By: Scott Brock-Wilson
Scott covers the NBA's worst contracts. Yes, the Wizards were featured multiple times.
Note: With the cap set to jump historic proportions in both 2016 and 2017, the market value for players in unknown. What we do know is the following contracts are the worst under the current cap, and will look not look much better when the cap jumps.
(List excludes any expiring contracts)
Marcin Gortat: four years, $50 million
Gortat, 31, is an aging big man that is most likely past his prime. Many would say ‘his prime’ came all the way back in the 2011-12 season when he averaged his career high in both points (15.4) and rebounds (10). He is now three years removed from that year, yet his pay day will continue to rise. He signed a 5yr/$60 million contract in 2014, increasing in salary each year. He has 4yr/$50 million left and is expected to make about $13.5 million in 2018-19, when he will be 34. This bodes poorly for the Wizards considering his deficiencies offensively and his lack of athleticism, especially in this new-age, pace and space league. His teammate, Nene, got saved from this list due to his expiring contract.
Omer Asik: five years, $58 million (ETO after fourth year)
The Pelicans signing Asik to such a large deal (5yr/58) this offseason came as a surprise to many basketball fans. Offensively Asik gets almost all of his points off of dunks or layups, and 95% of his points come within the restricted area. That is not the ideal spacing offensively for Anthony Davis. Asik's strength is defensively and cleaning up the boards, but is that worth $58 million? Asik, similar to Gortat, does not fit into the changing pace of the NBA. Why would anyone want to commit that much money to a more old fashioned center that does not bring much to the table?
Aron Baynes: three years, $19.5 million
Baynes, who many consider to be a young asset, is actually 28 and only has three years of NBA experience. Spencer Hawes (an honorable mention on this list) is 27, but has 8 years of experience in the league. However, I am not comparing their talents. Baynes does have potential, yet he benefitted greatly from the aforementioned Spurs’ (and Popovich’s) tendency to get the best out of their bench players in a defined role. We don’t know what he will be able to do when he is not in the Spurs system, but we do know the Pistons decided to give him a 3yr/$19.5 million this offseason. This large payday is going to a player that played over 10 minutes per game for the first time in his career this past year (16). He only averaged .3 blocks per game and, even though I do not love these stats, it says something that both his OBPM and DBPM are negative. It's a lot of money for a backup center when the Pistons already have a top 5 center in Drummond.
Enes Kanter: four years, $70 million
Like Asik’s contract, many people have hated on Kanter’s contract and for good reason. The Thunder will pay him $70 million over the next four years. This upcoming season, he will be among the top 20 highest paid players in the league, making him the third Oklahoma City player in the top 20 and, ironically, more expensive than James Harden. Kanter improved after the trade to OKC last year where he was able to showcase his offensive ability, averaging a double-double in points and rebounds. Ibaka was able to help hide some of his defensive liabilities, but not all, that would be an impossible task. Kanter is a liability on defense, especially when protecting the rim (considering he is a 6’11 big man, and his career high in blocks per game is 0.5).
Martell Webster: two years, $11 million
This may be a surprising one to many because Webster’s contract is not particularly large. He has 2yr/$11 million left on the contract he signed in 2013 that was 4yr/$22 million. But, considering his production, he is outrageously overpaid. Webster (ignoring his 2008-09 season, when he played 1 game and 5 minutes before getting hurt) averaged a career low in points (3.3), assists (.5) and rebounds (1.4). His career lows continue with his hideous 5.9 PER he posted this past year. Considering he is 28, which many consider to be around a player’s prime years, this was not the production the Wizards were expecting. Washington seems to find themselves featured in this article quite a bit; I may want to rename the article: The Wizard’s Poor Decisions.
Spencer Hawes: three years, $17 million (3rd year player option)
Cory Joseph: four years, $29 million (4th year player option)
Corey Brewer: three years, $23 million