Patrick(@nbageek) over at the NBA Geek just put up a great post on some of the worst deals we’ve seen inked in the current crazy free agency. I wanted to repeat Patrick’s list and give a little commentary on the subject. Patrick does a great in depth analysis of each player, so definitely give his piece a read.
|Player||Signing Team||Contract||WP Ceiling|
|Marco Belinelli||Chicago Bulls||1 year at $2 million/year||2.3|
|Raymond Felton||New York Knicks||3 years $3.3 million/year||8.1|
|Kirk Hinrich||Chicago Bulls||2 years at $3 million/year||3.9|
|Jamal Crawford||L.A. Clippers||4 years at $6.5 million/year||6.1|
|Chris Kaman||Dallas Mavericks||1 year at $8 million/year||0.4|
|O.J. Mayo||Dallas Mavericks||2 years at $4 million/year||6.1|
|Nick Young||Philadelphia 76ers||1 year at $6 million/year||0.2|
|Michael Beasley||Phoenix Suns||3 years at $6 million/year||3.9|
|Jeff Green||Boston Celtics||Rumored 4 years at $10 million/year||2.5|
|Brook Lopez||New Jersey Nets||4 years at $15 million/year||6.4|
A brief rundown of the numbers. The above players will combine for roughly $64 million a year in salaries. At their best they have combined for a total of 37 wins a season! For any fans of these teams, it’s hard to be optimistic.
There is one name I may disagree with Patrick a little on. O.J. Mayo is young and has actually played up near his contract value in the past. If a team is going to take a risk on a mediocre player, it may as well be a young one and a cheap one. There is not another name on this list that I can justify though. Not all names appear that terrible but Patrick gives some very good reasons for why, beyond just the money, these signings are bad.
- Kirk Hinrich and Marco Belinelli – Neither of these players has been that good. What’s more, the Bulls let two better players in Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver walk to pick them up!
- Ray Felton – He may end up worth the money. That said, with the luxury tax problem that made them let Lin walk, why would they sign him to a 3+ year deal?
- Chris Kaman – He’s years away from ever being decent. What’s more the Mavericks amnestied Brendan Haywood to pick him up. Why?
- Michael Beasley – Ok, maybe Phoenix can have optimism. Don’t count on it though.
- Nick Young, Jamal Crawford and Jeff Green – They’ve never been good! Why are they getting deal? Why?
- Brook Lopez – At his best he was average. He didn’t even suit up for five complete games last season. Why is he getting a max contract?
Patrick also makes the good point that teams are required to spend a good portion of their cap space (85% and then later up to 90%) Thus, we can’t be too mad for overspending. The bigger issue is making poor substitutions, as in the case of Chicago or Dallas, or just plain bad signings (as in most of the others).
I think a bigger issue arises when teams feel they’ve underperformed. Take Chicago. Two seasons in a row they’ve finished with the best record in the league. Two seasons they’ve “underperformed” in the playoffs. In the off-season the team has felt the need to do something, anything, to improve! And yet, their moves haven’t been that good. The same can probably be said of Dallas and their Haywood for Kaman move. It’s not a good move, but it’s a move. It’s something, right? However, I don’t feel that’s better than nothing. The advice I’d like to give teams is this – your heart is in the right spot, you want to improve your team. However, you’re acting too much on emotion. Sometimes slowing down and not overreacting can be the difference between a dynasty, and missing out on potential greatness.
-Dre (well really Patrick paraphrased)