With the new TV deal increasing salary cap space in 2016, many NBA teams found themselves with more money then they knew what to do with. Unfortunately, that hasn’t already translated to the best choices. Here are some of the worst signings from that fateful offseason.
5. Ryan Anderson – 4 years, $80 million
This contract is bad but not necessarily because of the player himself. Anderson has been a solid role player, averaging 13.6 ppg and 4.6 rpg in his first season of the deal, helping the Rockets play with more pace and increased three-point shooting.
For better or worse, however, the contract has prevented the Rockets from making a trade for Carmelo Anthony. More so, Anderson’s contract could handicap the Rockets from pursuing future marquee free agents such as LeBron James in upcoming offseasons. Getting rid of Anderson could cost Houston multiple draft picks and other valuable assets as well, making it a very arduous decision for management.
4. Chandler Parsons – 4 years, $94 million
Chandler Parsons has been a shell of the player he was with the Houston Rockets, mostly due to injuries. Parsons played in only 34 of 82 games in the 2016-17 season, averaging only 6.2 ppg on 33.8 percent shooting from the field.
2017 has been a similar story, with Parsons playing in only 26 out of 45 possible games for the Grizzlies. His poor performance had led to his commitment being questioned, with ex-player Stephen Jackson blaming him for coach David Fizdale’s firing.
Although Parsons still has time to change the perception of himself, he’s played well below his contract value.
3. Luol Deng – 4 years, $72 million
This was the first of two bad deals made by the Los Angeles Lakers, but at least this one was somewhat justifiable. In 14 playoff games with the Miami Heat in 2016, Deng averaged 13.3 points and 5.9 rebounds, and seemed to extend his career as a stretch four.
Deng averaged 7.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg in his first year, but was shut down for the final 15 games to allot more playing time for the young Lakers’ players. The 32-year-old has only played in first game of the 2017-18 season, and the Lakers are rumored to have ‘given up’ on trying to move him and his unattractive contract.
2. Timofey Mozgov – 4 years, $64 million
Only the Lakers would offer Timofey Mozgov a huge deal to him after a season in which he lost his spot in the rotation during the Cleveland Cavaliers championship run.
In his first season as a Laker, Mozgov averaged 7.4 ppg and 4.9 rpg in 20.4 minutes per game. He started all 52 of the games he played in, but still didn’t play up to his contract.
He was traded alongside D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Brook Lopez and the draft rights to Kyle Kuzma in a salary dump move by the Lakers,
1. Joakim Noah – 4-year, $72 million
As a Bulls fan, it pains me to write this.
When Joakim Noah signed with his hometown New York Knicks, it was seen as a reasonable move despite Noah’s recent injury history. They could incorporate Noah with his former Bulls’ teammate Derrick Rose, who the Knicks had just traded for, and help the team contend for the playoffs.
Noah got off to a poor start to the season, only averaging 5.0 ppg and 8.7 rpg, and things only got worse from there.
Noah underwent left knee surgery in February, which forced him to miss the next three to four weeks. In March, Noah was suspended 20 games without pay for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. In April, he again required surgery, this time for a torn rotator cuff that would take four to six months to rehabilitate.
Things have not been much better for the former Defensive Player of the Year, as he’s only played sparingly this season and had stints with the G League Westchester Knicks.