Sometimes you get huge bargains in the NBA, like those Steph Curry, Draymond Green or Isaiah Thomas deals, while other times you get completely robbed, like the Nets with Joe Johnson or the Timberwolves with Nikola Pekovic.
The real and tough truth is, you never know what you’re going to get out of a guy when you decide to sign him, even nowadays with technology, projections, advanced stats and all that stuff, as injuries, bad chemistry or just bad luck can make what seemed to be a steal, a very bad deal.
So, as the regular season has finally come to an end, let’s take a look back to the start of the season and talk about the top 5 biggest regrets of the year, as not every guy that got paid at the start of the year delivered through the season.
5. Thaddeus Young
The 86th best-paid player in the league came to Indianapolis with high praise to play alongside Jeff Teague, Myles Turner and Paul George to try and make the Pacers the best team in the East and end LeBron’s dominance.
However, the former Net and 9-year veteran did very little to help the Pacers’ winning cause, averaging 11 points, 6.1 boards and 1.6 assists in 30 minutes per night, after everybody expected a breakout year from a guy that signed a 4-year/$54 million contract, as well as costing the Pacers Caris LeVert and a future 2nd rounder.
4. Luol Deng
Actually, everybody knew this regret was coming, as the 13-year veteran Small Forward had very little to put on the table for this new and young Los Angeles Lakers squad, but they didn’t hesitate to pay a lot of cash to the African and former Bull, Heat and Cavalier.
The Buss family paid Deng just over $18 million per year through 4 seasons, only to see the washed out forward play 26 minutes a night for 56 games instead of handing the keys of the car to Brandon Ingram since day one. Now, Deng has absolutely no value and they couldn’t even move him before the deadline.
3. Timofey Mozgov
The Lakers make our list once again with the signing of Timofey Mozgov, who had recently become a key piece for the defending NBA Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, just to play him for a bit more than 20 minutes a night during 54 games and shutting him down to give more minutes to Ivica Zubac and Tarik Black.
That wouldn’t be so bad if they hadn’t signed the veteran center to a 4 year/$64 million contract during the offseason in a league with a tendency to go small, as well as pairing him with athletic youngsters that don’t fit that old school low post offense. Just like Deng, they couldn’t even get a pick for Timofey, as even if he’s a really good player, nobody’s dumb enough to pay that much for him right now, not even the Brooklyn Nets.
2. Joakim Noah
When you think about Joakim Noah, you think about trash talking, hard-nosed defense, post presence and an outstanding passer and vocal leader, or at least that’s what you used to think about the 10-year veteran center from his time with the Bulls.
Nowadays, Noah is yet another awful decision that backfired for the Knicks, as he couldn’t play more than 46 games due to injuries, and now the Frenchman is suspended for PED use. Playing just over 22.1 minutes a night, Noah signed a 4-year/$72.5 million deal with every single penny guaranteed, something that makes absolutely no sense especially considering they got Willy Hernangomez ready to contribute from the start.
1. Chandler Parsons
Without any kind of doubt, Parsons has to be the biggest regret and flop of the year, as the 5-year veteran was one of the players that everybody thought that would step up and continue his development alongside Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, but the Small Forward could only play over 19.9 minutes per night during 34 games.
Through the season, he averaged 6.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists on 33% shooting and a horrid 26% from downtown before being shut down due to injury, after signing a 4-year /$94.4 million contract during the offseason. Of course, Parson’s still young and he could have a bounce-back season next year, but there’s no doubt that the Grizzlies front office is definitely regretting their decision to sign him.