1) Darko Milicic: 4yrs/$20 mil
Drafted second in the 2003 draft behind LeBron and ahead of Carmelo, Milicic has been on five teams in seven years, averaging 5.6 pts & 4.1 rbs. Earlier this month, he signed a 4 year, $20 million dollar contract. Basically he’s earning every penny during practice.
2) Rashard Lewis: 6yrs/$111 Mil
Rashard Lewis is a talented 6’10 forward who can shoot and is very versatile for his position. But the Magic gave Lewis $118 million, which is top dollar for someone who will be nothing more than a second or third option. The Magic would’ve gotten an all-star, and a quality starter for the $118 million they spent for a role player.
3) Gilbert Arenas: 6yrs/$111 mil
Coming off a micro fracture knee surgery, the Wizards signed Arenas to a six-year, $111 million dollar deal. The Wizards should have never offered a player who just got such a severe surgery on an important part of the body such as the knee. Since signing the contract, Arenas has played 45 games, and was suspended 38 games during the 09-10 season.
4) Ben Wallace: 4yrs/$6o mil
Two years after winning an NBA championship with the Pistons, Ben Wallace signed with the Chicago Bulls for $60 million over six years. Wallace is a terrific defender, but cannot score to save his life. His career averages 6.2 pts and shoots 41% at the free throw line. Basically he was give $60 million dollars to grab rebounds and block shots.
5) Joe Johnson: 6yrs/$119 mil
Now I know this guy is a perennial all star, good shooter, passer, and wont cause any drama but lets face it, this was a bad deal for everyone except Joe Johnson. He’s not in the top 5 of best NBA players so that’s issue number one. Issue number two: the guy is not too marketable. He’s too laid back. When was the last time you heard a kid say “I want to be just like Joe Johnson”? Never. Don’t get me wrong, I love Joe Johnson and think he is a terrific player, but $119 million dollars? The Hawks got swept out the playoffs two years in a row, and in both years, Johnson went AWOL in the deciding series. I think that NBA teams have to think more about the future when they sign players to these max contracts. We all know the Hawks weren’t necessarily a big contender for the championship, being beat down by the Celtics, Cavs, and Magic in the past three years. This deal became even worse when Bosh and James joined the Heat. Now Johnson is stuck in Atlanta, while New York is getting better (look out for them to add a big free agent or two next year) and Miami becoming an instant powerhouse.