For the most part, I agree that a general manager should reward their players for their performances. In a contract year, if a player performs well, that player should be rewarded with a new contract the following offseason. This past offseason, we saw some players get some “max” contracts when it’s obvious the sample size of the player didn’t fit the contract. Here are my Top 5 Overpaid Players who RECEIVED a contract this past offseason.
5. JaVale McGee, Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets are paying McGee $44 million over the next four years and he doesn’t even start. Instead, Kosta Koufos (making and outrageous $3 million) starts in front of McGee. McGee, roughly, plays 20 minutes per game and averages 11 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. I understand that he is young (24 years of age), but a lot of casual NBA fans saw him play in Washington and, well let’s just say, he didn’t act like the brightest man to come from the University of Nevada. Did you know he went to college? Because I don’t think he did. Thus far, the Nuggets have wasted their money on McGee. Despite his insane athleticism, he doesn’t feature any other natural skill. Even someone as athletic as Darius Miles once was, was able to steal $18 million from the Portland Trail Blazers. What were the Nuggets thinking?
4. Jeremy Lin, Houston Rockets: I understand that Lin is getting $5 million each year for the first two years of his three-year contract. But then it jumps up to almost $15 million in the third year; and from the looks of it, the contract seems to have been a waste so far. Lin is averaging 11.3 points (thanks in large part to a 38-point game last night) and 6.1 assists per game. He is shooting below 40% from the field (39.5%) and 31.5% from the three-point line. The main reason the Rockets signed Lin was to energize their fan base and put people in the seats. Of course he got paid because of what he did for a two month stretch with the New York Knicks last season. Like McGee, Lin has one thing going for him: youth. He is only 24 years old and is still growing as a player. His inexperience at the NBA level hurt him last season once teams figured out how to play. If Daryl Morey hopes to get his money’s-worth out of Lin in the third year of the, he better hope Lin improves.
3. Eric Gordon, New Orleans Hornets: In this case, both parties are guilty of stupidity. Gordon hasn’t been healthy since the Los Angeles Clippers traded him to New Orleans, playing in only nine games last season and is yet to play this season. Something really must be wrong with his knee. And New Orleans is stupid for matching the Phoenix Suns offer of four years and $58 million to get Gordon. I understand that New Orleans is trying to rebuild their team after they traded away Chris Paul for nobody last season, but remember they drafted Anthony Davis and signed Ryan Anderson. And even though he has struggled, Austin Rivers has potential to become a pretty good NBA player. If Gordon isn’t able to play this season, he will move to #1 on this list.
2. Landry Fields, Toronto Raptors: It might not be fair to do this to Fields, especially after he disappeared in the playoffs for the second year in a row, but when he received a three-year contract worth $18 million from the Raptors, I expected him to play more than 22 minutes per game. Instead, he has played in five games this season and has missed the last month with an elbow/wrist injury. Team doctors said it’s some sort of “weakness”. Did the weakness come after he signed the contract? The dude is averaging 2.4 points per game and I believe his other statistics unnecessary because they are dreadful. Paying this man an average of $6 million a year for him to have arm weakness? Give me a break.
1. Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers: I don’t care that he was an all-star last season. He shouldn’t have been an all-star, look at his numbers. The Pacers got sweaty palms when the Portland Trail Blazers offered Hibbert a max contract. They decided to match the Trail Blazers’ offer to keep Hibbert and look what he has done so far: 38.2% from the field, 9.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and a free-throw percentage of 63.5%. Considering all of his numbers were better last season, he still shouldn’t have been given four years and $58 million. And with Danny Granger out, Hibbert hasn’t stepped up. I am starting to think he is one of the main reasons the NBA took the center position off the All-Star ballot.