Money, get away
Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
Money, it’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
We knew when the NBA announced that the salary cap for the 2016/2017 season was rising from $70 million to $94.1 million, that things were about to get interesting. What we didn’t know was that they were about to become ridiculous! Was I the only one whose head was about to explode this past weekend?
The NBA’s free agency period began Saturday, and with each signing, my jaw dropped further and further. To me, it felt like owners/general managers gave certain players ungodly amounts of money simply because they could. With the new found/extra dough from the massive television contract, teams were going to dole it out fast and furious. Aside from the one true superstar that signed this week that is worth the money (Kevin Durant), the others who received astonishing new deals just aren’t. Below, I will break them down into two categories: “Nice” players who got paid like “Max” players, and “Mediocre” players who got paid like “Nice” Players.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for players earning as much as they can, but that too has a ceiling. Take for instance Mike Conley, the point guard from the Memphis Grizzlies. He is a nice player, don’t you think? The 28-year-old, nine year veteran has averaged a solid 13.6 points per game, and 5.6 assists. Yes, I know he is a great defender and he makes that team go, but, he has also never made an All-Star team. It just so happens that the five-year, $153 million contract he got is the richest in league history! No offense, but the name Mike Conley, and “the richest contract in NBA history” simply do not belong in the same sentence. Memphis, however, was not done handing out boffo contracts, Chandler Parsons, come on down! He too is another “nice” player, but is he a four-year $94.8 million “Max” deal guy? C’mon, Parsons has averaged a shade over 14 points during his career and has had his last two seasons shortened because of hybrid microfracture surgery, and surgery to repair a torn meniscus? Want more? Okay, how about Charlotte furnishing Nicolas Batum (career 11.7 ppg) with a “max” deal of five years and $120 million? The Washington Wizards morphed Bradley Beal into a “Max” player too (5-year $130 million), despite his having dealt with many injuries over his four-year career. In fact, last season Beal only played in 55 games and has never played more than 73 in a season! Now I could go on and on here (Harrison Barnes, Hassan Whiteside, Ryan Anderson, Evan Fournier, Joakim Noah, Kent Bazemore, etc), but I only have so much space, and want to get to the next category.
The poster boy for this group has to be Timofey Mozgov. The 29-year-old, six-year veteran, who averaged less than 6 minutes per game over the entire Cleveland Cavaliers postseason championship run, scored a four-year, $64 million contract from the LA Lakers! His fellow Cavaliers teammate, Matthew Dellevedova, reeled in big bucks from the Milwaukee Bucks (four-years $38.4 million). The two of them put together average less than 13 points per game for their careers. The New Orleans Pelicans saw fit to pay TWO relative nobodies (E’Twaun Moore and Solomon Hill) like all-stars! Moore averaged 7.5 points in Chicago last year, yet landed a four-year $34 million pact, whereas Hill netted a four-year, $52 million contract, following a year in which he averaged just 4.2 points in under 15 minutes of play per game with the Indiana Pacers. Bismack Biyombo had been a borderline bust since being chosen #7 in the 2011 draft, but he had a very good postseason with Toronto, and the Orlando Magic gave him a four-year $72 million deal. Ever heard of Ian Mahinmi? Me neither. Well, the 29 year-old just parlayed his one good season out eight, into a four-year $64 million contract with the Wizards. The following (Jon Leur, Tyler Johnson, Marvin Williams, Eric Gordon, Jeremy Lin, etc.) are also prime examples of guys that seemingly won the mega millions lottery without really having resumes to justify it.
So, all of this nonsense begs the question: what is a true “Max” player like LeBron James worth? Well, in contrast to the gentlemen listed above who have accomplished nothing compared to King James, how does a four-year deal for $300 million sound?
And that is My 2 Sense for this week.
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