With the NBA Salary Cap jumping from $70 million in the 2015-16 season to $94 million for 2016-17, many NBA teams spent a ton of money to sign or re-sign free agents. After the shopping binge cleared, many teams overpaid for middling talent in deals that may bite back a couple of years down the road. Here are the worst free agent contracts signed so far:
1. Conley sealed the biggest contract in NBA history in the offseason and I fell off my seat when I first read the news. At 28 years old, Conley has never been an All-Star and is not even near the level of second tier point guards namely Damien Lillard and John Wall. Sure he is a good player but paying him that much when he might be on the wrong side of his prime may limit the Memphis Grizzlies’ options moving forward. This is a contract worthy of a Kevin Durant or a LeBron James.
2. Timofey Mozgov (4 years, $64 million)—The Lakers must really be desperate to sign Mozgov to this deal. After the Kevin Durant debacle (they weren’t even considered) and their failure to sign any top-tier free agents, L.A. settled for Mozgov, 30. The Cavaliers starting center all but disappeared in the playoffs as the team opted to play small ball. He has not been the same since his knee surgery and 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds last season simply does not warrant that kind of cash. For a team doing a complete rebuild, they don’t need another heavily paid big man on the roster with little to contribute. This deal makes no sense.
3. Bismack Biyombo (4 years, $70 million)—Sure he is a rebounding demon but given the situation at the Orlando Magic who just traded for Serge Ibaka and have Nikola Vucecic, this is another shocker. They are basically paying high for a rotation player at best and his salary will limit the moves of the Magic. I just read in another sports column that he is a poor man’s version of Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson. That says it all.
4. Solomon Hill (4 years, $52 million)—Solomon who? Hill has been playing with the Indiana Pacers since his rookie season (2012) and showed some flashes especially when Paul George went down with a broken leg. Hill is a good defender but his offense needs a lot of work since he thrives on put backs and garbage baskets. For someone who only played 14 minutes a game last season, this is a bonanza. New Orleans superstar Anthony Davis must be shaking his head in frustration.
5. Joakim Noah (4 years, $72 million)—The New York Knicks continue to dig themselves in a hole. Once one of the top centers in the East, Noah’s game has deteriorated with injuries and age finally catching up. Noah is 31 years old and is on the downside of his career. The Knicks now have Noah, the oft-injured Derrick Rose and the ageing Carmelo Anthony. This line-up would be good if we were playing 4 years ago.