Sometimes it’s an injury that a player just can’t shake or get back from. Sometimes it’s old age and sometimes it’s just about huge contracts given to mediocre players. Here are the best examples of overpaid NBA players.
Rashard Lewis, Washington Wizards – 19.5 Million Dollars
Lewis has been one of the NBA’s highest paid players for quite a few years now, ever since he left Seattle for the Florida Sun in Orlando. He did have a few things going for him, especially in 2008-2009, playing very well during the Magic’s run to the NBA finals but things have kind of fallen apart in the last couple of years. Last year his playoff performance was abysmal, pretty much ending his credit line with SVG. He got traded to the Wizards in December for Agent Zero and now is sidelined after a season ending knee injury.
Stat Line – 11.7 points, 5.1 rebounds in 32 minutes a night.
Michael Redd, Milwaukee Bucks – 18.3 Million Dollars
Redd hasn’t been playing very much the past three years as his six year, 91 million dollar contract ends this year. He has just returned to action last week, playing his first basketball game in over a year. Redd has played only 56 games in the last three seasons and it’ll be interesting to see who will want to get a 32 year old injury plagued scorer and how much of a pay cut he’ll have to take.
Stat Line – After only 5 games and a total of 40 minutes, there’s no need to talk about stats.
Gilbert Arenas, Orlando Magic – 17.7 Million Dollars
From being sort of a king with the Wizards, Arenas’ role has dimished to a back up point guard who’s lucky to get more minutes when Jameer Nelson goes down (not a rarity). Arenas was supposed to be part of a dream backcourt for the Wizards alongside John Wall, but they decided it’ll be better for Wall to learn and develop without Agent Zero.
Stat Line – 10.7 Points, 4 assists in 25 minutes a night.
Yao Ming, Houston Rockets – 17.6 Million Dollars
Like Redd, Ming hasn’t exactly been racking up minutes lately. He missed the entire 2009-2010 season. The Rockets had so many plans about how to limit his minutes this season, keep him rested. Ming’s fragility broke those plans, going down after 5 games, ending his season. Like Redd, he’ll be hitting the free agent market this summer although it’s isn’t certain when (if at all) he’ll be ready to play next season.
Vince Carter, Phoenix Suns – 17.5 Million Dollars
No longer troubled by injuries, just a player on a steep decline. His trade this year from Orlando to Phoenix didn’t help any of the teams – the Magic are still looking like they’re a good player away from competing with the Beasts of the East while the Suns will miss the playoffs after reaching the conference finals last season.
Stat Line – 14.2 points in 28 minutes a night.
And a few more blokes making a bit too much –
Baron Davis (Cavs) – 14 million dollars for 13 points and 6 assists a night. Misses a good chunk of games early on but I wonder how much he has left.
Nick Collison (Thunder) – 13.3 million dollars. Yes, you’re not on drugs. Well maybe you are, but this number has nothing do with it. It has more to do with contract manipulations and bonuses, but still, it’s a bit much for a guy playing 21 minutes a night, scoring 4.7 points a night and grabbing 4.4 rebounds.
Elton Brand (76ers) – 16 Million Dollars. This is Brand’s best season since arriving at Philly from the Clippers but the guy hasn’t and won’t be his old 20-10 self again. He has better and worse months, but at his best this season he averaged just over 16 points over a 30 day stretch. He gives 14.8 points and 8.3 rebounds a night, but for franchise player type of money, you expect more.
Marcus Camby (Blazers) – 11.7 Million Dollars a year with two years left on the contract of the 37 year old. He gives defense and rebounds, but he’s a non factor on offense, averaging just under 5 points a night.
Samuel Dalembert (Kings) – 13.4 Million Dollars. He’s one of the nicest guys to come by and Centers always get a bit more than they give due to the rarity of decent big men these days. Still – Under 8 points and 8 rebounds a night.
Andrei Kirilenko (Jazz) – 17.8 Million Dollars. The defensive stalwart makes Super Star kind of money, but gives just under 12 points a night. Defense and versatility are nice, but Kirilenko, who’ll be a free agent when the season ends, won’t be getting anything near that amount next year.