What a time to be an NBA free agent. The league had a spike in salary cap, increasing all players contracts. Now stars sign mega deals, starters sign max deals and bench players sign contracts larger than former NBA players made in their entire career. With these large contracts, not every one panned out. Teams are prevented from improving their roster because of miserable cap situations and can’t trade away their mistakes. With the slight dip in salary cap, some deals look much worse than expected. Take a look below at the worst NBA contract at each position.
Dishonorable Mention: Omer Asik, New Orleans Pelicans
Remaining contract: Three years, $33,859,548 (2019 Player Option)
It’s been nothing but regression since Omer Asik signed a five-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. He averaged 7.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game during his contract season but hasn’t averaged more than four points and seven rebounds since. Last season was his worst averaging a career low 2.7 points per game. His season ended early due to illness resulting in weight loss.
Asik has been a disaster and he has no reason not to pick up his option in 2019. He takes up roughly 10 percent of the team’s salary cap and the Pelicans have no valuable assets to package him in a trade. He’s also about to get little playing time because of DeMarcus Cousins and his lack of versatility. This bad business decision is haunting a team that needs to win now.
PG: Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans
Remaining Contract: Five years, $126,000,000
The New Orleans Pelicans gave Jrue Holiday the largest contract in franchise history earlier this month. This is the same Holiday who hasn’t played more than 67 games per season in his four-year tenure in New Orleans.
After signing Holiday, the Pelicans signed Rajon Rondo to run the offense. In the first year of Holiday’s mega deal, he won’t even be playing point guard.
— Mason Ginsberg (@MasonGinsberg) July 18, 2017
With Rondo’s ball-dominant play, Holiday will have to find ways to score off the ball. His three-point shot last season was inconsistent as he had months shooting below 24 percent and above 50 percent. There’s no need to switch a players position after signing a max contract. The Pelicans look desperate.
SG: Allen Crabbe, Portland Trail Blazers
Remaining contract: Three years, $56,332,500 (2019 Player Option)
Allen Crabbe made a name for himself in 2016 as one of the best bench guards in the NBA. The Portland Trail Blazers loved him so much, they matched an offer sheet paying $75 million over four seasons. They expected Crabbe to make a big jump in his overall development in 2017, but that didn’t happen.
Crabbe averaged 10.7 points per game this season shooting 44.4 percent from three. His jump shooting drastically improved in 2017, but that’s it. He struggled setting up his teammates and playing defense. So did the Trail Blazers as they finished 22nd in opponents points per game and 23rd in assists. The Trail Blazers now have a miserable cap situation and can’t improve the roster. They’re now stuck with the NBA’s 10th highest paid shooting guard on their bench.
SF: Chandler Parsons, Memphis Grizzlies
Remaining contract: Three years, $72,321,774
Chandler Parsons couldn’t have a worse first season with the Memphis Grizzlies. He averaged a career-low 6.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.1 blocks per game shooting a low 33.8 percent from the field and 26.9 percent from three. His 34 games played and 19.9 minutes per game were also career lows. Last season he partially tore his left meniscus and needed his third knee surgery in three seasons. The two previous surgeries were on his right knee. Now Parsons bad contract, glass knees and poor performance puts the Grizzlies in NBA purgatory.
PF: Ryan Anderson, Houston Rockets
Remaining contract: Three years, $61,264,638
The Houston Rockets signed Ryan Anderson last offseason to compliment to James Harden in Mike D’Antoni’s pace-and-space offense. D’Antoni had his team shooting 40.3 three pointers per game and Anderson’s shot 40 percent from three for the second time in his career. His first season wasn’t bad, but no one averaging 13.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game should make $20 million per season.
Anderson is now the seventh highest paid power forward in the NBA. After trading their first round pick to acquire Chris Paul, the Rockets don’t have any future assets to package Anderson with to acquire an NBA star. Due to the Knicks pathetic spending habits, they don’t even want Anderson’s contract.
Sources: Knicks trade Carmelo Anthony to the Rockets in a deal for Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsVertical) July 11, 2017
With James Harden’s super contract, the Rockets need all the space they can get to keep Paul next offseason. The Rockets already have $83 million committed to next seasons roster. Anderson’s contract puts them in a tough spot.
C: Joakim Noah, New York Knicks
Remaining contract: Three years, $55,590,000
It’s going to take a long time for New York Knicks fans to get over Phil Jackson. Jackson overpaid for Joakim Noah last season after regressing significantly on the Chicago Bulls. He not only regressed again, Noah also injured his knee, got suspended got for a drug violation and lost his starting job to Willy Hernangomez. It couldn’t have been a worse first season for Noah in New York.
The Knicks are stuck with him for the next three seasons. After two regressing seasons, Noah is showing signs of another regression. He averaged less than one block per game last season for the first time in his career and tied his lowest total in rebounds his past eight seasons. If Noah isn’t playing defense, he’s useless on the court. Noah exemplifies Jackson, and it’ll be three more seasons dealing with his biggest mistake.