With the mind-numbing changes in the NBA salary cap over the years, the number of head scratching contracts continues to climb as the owners seem more than willing to hand over money to players who haven't really done much to earn such a lucrative payout. Sure the NBA has made a boat load of money with the new television deal and endorsements, but at some point one would think that players should have to at least earn their worths.
Within the past five years and for the immediate future, Superstar level deals have and will be handed out to young players just off of their rookie contract, veterans looking for one last big payday based on their name alone and to even mid level talent who management think just need a fresh start in a new home. While it's still hard to swallow that NBA players are making more money that some small countries, at least Superstar level players such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry can justify their earnings based on their production, however for the following list of player who have the top 15 worst contracts of the past five years, maybe they should consider giving some of that money back before they get arrested for highway robbery!
17 Wesley Matthews - 4 Years / $70 million
After making a name for himself in Portland during the early part of the decade, Matthews turned his breakout performance into a free agent contract with the Dallas Mavericks that started with a $16.4 million payday and will close out with an $18.6 million pay during a player option year for 2017-18.
16 Chandler Parsons - 4 Years / $94 million
In 2012, Parsons may have surprised many casual fans by making the NBA All-Rookie Second team, but for those that followed his career at the University of Florida, Parsons' first year production wasn't a fluke. Fast forward to his sophomore and junior years in the NBA and Parsons would turn himself into one of the most sought after free agents on the market in 2014.
15 Evan Turner - 4 Years / $70 million
Aside from his two years in Philadelphia, Turner has yet to live up to the ceiling that was set during his three years in Ohio State. However somehow despite only averaging ten points, five rebounds and five assists during his two seasons in Boston, the Portland Trail Blazers decided to throw Turner a rather large bone in 2016 to the tune of roughly $17.5 million a year.
14 Omer Asik - 5 Years / $58 million
Imagine if you could do something really well for 82 days and then somehow convert that into future earnings of nearly $60 million! If Asik was smart, he would trademark whatever it was he did back in 2012-13 and bottle it. Or better yet he could repeat it on a yearly basis and live up to the value of his contract.
13 Joakim Noah - 4 Years / $72 million
For about six years, Noah was the heartbeat of the Chicago Bulls roster. Sure they had names like Rose, Butler and Gasol who offered more talent and highlight reel footage, but from a blue collar standpoint, Noah was the engine that made the Bulls move, especially on the defensive end of the floor. Offensively, although his shot form was beyond ugly, Noah managed to stay within his means through put backs or pick and roll options, not to mention his passing abilities.
12 Timofey Mozgov - 4 Years / $64 million
Somehow the Lakers tried to spin the fact that they signed an NBA Champion to their roster last season. However, unless you lived under a rock, fans realized that Mozgov, although he did receive a ring, was slightly more than a pylon on the Cleveland Cavaliers bench during their playoff run for the ring in 2016.
11 Allen Crabbe - 4 Years / $75 million
After being one of the most impressive players in the Pac12 during his three year stint in California, Crabbe has yet to live up to the standard that he set for himself once stepping into the NBA, yet the Portland Trail Blazer appear to think otherwise.
10 Luol Deng - 4 Years / $72 million
Not only did the LA Lakers sign an NBA Champion during the 2016 free agency period, but they also added a two-time NBA All-Star to the roster for the bargain deal of $18 million a season. Unfortunately for everyone but Deng, the money was not well spent.
9 Bismack Biyombo - 4 Years / $72 million
Bismack Biyombo should be sending some sort of gratitude payments to former Toronto Raptors teammate Jonas Valanciunas. When the big man from Lithuania went down at various points due to injury during the 2015-16 season, Biyombo took advantage of the available minutes and not only contributed on the stat sheet, especially on the glass, but at the same time turned himself into a fan favorite as a result of his hustle and grit.
8 Enes Kanter - 4 Years / $70 million
For three and a half years in Utah, fans could see the slow progression in the value of Kanter as the big man continued to show improvements in his game and worth to the team each season. Despite his improvements, the Jazz decided to part with the Turkish big man in a three team deal that brought them a couple of draft picks and some component pieces. Although he did average a double double during the 2014-15 season it hasn't resulted in a starting role for his new team in Oklahoma City.
7 DeMarre Carroll - 4 Years / $60 million
When the Toronto Raptors handed over an average of $15 million a season to the combo forward during the summer of 2015, they figured that they had signed a player that would help get the team over the playoff finals hump and challenge the Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference crown.
6 Nikola Pekovic - 5 Years / $60 million
During the summer of 2013, the Minnesota Timberwolves thought highly enough of the big man from Yugoslavia that they signed him to a multi-million dollar deal. Four years and 97 (of a possible 328) games later, Pek would find himself waived and most likely out of the league.
5 Tyson Chandler - 4 Years / $42 million
There was once a time in which Chandler ranked among the elite big men in the NBA, tallying a double double on a nightly basis and providing rim protection on the side, seems like those days are a longstadning thing of the past.
4 Brandon Knight - 5 Years / $70 million
For a guy who has yet to suit up for a complete season, the Phoenix Suns must have had high hopes that Knight would team up with Eric Bledsoe and be their backcourt of the future. Coming over from Milwaukee as part of a three team trade, Knight struggled in his first year with his new club, suiting up for only 11 games. However in his second season, after the ink dried on his new and improved contract, the former Kentucky Wildcat posted his best stat line of his young career with 19 PPG, 5.1 APG and started 50 of the 52 games that he participated in.
3 Miles Plumlee - 4 Years / $52 million
The Milwaukee Bucks must have thought they were signing brother Mason when they handed over a pen and asked the eldest of the three Plumlee brothers to sign on the dotted line. Considering that Miles best season came three years earlier during his sophomore year in Phoenix, the reasoning behind the deal is completely unknown as 5.1 PPG and 3.8 RPG by the 6'11" former Duke Blue Devil does not justify a $10 million increase in pay.
2 Mike Conley - 5 Years / $153 million
Yes Conley is the focal point of the Memphis Grizzlies offense, but what has he done do justify a $30 million paycheck? This season the point guard was on the same pay scale as Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. He was paid more than Chris Paul, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard all three of which are either All-Stars, All-NBA, or NBA Champions.
1 Tristan Thompson - 5 Years / $82 million
Call it the Kardashian curse. First it was Kim with Reggie and Kris, then it was Khloe's turn with Lamar and Tristan (James Harden you lucky dawg). Last summer Thompson turned a strong playoff run, capped with a championship ring into a standoff with the Cavaliers management as to what he felt he was worth.
In the end, LeBron James said he was worth the $16.5 million a year average contract that was signed after the preseason schedule. Although his numbers actually increased across the board during the regular season and throughout the 18 games of the Cavs playoff journey, it was the disappearing act during the NBA Finals that placed Thompson on this list. Is it fair to judge someone based on a five game effort, maybe not, but at the same time Thompson made his money based on his playoff stats last year so it has to be a two way street.
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