The NBA’s 68 worst contracts

The economy is really starting to take its toll on professional sports, and the NBA is no different. Bad contracts are bad even when the economy is pumping, but they really stand out in tough times like these. So I decided to look through the payrolls team-by-team to try to identify the worst contracts in the NBA. I expected to list 15-20 names, but I ended up scribbling down 68. That’s right, there are no fewer than 68 bad contracts in the NBA.

I didn’t include any of the players that are in the final year of their contracts because…well, what’s the point? They’ll be off the books in a few months anyway. Instead, I wanted to focus on those contracts that are going to haunt teams for years to come, so to be eligible, players have to have at least a year left on their current deals.

It’s tough to compare someone making superstar money to an average, everyday role player, so I split these 68 contracts up into three groups: the Overpaid Role Players, the Not-So-Super Stars and the Injury-Prones. I will rank them from least-worst to most-worst with the thinking that I wouldn’t trade the player for anyone further down the list but I would trade him for anyone previously mentioned. So, for example, if a guy is listed #7 within a particular group, I’m not trading him for anyone ranked #6-#1, but I would think seriously about moving him for a guy that is ranked #8+.

So let’s start with the role players and go from there…

(Note: In most cases, I don’t blame the player himself for his outrageous contract. The fault lies with the general manager that inked the guy to the deal. However, this rule goes out the window if the player has a history of only producing in his contract year – I’m looking at you, Tim Thomas.)

Read the rest after the jump...

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2008 NBA Preview: #9 Detroit Pistons

Offseason Movement: The Pistons’ biggest offseason signing was Kwame Brown. That’s right…Kwame Brown.
Keep Your Eye On: The Pistons’ age
Chauncey Billups (32), Rip Hamilton (30), Rasheed Wallace (34) and Antonio McDyess (34) are all at the end of or past their respective primes, so the Pistons are going to hit the wall, it’s just a matter of when. Will it be this season? The team does have some youth in Tayshaun Prince (28), Rodney Stuckey (22), Jason Maxiell (25) and Amir Johnson (21), but Prince is the only completely dependable player on that list. Stuckey has a chance to be a star, but he’s going to be playing behind Billups and Hamilton for the foreseeable future.
The Big Question: Does this group have another run in it?
After last season, it looked like the Pistons were going to make some big changes, but after a few rumored trades fell through, they’re left with pretty much the same roster as last season. So this leaves the Pistons in a tough spot. They’re good enough to (easily) make the playoffs, but are they good enough to make another Finals appearance?
Outlook: Fruitless. Unless everything breaks their way, it’s hard to see the Pistons making the Finals with this group. I like the roster, and when they’re firing on all cylinders, they’re very tough to beat. But they are at times complacent, and they’re just not good enough anymore to be giving games away in the playoffs. They almost lost to an upstart Philly team due to a lack of focus. Once again, they’ll make the playoffs and, once again, they’ll probably win their first round series, but barring a big leap by one of their young players, that’s probably as far as they’ll go.

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