NBA teams have actually been pretty smart this offseason.
But there were still some awful contracts handed out. Here are the four worst:
1. The Charlotte Bobcats sign Al Jefferson for three years, $41 million.
A contract so bad it requires caps lock:
THE JAZZ GOT 9 POINTS PER 100 POSSESSIONS WORSE WHEN AL JEFFERSON WAS ON THE COURT LAST YEAR WHY IS HE STILL MAKING ~$14 MILLION PER YEAR?
2. The Denver Nuggets sign JJ Hickson for three years, $15 million.
Denver’s offseason has been a flaming disaster. Here are the key pieces who they lost:
- Coach George Karl (fired after he won coach of the year)
- General manager Masai Ujiri (poached by the Raptors)
- Andre Iguodala
- Kosta Koufos
- Corey Brewer
They’ve replaced those players with Darrell Arthur and Hickson — two forwards who are worse than what the Nuggets already have in Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee.
This is Hickson’s fourth team since 2010-11. He specialises in getting 10 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes on terrible teams that consistently lose.
The Nuggets are in turmoil, and bringing Hickson into that situation won’t help matters.
3. The New Orleans Pelicans sign Tyreke Evans for four years, $44 million.
There’s an argument to be made that Evans is worth the gamble. That argument is as follows:
Evans is an uber-athletic guard who has been stuck in the worst situation in the NBA for his entire career. His time in the league has been defined by instability. He’s spent so much time adapting to new coaches and new teammates that he has never been allowed to figure out the type of player he ought to be. If you give him a stable situation, he’ll flourish.
But New Orleans isn’t really that stable of a situation. They’re under new ownership, and they clearly want to win right now. Evans is going to be the de facto leader of that team since all the other key pieces — Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis — are young.
In addition, it’s nearly impossible to see a situation in which Holiday, Evans, and Gordon can play together. Holiday is a pure point guard and Gordon is a pure shooting guard. Evans is a tweener, and his worst position (based on PER) is small forward.
New Orleans gambled on Tyreke, but they made the odds of that gamble longer by putting him in a not-so-ideal situation.
4. The Milwaukee Bucks sign Zaza Pachulia for three years, $16 million.
We love you Zaza and would never besmirch your good name, but this deal is silly for a bunch of reasons.
1. First of all, the Bucks should be tanking. Instead, they’re dropping all kinds of money on role players like Zaza. They’re best-case scenario is winning 40 games, earning the 8th seed, and losing in the first round of the playoffs in five games.
2. The Bucks have good frontcourt pieces, they didn’t need Zaza. Gustavo Ayon is basically a Mexican Zaza, John Henson is a promising big man, Larry Sanders became a cult hero among basketball bloggers with his defence last year, and Ersan Ilyasova is the highest-paid player on the team. Zaza will only take up minutes that could be going to young, talented players.
3. $16 million is simply too much for you Zaza, even though you’re objectively best, as this video proves:
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