20 two of 30 NBA teams lost money this year. This fact alone makes it easy to understand why owners want drastic revisions to the contract system.Here are a few more reasons:
Rashard Lewis, a player ranked 235 on ESPN’s Player Efficiency Rating, earned $21 million this year.
Gilbert Arenas, another b-list star, earned $18 million.
Nick Collison, definitely not a household name, earned $13 million.
In each case a middle-market team overpaid a decent player to keep him from falling into the clutches of, say, the Lakers. Meanwhile the Lakers didn’t bat an eye before paying $25 million this season to 32-year-old Kobe Bryant — the cost of Lebron James, Derrick Rose and Shaquille O’Neal combined.
We identified the 17 most overpaid players in the league based on current-year salary divided by PER. (Player Efficiency Rating measure each player’s overall productivity. Anyone with a PER lower than 15 would be considered below the league-average.)
Scored 7.52 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Indiana paid $0.862 million for every point of PER.
Posey entered free agency in 2008 having won two rings in the past three years. With his reputation at an all-time high, the small forward signed a $25 million four-year deal with the Hornets. He was traded to the Pacers in the summer of 2010.
Scored 14.1 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Sacramento paid $0.865 million for every point of PER.
The 76ers signed Dalembert to a $58-million six-year contract in 2005. The young centre never developed into a star player, however, and in 2010 he was traded to the Kings.
Scored 12.46 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Detroit paid $0.867 million for every point of PER.
The Pistons signed Gordon to a $55-million five-year deal in 2009. After averaging 20.7 points at the Bulls, however, his scoring average dropped to 13.8 points in 2010 and 11.2 in 2011.
Scored 20.67 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Boston paid $0.91 million for every point of PER.
Garnett signed a $60 million three-year extension when he signed with the Celtics. The deal instantly paid off with a title and an MVP season. Over the next few years, however, Garnett suffered from chronic knee injury and his performance declined.
Scored 15.02 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Orlando/Phoenix paid $0.962 million for every point of PER.
The Warriors signed Jason Richardson to a $70-million six-year extension in 2004. Unfortunately he reached a statistical peak in the following year and began a slow decline. Richardson was traded to Charlotte in 2007, Phoenix in 2008 and Orlando in 2010.
Scored 13.94 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Portland paid $0.97 million for every point of PER.
Roy signed an $82-million five-year extension in 2009. Roy injured in knee in the spring of 2010. After surgery his game had deteriorated and the three-time all star was relegated to the bench.
Scored 15.25 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Dallas/Toronto/New Orleans paid $0.977 million for every point of PER.
Stojakovic signed a $64-million five-year contract with the Hornets in 2006. Over the next few seasons his scoring average declined to half of what it was in his 03/04 all-star seasons. He was traded in 2010 to Toronto and in 2011 to Dallas.
Scored 23.94 for Player Efficiency Rating.
The Lakers paid $1.036 million for every point of PER.
Sometimes you've got to overpay to get a winner. The Lakers signed Bryant to an $87-million extension in 2010 and won their second straight title that year. Still $24 million -- by far the most in the NBA -- is a lot of money for someone who by 2011 was not the best in the world.
Scored 16.68 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Utah paid $1.068 million for every point of PER.
The Jazz signed Kirilenko to a $86-million six-year contract in 2004, a year in which he was named an all-star. His performance slipped over the next few years. In 2007 he asked to return to Russia, but he ended up sticking around till the end.
Scored 14.89 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Phoenix/Orlando paid $1.162 million for every point of PER.
Carter signed a $62-million four-year contract with the Nets in 2007, after seven straight all-star appearances. But his performance slipped and the Nets slipped to the bottom of the league. He was traded to Orlando in 2009 and Phoenix in 2010.
Scored 6.22 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Charlotte/Portland paid $1.191 million for every point of PER.
The 7ft 1in centre signed a $32 million five-year contract with the Blazers in 2006. His game dropped after injuries in 2009 and 2010. He was traded to the Bobcats in 2011.
Scored 10.82 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Orlando/Washington paid $1.639 million for every point of PER.
Arenas signed a huge $111-million six-year contract in 2008, despite injury issues. When he returned to health in 2009, he screwed it by bringing a gun to the locker room and earning an extended suspension. When he returned in 2010, the Wizards were among the worst teams in the league. The team offloaded his contract by trading for the only more overpaid player in the league...
Earned $20,514,000 this season.
Scored 12.07 for Player Efficiency Rating.
Washington/Orlando paid $1.7 million for every point of PER.
Orlando signed Lewis to the biggest contract in franchise history in 2007, paying $118 million for six years. The forward would make the all-star team in 2009 and lead the Magic to the NBA finals. In the following year, however, he tested positive for banned substances and his performance declined, and it would keep slipping until his trade to Washington in 2010.
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