Worst NBA Free Agent Contracts So Far

Who has signed the worst NBA free agent contracts so far this year?

7/8/13 in NBA   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

So who remembers that contract Rashard Lewis signed with the Magic?  The travesty took place on July 11, 2007.  Lewis agreed to a sign and trade from Seattle to Orlando, accepting a contract of 6 years, $118 million dollars.  The Magic were competitive during Lewis’s tenure in Orlando - mostly because of a particular center - but as the franchise was beginning their descent in the NBA ranks, a lot of fingers were being pointed towards the Lewis contract.  They couldn’t afford another star to pair with Howard because - in contract terms - Lewis was that second star.
The moral of the story: Committing big money up front can really, really linger with a team, so if you don’t make the right choice, it could really burn you in the not so distant future.
And here are the 5 worst contracts so far this NBA offseason, 5 moves that General Managers would have been smart to reconsider…..
May 1, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) reacts to being called for a foul and receives a technical foul as a result in game 5 of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Atlanta 106-83. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports5. Josh Smith, Detroit Pistons
4 Years, $56 million
With Smith on the roster, the Pistons are about 100 times more interesting than they were last season.  They could potentially have one of the best defensive frontcourts in the NBA this season.  The problem isn’t the player, it’s the contract.  Smith is receiving $14 million a year, NBA superstar money.  And as much as I love Smith, he’s not the type of superstar that’s proven he’s worth that type of a deal.  Without Joe Johnson, he’s never won a playoff series and he has a laundry list of limitations on the offensive end.  Undoubtedly the Pistons are better now, but is this move a stepping-stone towards the Eastern Conference’s Elite in the near future?  I don’t think so.  And is the 9-year veteran still going to be flying high in the third and fourth years of his contract?  Again, not feeling good about it.
4. Tiago Splitter, San Antonio Spurs
4 Years, $36 million
He gave the Spurs solid minutes all season and produced in key moments during the playoffs, but $9 million a year over 4 years is a big commitment to someone who occasionally will only see 15 minutes or so during certain Gregg Popovich lineups.  He’s a solid role player and a nice option to have, but he doesn’t do any one thing particularly well enough to warrant a near 8-figure salary.
3. Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats
3 Years, $41 million
Like the Pistons, the Bobcats got a heck of a lot better with the acquisition of Al Jefferson, but the million dollar question is this: Why do the Bobcats want to be good now?  All Jefferson will do is make them possible contenders for an 8-seed in the dreadful East and lessen their chances of obtaining 2014 top pick candidate Andrew Wiggins or any of the other top recruits coming out next year.  In signing Jefferson, the Bobcats basically said that they’d rather be a semi-respectable team the next three years then give themselves the potential to become an NBA force within the near future.
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