Worst Deals of NBA Free Agency
The other day I detailed some of the best bargains that had been handed out during NBA's wild Free Agency period, and today I will be diving into some of contracts that are essentially abominations. Even when you factor in the new salary cap and the fact that general managers were handing out money like they were Oprah, some of these contracts are just plain awful.
Matthew Dellavedova to Milwaukee Bucks: 4 years, $38 million
My running joke has been that LeBron has been taking the Make-A-Wish foundation thing too far by letting Dellavedova play on the Cavaliers with him. To be blunt, and no disrespect to the guy, he has no business being in the NBA. Does the fact that he played Division I basketball and is definitely good enough to be a professional basketball player in Europe or the D-League make him unexplainable amounts better than I am at basketball? Yes, yes it does. Somehow he is going to get paid nearly 40 million dollar to play basketball over the next 4 years, which is truly remarkable. The guy got benched in favor of the corpse of Mo Williams in the Finals, yet somehow the Milwaukee Bucks think that he is worth this much money. Unless Jason Kidd has found a way to transfer all of his powers to Dellavedova, this contract will be an absolute disaster.
His Player Efficiency Rating (PER), which is a cumulative stat formulated to measure a player's effectiveness, was a career high 11.7 this year, which might sound impressive until you factor in that the league average is always 15. Sure, the guy can really shoot the ball, as he shot 41.0% this year. Unfortunately, he also played with LeBron, who has a tendency to make other people look a lot better than they really are...
My sources have informed me that LeBron is not accompanying Delly to Milwaukee. Good luck with that, J-Kidd.
Eric Gordon to the Houston Rockets: 4 years, $53 million
Over the last 5 years, Eric Gordon has played in 221 games. He has played in less than 3 full seasons during the past 5 seasons. Yikes. He's never healthy, and when he is, he just isn't all that good. He did average over 22 a game at one point, but that was during the 2010-11 season, when Derrick Rose was MVP, and Rose just got traded for Robin Lopez and Jose Calderon, which really highlights how much can change in 5 years. Since then, Gordon has hovered around 15 a game, which is solid, yet unspectacular. Add in the fact that he's a solid shooter, and he can certainly be a rotation player on a decent team. However, the fact that he got a long-term deal making over $13 million a year is absolutely absurd. If he plays in 200 games over the next four years, it would be considered a success.
Also, the guy is a bad defender. He had a defensive rating of 113 last year, which means that opponents scored 113 points per 100 possessions while Gordon was on the floor. He also played with Anthony Davis during most of his tenure in New Orleans, who is one of the best defenders in the league. Playing with somebody of that caliber typically hides some of your shortcomings, especially on the defensive end. Adding him to a Houston team with possibly the worst defender in the NBA in James Harden is a recipe for disaster. New coach Mike D'Antoni has never been known for his defensive principles, but a Harden-Gordon backcourt is going to be absolutely torched by opponents this year.
Solomon Hill to the New Orleans Pelicans: 4 years, $48 million
Solomon Hill averaged 4.2 points per game and 2.8 rebounds per game. Not sure where the Pelicans thought that production was equivalent to a $12 million a year salary, but that's where we are at. He has never shot over 32.7% from beyond the arc, and averaged one meager assist per game last year. It's not really clear offensively what he is going to contribute to this New Orleans Pelicans team, especially considering the presence of Tyreke Evans and recent draft pick Buddy Hield.
Honestly, New Orleans just watched Kevin Durant walk away from the Thunder and should seriously be concerned about their ability to field a team around Anthony Davis. Moves like this will not keep your star happy. It is virtually impossible to win a title without a championship and almost as difficult to acquire one. The Pelicans have a blossoming one in Davis, but I can't imagine him staying in New Orleans beyond his current contract if they continue to make moves like this. Yes, I know that Davis just signed a new contract. He's only 23 years old and could walk out during his peak in 4 years-just like Kevin Durant did. But at that point, LeBron should be nearly out the door and Durant and Curry will both be in their 30s. At that point, Davis could be the best player in the whole league, which is why New Orleans needs to get their act together.
It's nothing personal against these guys- it is simply my humble opinion that they aren't good enough to deserve the contracts they deserve. I hope they all prove me wrong, although I doubt they will. None of these three guys' careers match the deals they have just gotten, and I am truly surprised that they got deals of this magnitude. Hats off to their agents-they did one hell of a job.