Every season some franchises tend to wind up overpaying for an aging player making major money or not living up to their rather lofty contract.
In recent years past it has been the Magic overpaying for an all-but-done Gilbert Arenas, the 76ers overspending for an over-the-hill Elton Brand, and Rashard Lewis still living off of that unbelievable 6 year-$118 million deal he signed with Orlando back in 2007.
While the Magic and 76ers were more than happy to use the one time amnesty clause to free themselves from those horrific contracts, the Hornets finally agreed to a hefty buyout of Lewis, before he ultimately signed a free agent deal with the Miami Heat.
For the upcoming season, names like Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu, Chicago’s Carlos Boozer, and Golden State’s Richard Jefferson have to immediately come to mind but who should rank #1?
Check out the 15 Most Overpaid NBA Players in 2013:
2013 Salary: $7,258,960
2012 Stats: 7.7 ppg, 3.4 reb, 1.1 stl, .394 FG%
There’s no denying that ole Ray-Ray still is a formidable defensive presence for Showtime but his continual on and off the court incidents now seem to balance things out. It’s been nearly 8 years since Mr. Peace won the ’04 Defensive Player of the Year award and 3 years since he was named to the ’09 All Defensive Team. Metta’s numbers have decreased steadily across the board since his last season back in Houston during the ’08-’09 season but still may be a valuable commodity as Kobe’s enforcer next season as the rebuilt Lakers attempt to win another NBA Title.
2013 Salary: $8,200,00
2012 Stats: 6.6 ppg, 4.2 reb, 1.7 ast.352 FG%
After a disasterous 2012 calendar year that saw Odom get traded from the Lakers, sent to the D-League, and eventually placed on the inactive list by Dallas, the “Candyman” is making a comeback with crosstown LA rival Clippers. Last season, Odom was clearly out of shape, played in only 50 games, and averaged career lows across the board, prompting some to wonder if he is more focused on a career after hoops in Hollywood or that the wear and tear of 13 seasons and nearly 900 games played are taking a toll. When healthy and focused, Lamar can still be one of the most versatile players in the Association. Which player will we see in 2013?
2013 Salary: $10,000,000
2011 Stats: 11.7 ppg, 5.1 reb, 3 ast, 1.3 stl
In case you missed it, AK-47 is back in the Association after a stellar 2 seasons playing in his native Russia. While playing for CSKA Russia, Andrei earned MVP of the 2012 Euroleague and helped the Russian National Team to win the Bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics. The now 31 year old Kirilenko was once one of the most dominating defensive players in the NBA, earning All NBA Defensive 1st team honors in 2006 and All 2nd team nods in ’04 and ’05. But then came injuries, clashes with management, and an overall drop in production until ultimately chosing to go back to his homeland leading up the the NBA Lockout last season. AK-47 signed with the Timberwolves in July for 2 seasons at $20 million. Seems like a ton of dough for an aging defensive specialist.
2013 Salary: $10,060,000
2012 Stats: 8.9 ppg, 3.9 reb, 2 ast, 1.3 stl
In his 2nd go around with the Spurs, “Stack Jack” has had to become a bench player for the first time in his career. The career 16ppg scorer adapted nicely to the role of timely 2nd unit scorer and defensive stopper behind KawhiLeonard. Jackson’s D on Kevin Durant in the Playoffs was especially stellar. But as Jackson now enters his mid 30’s does he really warrant being paid as a starting 2 guard anymore? Jackson becomes a free agent following the 2013 season and I suspect he will soon be paid a little less per season in 2014.
2013 Salary: $10,164,000
2012 Stats: 9 ppg, 3.5 reb, 1.5 ast, .420 FG%
Jefferson is far from the valiant contributor on the NJ Nets squads alongside Jason Kidd and Vince Carter that went to 3 straight Eastern Conference Titles during the mid 2000’s. He was once one of the most versatile and athletic forwards in the Association but his production has tailed off significantly as he enters his 30’s, averaging career lows across the board last season. Jefferson is still an above average 3 point shooter but hardly still warrants an 8 figure yearly salary.
2013 Salary: $10,924,138
2012 Stats: 15 ppg, 3.9 reb, 1,2 ast, .373 FG%
After being traded 5 times over his 13 year career, hopefully the former Duke Blue Devil standout will finally find a home in Detroit. Traded essentially for another bad contract in new Bobcat guard Ben Gordon, Maggette should provide some scoring and rebounding from the wing position off the bench for the rebuilding Pistons. Although coming out of college he once displayed some unbelievable athleticism and hops, Maggette’s production has faded to a level we haven’t seen in nearly 10 years, during his first season with the Clippers. One thing he can always hang his hat on is his ability to get to the foul line but is that worthy of $10 million plus?
2013 Salary: $11,815,850
2012 Stats: 10.9 ppg, 3.8 reb, 4.4 ast, .415 FG%
Even though the rebuilding Orlando Magic have rid the franchise of pricey contracts like Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Vince Carter, and Gilbert Arenas in recent years, they are still saddled with the over-bloated contract of Hedo Turkoglu for another two seasons. Hedo is due more than $11.8 mil this season and potentially more than $12 mil in 2014 due to a player option in his deal. Once a hated and even feared forward with game changing potential, Hedo has mellowed with age and so has his game, averaging some of his worst numbers since early in his career with Sacramento. Bad news Orlando, Hedo will probably be around another 2 seasons. Who else is going to pay him this much?
