Just like in real life, NBA owners and General Managers can be extremely irresponsible with the money at their disposal, using valuable cap space to sign mediocre players or simply overpaying stars just to land them on their franchise.
With the extreme rise in the NBA salary cap over the past few seasons, these contracts have just grown larger and larger, with bench players such as Timofey Mozgov receiving almost $20 million a year with no rise in on-court production.
Now, for the 2017-18 NBA season, the salary cap has been set lower than many experts predicted, and these contracts are beginning to eat into the pockets of the owners of each team. The prediction was so overvalued in fact, the Lakers had to package a young asset such as D'Angelo Russell with Mozgov just to get his massive contract off the books.
Here are the top 10 worst contracts in the NBA right now.
10. J.R Smith - 3 Years/$44.2 Million
J.R. Smith has been a bit of a non-factor for Cleveland this past season, especially after his return from injury.
Smith only shot a lousy 34.6% from the field last year over the 41 games he made an appearance in. Add in the fact he should be in the last stages of his prime at 31 years old, and that spells bad news for the Cavs.
J.R. is under contract until 2020, where he'll be 34 years of age earning over $15 million. If LeBron does actually leave Cleveland after next year, you can expect Smith and his large contract to be traded soon after, as no rebuilding team should be spending $15 million a year on a 32-year-old shooting guard.
9. Bismack Biyombo - 2 Years/$34 Million (+ $17 Million Player Option)
Being from Africa has its cons as an NBA player. Bismack Biyombo is one of those players who may or may not have lied about his age when being recruited by scouts before entering the NBA, and a large question mark still hangs over his head regarding his age.
Despite this, even if Biyombo is in fact 24 years of age, that doesn't make his $30 million+ contract acceptable.
The Magic definitely overpaid for a backup center who only averaged a measley 6 points and 7 boards last season off the bench.
8. Kent Bazemore - 2 Years/$35 Million (+ $19.2 Million Player Option)
Kent Bazemore had a pretty decent year in 2015-16, which is what prompted the Atlanta Hawks to sign him to this insane 3-year deal worth over $50 million.
Bazemore is actually a decent player all thing's considered, averaging 11.0 points per game, 3.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, averages that are pretty decent for a low-end starter or a good rotational piece. However, the high price tag is what bothers the Hawks owner and fans alike. A player of Bazemore's caliber should be worth about $10 million, not $18 million.
7. Evan Turner - 3 Years/$53.7 Million
Evan Turner's stats suggest that whatever offensive talents he has (such as playmaking) don't make up for his terrible shooting. And those suggestions would be correct.
Turner averaged a line of 9/4/3 across 65 games this season for the Blazers in 25 minutes of game time. Those are some pretty bad numbers regardless of his contract. But when you include the fact he's being paid roughly $17 million a year, it makes those observations 10 times worse.
6. Omer Asik - 2 Years/$21.9 Million (+ $12 Million Player Option)
Omer Asik looked like a promising younger center back in a different era of the NBA.
Now, his plodding defense doesn't help you much at all, especially when you consider he's backing up two of the best big men in the game right now.
Perhaps he'd get more minutes on a different team, but on New Orleans' he's useless. He's already 31 as well, which makes those 3 remaining years even more cringeworthy.
Given, the last year of his deal is only guaranteed up to $3 million out of the $12 million he's owed, so NOLA will be saving $9 come his contract year, but Asik's contract is still scary bad.
5. Brandon Knight - 3 Years/$43.8 Million
You have to feel for Brandon Knight.
He's a good kid who recently tore his ACL for this upcoming season, rendering him out for the entire 2017-18 campaign. Add onto the fact he's bounced around the league a bit in his short time in the NBA, plus all the insane highlights he's fallen victim to, and you can conclude Knight has had a rough time in the association.
But in the interest of brutal honesty: he was terrible, even pre-injury. His offense is inefficient, his defense is atrocious, and ESPN advanced stats actually charted him as having an estimated "wins added" of NEGATIVE 1.63 last year; his presence actually hurt the team. Ouch.
4. Luol Deng - 3 Years/$54 Million
What the hell were the Lakers thinking with this deal?
Luol Deng's coming off a horrible shooting year (38.7% from the field, 30.9% from three) that made him look older than his 32 years of age. Even if he can bounce back to a certain extent, it's really hard to imagine he'll be an effective rotational player in 1-2 years.
He's a good vet that you wouldn't mind having on the team, but one you wish came at 1/3 of the price.
3. Timofey Mozgov - 3 Year/$48 Million
When fit and healthy, Mozgov is still a solid backup center.
Unfortunately, he's also 31, and an "old" 31 given his injury and conditioning concerns.
There's a good chance he winds up being the next Nikola Pekovic by the end of the deal. A complete dead weight that's unplayable and simply collecting checks.
The Lakers were extremely smart to trade him away to Brooklyn, even if it meant they had to part ways with D'Angelo Russell.
2. Joakim Noah - 3 Years/$55.6 Million
Unlike Brandon Knight, Joakim Noah isn't a bad player when he's healthy.
He logged a respectable 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 22.1 minutes a game for the Knicks last year.
With Noah, though, it's a question of availability. He's 32 years old -- again, an "old" 32 -- coming off a season where he only played 46 games. He only played 29 the year before.
It's difficult to imagine Noah getting through next season healthy, let alone the next three seasons. Add onto the fact he's recently had trouble with violating the league's wellness policy after being caught with PED's, and it makes you wonder if the former Defensive Player of the Year is worth all the trouble (and money).
1. Chandler Parsons - 3 Years/$72.3 Million
It's hard to feel bad for a good-looking millionaire pro athlete, but we do have some sympathy for the wreckage that's become Chandler Parson's career.
Parsons is only 28 years old, but like Joakim Noah, it's really hard to imagine that he'll be able to keep his health going forward. He only played 34 games last year, and may never be a 60+ game player again.
To make matters worse, he played really badly when he actually suited up. His 33.8% field goal percentage was atrocious and could make him completely unplayable for the Grizzlies if he can't bounce back. That, combined with the
That, combined with the 3-year length of the deal, combined with the exorbitant amount (he'll be on par with Kevin Durant this year), makes this the hardest contract to bear in our minds.