The 14 Worst NBA Contracts Ever

salary max 3.0 560x313How many bad contracts are we going to see this year before owners realize the future danger they are causing for the league?

Remember when baseball cards were all the craze? It was more popular than Pokemon Go back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. But then something happened that changed the hobby and turned it into a joke. All of the big trading card companies decided to flood the market with cards and after a few years, it turned them into worthless pieces of junk.

That is what is happening with the NBA this off-season. They are flooding the market with mediocre players by giving them insane contracts well above their value. It is going to end up killing the league if they don’t do something to fix it.

These players are grabbing money that they are never going to earn, and who can blame them? They won the lottery and it is only going to get worse next season when the salary cap goes up again. In honor of the NBA’s impending doom, let’s take a look at some of the worst contracts the NBA has ever dished out since the beginning of the salary cap.

14. Tim Thomas – SF/PF

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  • Team: Milwaukee Bucks
  • Years (Year Signed): 6 years (2000-01)
  • Total Contract Value: $67 million
  • How Bad? He had a couple of good seasons, the first three, but then he started to battle injuries and became a bargaining chip thanks to his back-loaded contract that was paying him over $10 million/season in the final four years of the contract.

13. Nicolas Batum – SF

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  • Team: Charlotte Hornets
  • Years (Year Signed): 5 years (2016-17)
  • Total Contract Value: $120 million
  • How Bad? The NBA broke the bank with their new salary cap increase this offseason and that caused teams to reward decent role players a chance to cash out with amazing deals. Nicolas Batum is a good player that was worth re-signing, however, he shouldn’t have signed the 16th largest contract in NBA history.

12. Jerome James – C

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  • Team: New York Knicks
  • Years (Year Signed): 5 years (2005-06)
  • Total Contract Value: $30 million
  • How Bad? No one knows for sure why the Knicks gave Jerome James $30 million dollars for 5 years. He came into the deal averaging 4.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Maybe they saw something in him that no one else did, talent.

11. Austin Croshere – PF

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  • Team: Indiana Pacers
  • Years (Year Signed): 7 years (2000-01)
  • Total Contract Value: $51 million
  • Contract Stats (Avg): 18.3 minutes, 7.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists
  • How Bad? All sports contracts are based on future potential but Austin Croshere got massive dollars back in 2000 after merely becoming a solid role player for a good Indiana Pacers squad. Based on the career he had following this contract, you could say he was paid $51 million because of his performance during the 2000 NBA Playoffs.

10. Eddy Curry – PF/C

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  • Team: New York Knicks
  • Years (Year Signed): 6 years (2005-06)
  • Total Contract Value: $60 million
  • How Bad? It appears that the New York Knicks began going insane in the late 90’s and spent a lot of money on the wrong players. Eddy Curry was not only a bad investment, his contract was full of bad decisions that affected the Knicks for many years to follow.

9. Brian Grant – PF/C

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  • Team: Miami Heat
  • Years (Year Signed): 7 years (2000-01)
  • Total Contract Value: $86 million
  • How Bad? Although he was never a bad player, Brian Grant was never an $86 million dollar man. Pat Riley disagreed and decided to shell out the cash to keep him happy for the rest of his NBA career.

8. Darius Miles – SF

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  • Team: Portland Trailblazers
  • Years (Year Signed): 6 years (2004-05)
  • Total Contract Value: $48 million
  • How Bad? Everyone remembers the dissapointment of Darius Miles. The biggest mistake the Trailblazers ever made was expecting results from a notoriously mediocre player. He spent two of the seasons during his contract without ever playing a single minute due to bad knees.

7. Jim McIlvaine – C

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  • Team: Seattle Supersonics
  • Years (Year Signed): 7 years (1996-97)
  • Total Contract Value: $33.6 million
  • Contract Stats (Avg):
  • How Bad? The Seattle Sonics became notorious for signing bad contracts and this was another example of overpaying someone and getting very little in return. He averaged 2.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game throughout his terrible NBA career.

6. Raef LaFrentz – PF

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  • Team: Dallas Mavericks
  • Years (Year Signed): 7 years (2002-03)
  • Total Contract Value: $70 million
  • How Bad? After signing a 7-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks, it looked as if Raef LaFrentz was going to be part of their future plans to win a NBA title. However, after just one season, he was traded to the Boston Celtics. It was a good deal for the Mavs as he never regained his pre-contract form.

5. Gilbert Arenas – PG

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  • Team: Washington Wizards
  • Years (Year Signed): 6 years (2008-09)
  • Total Contract Value: $111 million
  • How Bad? The Wizards originally offered Gilbert Arenas a max contract worth $127 million but he took less in efforts to help them save money to build a championship team around him. The only problem was that they didn’t take into account he had a history of injuries that caused him to play 82 games in a season only once. He ended up only playing four years of the contract and averaged career lows in almost every statistical category.

4. Jared Jeffries – SF/PF

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  • Team: New York Knicks
  • Years (Year Signed): 5 years (2006-07)
  • Total Contract Value: $30 million
  • Contract Stats (Avg): 21.4 minutes 4.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists
  • How Bad? Where do we begin? Jared Jeffries was signed to a future potential contract in that, the New York Knicks saw how solid he was in Washington and thought he would continue to get better and paid him more money than he ever should have been paid, based on performance and from everything the entire fan base of the Knicks have ever told us.

3. Bryant Reeves – C

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  • Team: Vancouver Grizzlies
  • Years (Year Signed): 6 years (1997-98)
  • Total Contract Value: $65 million
  • Contract Stats (Avg): 11.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 blocks
  • How Bad? After becoming the first ever draft pick of the Vancouver Grizzlies, in 1995, the former 6th overall first round draft pick performed to almost average numbers. After a solid 2nd season, the man known as Big Country signed a contract that turned the fans in Canada into an outrage. It did not take long before the knee and back problems began and he eventually faded away.

2. Timofey Mozgov – C

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  • Team: Los Angeles Lakers
  • Years (Year Signed): 4 years (2016-17)
  • Total Contract Value: $64 million
  • How Bad? In 8 seasons, Timofey Mozgov was nothing more than an average bench warmer but thanks to the NBA’s new salary cap, he became the Los Angeles Lakers biggest signing of the offseason. That’s right, the NBA’s most popular team who have featured some of the most legendary superstars to ever play the game, like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and Wilt Chamberlain, signed Timofey Mozgov to a contract that will pay him $16 million a year.

1. Jayson Williams – PF/C

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  • Team: New Jersey Nets
  • Years (Year Signed): 6 years (1998-99)
  • Total Contract Value: $86 million
  • How Bad? He only played 30 games after signing the contract before breaking his leg when he ran into his own teammate, Stephon Marbury. He ended up breaking it so badly, he needed career-ending surgery to repair it. The Nets ended up paying him for four years of the contract even though he didn’t even finish the first season under it.