2013 Salary: $11,950,000
2012 Stats: 13.9 ppg, 4.6 reb, 1.4 ast
The Blazers have been waiting more than 4 years for the still only 23 year old Batum to develop into an All Star caliber player and with Brandon Roy, Andre Miller, and Jamal Crawford now all playing elsewhere, it’s now or never. Many initially thought of Batum as a Scottie Pippen type player but he hasn’t quite lived up to the hype of being a highly touted 1st Round pick back in the 2008 NBA Draft. Last season, he set set a career high, dropping 33 points on the Nuggets in part by making 9 three point shots in the game. This offseason, the Blazers rewarded Batum by matching Minnesota’s offer sheet of 4 years at $46 million, meaning Nicolas needs to up his game to match his large salary.
2013 Salary: $12,400,000
2012 Stats:12.5 ppg, 2.3 reb, 2.4 ast, .442 FG%
It’s hard to believe that “Gentle Ben” is now in heading into his 9th season out of UConn. I can still remember him along with Emeka Okafor leading the Huskies to the 2004 National Title. Once a 18-20ppg scorer early in his career with the Chicago Bulls, Gordon’s numbers have slid playing behind Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey over the past 3 seasons in Detroit. Now in Charlotte, he’ll probably be in a battle with Gerald Henderson for the starting 2 guard spot. Not exactly the ideal situation for one of the Top 30 paid players in the Association.
2013 Salary: $13,543,250
2012 Stats: 9.9 ppg, 7.9 reb, 1blk
After winning 2005 NBA Rookie of the Year and posting 5 straight years of averaging a double-double in points and rebounds, Okafor’s numbers have dropped off significantly in New Orleans. Despite his declining production, the Wizards traded for Okafor to play alongside Nene in the newly rebuilt Wizards frontcourt, in part to give former #1 pick John Wall more help. Unfortunately for Wizards fans, the franchise is on the hook with Okafor another 2 seasons for more than $28 million. Yikes!
2013 Salary: $14,718,250
2012 Stats: 12.4 ppg, 6.1 reb, 5.5 ast, 1.7 stl
Iggy has arguably had the best season of his 8 year career in 2012, making his 1st NBA All Star appearance, leading the 76ers within 1 game of the Eastern Conference Finals, and winning Gold with Team USA in the London Olympics. And even though he was a key cog in the trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers and Andrew Bynum to the Sixers, Dre is hardly a franchise player worth nearly $15 million per season. True, he will fill up the stat sheet but as he proved in Philly, he just isn’t best served as a team’s #1 option, but rather a supporting 2nd or 3rd cog. I have no doubt he will once again be a very good player for Coach Karl in Denver but is it really worth hamstringing the organization financially for the next 2+ seasons?
2013 Salary: $15,000,000
2012 Stats:19.2ppg, 9.6 reb, 1.7 blk
Once averaging a ridiculous 42 ppg, 18 reb, and 7 blocks per game in high school, the former prep-to-pro big man has struggled through injuries and inconsistency in his 8 NBA seasons. Always a below the rim type player, Jefferson is still one of the better low post players in the Association but hasn’t lived up to being the promising future All Star that Minnesota thought they were getting in return for trading Kevin Garnett to the Celtics back in 2007. With the Jazz full in the middle of a youth movement with Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors, and Paul Millsap in the fold at a much cheaper price, Big Al better put up All Star caliber numbers in the final year of his deal if he wants to return to Salt Lake for 2014.
2013 Salary: $15,000,000
2012 Stats: 15 ppg, 8.5 reb, 1.9 ast, .532 FG%
Back in the Summer of 2010, the Chicago Bulls flirted with signing Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire, and even Lebron James as a running mate for Derrick Rose before ultimately settling on 2 time All Star Carlos Boozer. Previously known for his powerful low post rebounding and scoring, Boozer immediately ade many question the move by missing 23 games in his first season in Chicago then posted his lowest numbers across the board since his rookie campaign last season. Boozer is on the hook in Chicago for another $47 million over the next 3 seasons, so hopefully as he enters his 30’s, Carlos becomes like fine wine and gets better with age.
2013 Salary: $16,460,532
2012 Stats: 19 ppg, 6.4 reb, 2.3 ast, 1.5 stl
Nearly 2 off-seasons ago, the Grizzlies quickly made Rudy the first player to sign a max deal in the 2010 Summer free agency frenzy. Memphis knowingly overpaid for the then still only 24 year old forward in hopes that he would develop into their next franchise player. While he has at times been spectacular, Rudy just isn’t franchise material. He’s a very good, even borderline All Star caliber player, but similar to Andre Iguodala formerly of the 76ers, Rudy is more of the complimentary type player rather than go-to-guy. Unfortunately for the Grizz, the organization owes him more than $53 million over the next 3 seasons, meaning he makes more than Derrick Rose, Manu Ginobili, or Kevin Love in a single season.
2013 Salary: $19,948,799
2012 Stats: 17.5 ppg, 7.8 reb, .483 FG%
By his own account, I’m sure Amar’e would admit that 2012 was one of the worst seasons of his career. He wasn’t selected for the All Star Game for the first time since 2006, lost his brother in an auto accident, suffered a self sustained severe hand laceration during the Playoffs, and suffered through a painful bulging disc injury all season. This offseason, Stoudemire had offseason surgery to strengthen his back and worked with legendary post player Hakeem Olajuwon to refine his post game hoping to return to the form from his first season in New York when he was an MVP candidate. There’s no doubting that Amar’e has the potential to rebound into shape but based on the fact that he will be among the Top 5 players in salary for next season and his disappointing 2012 campaign, he just isn’t worth the nearly $65 million owed to him over the next 3 seasons.
September 19, 2013 – Check out the 15 most overpaid NBA players for next season, and why they are ranking in this list….