Worst/Best contracts – 2010-2011

I found an interesting spreadsheet of the current NBA contracts, and was fascinated by how bad some of them were. I honestly can’t imagine what goes through some of the GMs mind when they sign these contracts. Channing Frye for $35M?? Amir Johnson $35M??
(quick rant on Frye: The Suns gave up on Amar’e Stoudemire because they didn’t want to give him $100M, yet then went and signed $140M in contracts to Channing Fyre, Josh Childress, Hakim Warrick and Hedo Turkoglu. Does this make any sense???)

Worst 10 contracts
**I deliberately left out any contract signed by Isiah Thomas or Isiah Thomas Jr (aka David Kahn), otherwise it’ll have been too easy. Darko Milicic and Eddy Curry, you get a free pass
10. Luke Walton – 3 years – $17M
I don’t reckon even Jerry Buss realised he was paying Walton this much. Come to think of it, I don’t even reckon Buss knows who Luke Walton is.
9. Wes Matthews – 5 years – $35M
Portland gave a 2nd year rookie, who went undrafted, $35 million. Why? (By 2014, Matthews would have earned over $10 million more then Blake Griffin, both of who where in the same draft. Wow)
8. Hedo Turkoglu – 4 years – $43M
Torontos off-season wasn’t a massive failure. They managed to find someone to take Hedo’s awful contract.
7. Desagano Diop – 3 years – $20.8M
In 2013, the corpse of Desagano Diop will be earning over $7 million. Enough said…
6. Brendon Haywood – 6 years – $55M
$55 million for a bench player putting up 8/8. Could be the new Erik Dampier.
5. Baron Davis – 3 years – $40M.
Some players invest in stocks, others in nice houses. Baron invested his $15 million into Chicken Wings.
4. Joe Johnson – 6 years – $125M
Atlanta were in a tough position because if they didn’t give him this contract, someone else would have. But still, paying Johnson $25 million when he’s 35 years old? He’s not even worth that now. This contract has only just begun to hurt.
3. Rashard Lewis – 3 years – $66M
This contract still amazes me. The Magic offered Rashard this contract even though they weren’t competing with anyone. It’s not like they got into a bidding war, they basically just threw him a max-contract for the sake of it. We’ve seen his playoff failures, and it looks like these are translating into the regular season this year.

2. Elton Brand – 3 years – $50M
He’s injury prone and getting over $15 million a season. He’s had a bit of a resergence this season but he’ll have to be fully healthy and productive for a full season before this contract looks passable.

What?  Worry?  80 million reasons not to

1. Gilbert Arenas – 4 years – $80M
I’ll never say a contract is untradable, not since I witnessed Zach Randolph get traded three times in a 6 month period, but this is as close to untradable as any contract could be. 4 years left, $80 million, for a guy who is incredibly injury prone and doesn’t even seem like he wants to play basketball. Washington are stuck with him for a while yet. Unless they trade for Elton Brand…
Honourable mention
David Lee – 6 years – $80
Emeka Okafor – 4 years – $52M
Mike Conley – 5 years – $50M
Josh Childress – 5 years – $35M
Travis Outlaw – 5 years – $35M
Shawn Marion – 4 years – $30M
Chris Anderson – 4 years – $21M

Best 5 contracts (I honestly couldn’t find 10. If you know of any, please feel free to enlighten me)
** Rookie contracts weren’t included
1. LeBron James – 5 years – $110M
I know people are hating on LeBron, but he is by far the best player in the world, and as long as there is a ‘max-contract’, then any contract he signs is a bargain. Especially when you consider Chris Bosh got the same amount and Joe Johnson got $15 million MORE.
Remember when Jordan signed a deal for like $35 million 15 years ago? Factor in inflation, that’s probably about $50 million. And that’s about what LeBron deserves.
2. Rajon Rondo – 5 years – $55M
The best move the Celtics did last year was re-sign Rondo before he could test free agency. If Amir Johnson is getting $35 million, then Rondo probably would have got offered the max. $11 million for a top 5 point guard, bargain.

3. Paul Millsap – 3 years – $20M
He won’t make the highlights very often (today excluded), but he is a hard worker and a starting forward on most teams. His deal he signed last off-season is looking like a steal for the Jazz, especially since the guy he replaced (Boozer) is earning twice as much.
4. Luis Scola – 5 years – $47M
He was the World Championships MVP until Argentina got eliminated, and he’s shown this year he’s a potential All-Star. For the Rockets to get him for under $10 million a season, that’s probably the only good news they’ve had for a while.
5. Andy Varejao – 4 years – $32M
You can tell when a contract is good value by the amount of teams trying to trade for him, and reports are that Varejao is one of the most sought after players at the moment. I didn’t like this contract when he first signed it, but when you factor in his final year isn’t guaranteed, $8-10 million for a big man who hustles, rebounds and defends isn’t too bad.
Honourable mention
Tony Parker – 4 years – $50M
Shannon Brown – 2 years – $4M