Mostly every team in the NBA contains a player with a large contract that is not living up to it. There are three main causes for why this may be. Players are not living up to the hype surrounding them, injuries are taking a toll on their body physically and mentally, and aging players find themselves amidst a rebuild. This is not a trade rumor article. This is more of an in-depth analysis of certain players’ contracts that teams might wish they didn’t have. Many of the players about to be named in this set of articles will not and cannot be moved due to their contracts. This does not pertain to every player as there is a good chance that some of them will be donning new jerseys by seasons end. This article is my purely my opinion.
Three guys make most of the money for the roster. Kyrie Irving is the star point guard. Al Horford is an All-Star big man this season. Gordon Hayward is a top-level talent who suffered a freak injury. The rest of the players are talented players on good contracts. This makes the Boston Celtics join the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors as the only teams exempt from this list.
To acquire D’Angelo Russell from the Los Angeles Lakers, the Nets had to take on Timofey Mozgov’s contract. The Lakers did not want that contract so why would it be any different for the Brooklyn Nets. Last season for the Lakers, Mozgov averaged 20.4mpg, 7.4ppg and 4.9rpg while shooting .515% from the field and .808% from the free throw line. He played in 54 games and started 52 of them. For the Nets this season, Mozgov is averaging 12.8mpg, 4.4ppg and 3.4rpg while shooting .544% from the field, .222% from the three-point line, and .760% from the free throw line. He has played in 25 of the 50 games and started 13 of them. With advanced stats of a -4.0 Box Plus/Minus (-4.0 Offensive Box Plus/Minus and a 0.0 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) the $15,280,000, the $16,000,000, and the $16,720,000 he is owed over the course of this season and the two years following makes him a completely undesirable contract.
New York Knicks
The Knicks have made it known that they do not want Joakim Noah on their roster. Noah will not accept a buyout with the Knicks either. With the $17,765,000, the $18,530,000, and the $19,295,000 he is owed you cannot blame him. Long gone are the days of the MVP candidate Noah for the Chicago Bulls. Last season for the Knicks, Noah averaged 22.1mpg, 5.0ppg, 8.8rpg, and 2.2apg while shooting .490% from the field and .436% from the free throw line. This season, Noah has played in 7 of the Knicks games, averaging 5.7mpg, 1.7ppg and 2.0rpg while shooting .500% from the field and .500% from the free throw line. The Knicks are likely stuck paying Noah for the next two years after this current one unless they can con some team into taking on Noah’s albatross contract.
Bayless is still a decent contributor for the 76ers so it is not completely fair to put Bayless on the list. He is set to make $9,000,000 this season and $8,575,916 next season. Bayless is still playing a lot this year due to the injury to #1 overall pick Markelle Fultz. Bayless backs up Simmons and is averaging 24.9mpg, 8.9ppg, 2.2rpg, and 1.4apg while shooting .419% from the field, .370% from the three-point line, and .795% from the free throw line. Advanced statistics show that he has a -2.4 Box Plus/Minus (-1.4 Offensive Box Plus/Minus and -1.0 Defensive Box Plus/Minus). Next year he will likely see his role decrease and could possibly be an upcoming trade candidate.
Let me start off by saying Ibaka is still a valuable contributor for this team, just not as valuable as one may think. In 28.0mpg, Ibaka is averaging 13.0ppg, 6.1rpg, and 1.5bpg while shooting .482% from the field, .355% from the three-point line, and .775% from the free throw line. His advanced statistics show a -0.4 Box Plus/Minus (-1.0 Offensive Box Plus/Minus and a +0.6 Defensive Bo Plus/Minus). While his stats are respectable, is he worth the $20,061,728 they are paying him this season and the $21,666,667 and the $23,271,605 he is owed over the next two seasons after? That kind of money would be expected for a first to second option, not a third of fourth option depending on whether you rank Jonas Valanciunas ahead of Ibaka or not. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, the stars of the team, are only making $7-$9 million more than Ibaka this year. So, while Ibaka is having a decent year, his overall stats do not add up to the amount of money he is making.