting lineup consisting of Elfrid Payton, Devin Booker, TJ Warren, Marquese Chriss, and Tyson Chandler, and Josh Jackson likely to replace Payton or Warren in the starting lineup next year. That's not an optimal lineup. With the best odds at the top pick in this year's draft, the Suns look to fix this lineup and add another young star to help Devin Booker and the late-blooming Jackson push this team past 21 wins.
6 Portland Trail Blazers: Evan Turner
Evan Turner is going to the bank with $36 million over two seasons. Turner is scheduled to be the third highest paid player on the Trail Blazers but he is not going to help them get out of the first round. Turner played in 79 games this season while starting in 40 of them which is third highest about of games played in his eight-year career. This season, in 25.7 minutes of play, he got 8.2 points and 3.1 rebounds with 2.2 assists. He did that while shooting decent percentages with 44.7% from the field and 31.8% from three, with 85.0% from the line. He just is not going to be worth the trouble of paying his salary and Portland should look to ship him out to bring another player in. Maybe they can hitch C.J. McCollum or Damian Lillard to the deal and make it enticing, while fixing the issues they have in cap space.
The Blazers have been swept in the first round of the playoffs for the last two years and do not really look like they know how to fix it and get out of that round anymore. Maybe the issue is Terry Stotts. Perhaps Lillard and McCollum just play too similar of a role. Maybe they just need a real third option to play off of. Regardless of whatever is holding them back, Evan Turner is not helping them move out of the round.
5 Sacramento Kings: Zach Randolph
Z-Bo is set to be paid $12 million over one year. Zach Randolph is the highest paid player on the Kings and also the second oldest player. It is hard to find a contract that is bad for them because they are such a young team just like the 76ers and the Celtics. Unlike them though, their talent has yet to develop, with eight of the 12 contracts they have signed through next year belonging to players who are 25-years-old or younger. Zach Randolph is the oddity being the oldest player by seven years. He was able to play in 59 games this season and started in 57 of them. In those games ,he got 14.5 points with 6.7 rebounds and shooting 47.3% from the field. You cannot knock those numbers especially when a 36-year-old is the one producing those figures.
My issue with his contract is not so much his production, rather the fact that he is being paid the most, and next season his numbers are sure to dip as they give their young guys more playing time to develop and make a real playoff push. Randolph will not be able to help them next year as he did this year so the Kings should just move and either waive him, buy him out, or trade him.
4 San Antonio Spurs: Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol has a contract for two years and $32 million coming his way. Gasol has fallen off since his days with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won two rings and was a constant All-Star and All-NBA level player. Being the third highest paid player on the league's most consistently good team in the league, he has not missed the playoffs in over 15 years. This season Pau played in 77 games while starting in 63 of them. In the 23.5 minutes a game, he played he was able to get 10.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. This season he did shoot close to his career high in three-pointers made with 0.6 threes a game. Gasol was a good role player for the team and the 37-year-old was definitely a good locker room supporter for the team.
The Spurs are currently in a lock with what to do with Kawhi Leonard after he basically sat out the season with an apparent leg injury.
Though you can not convince me that Gregg Popovich or any other front office executive for the Spurs believed that it was that serious. He definitely believed that it was still an issue and it was smart of him to take it safe because there are so many examples of players who had one injury that rolled into so many more.
3 Toronto Raptors: Serge Ibaka
Serge Ibaka has two years and $45 million set to be paid to him. The LeBronto Raptors have the inability to beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It does not matter what round they face them in, they get beaten badly by them. In the last two years, they were even swept by the Cavs both times in the second round. Ibaka is not contributing to the roster and is taking up way too much money. He is scheduled to be the third highest paid player on the best Raptors team we have seen in years. Ibaka played and started in 76 games this season while averaging 12.6 points with 6.3 rebounds. He had his career lows in blocks with 1.3 a game.
He was also able to make 1.4 threes a game which is the lowest he has had in three seasons. You would think that he'd have shot more threes to make up for the declining blocks, as he's done in recent years, but the 28-year-old is just getting worse. The Raptors have to do something. They just cannot do anything when they face them and their biggest issue is they do not have enough weapons to throw at LeBron so much so that when it was coming down the stretch they put OG Anunoby on him during crunch time, and of course LeBron did whatever he wanted, hitting two game-winners against them, due to the lack of defense.
2 Utah Jazz: Alec Burks
Alec Burks has a contract for $11 million and one year. This one-year deal is the only bad contract that they really have on tap for next year. Alec was able to manage playing in 64 games this season, his most since the '13-'14 season. In those 64 games, he had a career low in minutes per game with just 16.5, which is his lowest since he entered the league. That is just the beginning of the issues with Burks, as he was only able to manage 7.7 points with 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists. Burks is not going to help the Jazz make it past the second round. He needs to find a way off this team and bring someone in to help the Jazz now.
With the arrival of Donovan Mitchell and the skills he brings, and the resurgence of Ricky Rubio, it is hard to see Burks living up to the $11 million.
On top of that, he just doesn't fit well with the current system in place with Quin Snyder. If they are hoping to make a bigger push into the playoffs and beat the Rockets or the Warriors, they need to add a real threat and Alec holds them back from that.
1 Washington Wizards: Ian Mahinmi
Ian Mahinmi has a contract for $31 million and two years. Ian Mahinmi is the fourth highest paid player on the team next season behind Otto Porter Jr., Bradley Beal, and John Wall. After only playing in 31 games last season it is encouraging to see him play in 77 this season. In those games, he had no starts but averaged 14.9 minutes. He was only able to manage a mere 4.8 points with 4.1 rebounds and 0.5 blocks. Those numbers are not even close to worth the $16 million he was paid this year. The Wizards need another tool to help Beal and Wall out, but Mahinmi is holding them back from doing that.
There will be a few great players and a lot of good players in this year's free agency pool. There are much better options available at the center and power forward position for him to make a better play than what Ian can even bring to the table. Finding any suitor for him as a trade destination will be in their best interest, even if they have to give up a first-round draft pick or two. Ian Mahinmi is not the player that his contract would say that he is and it is just holding them back.