NBA Penny WIse, Dollar Foolish
Was Joe Johnson's contract a smart move for the Hawks?
By: Charlie Miller | 10/12/10, 6:16 PM EDT
1. LeBron James (Miami) six years, $110 million
A King’s ransom? Not quite, as the Heat got the best player in the game to sign the dotted line for less than the maximum amount.
2. Dwyane Wade (Miami) six years, $107 million
Not only was Wade willing to share his turf with two other superstars, but he also agreed to share some of his dough, leaving money on the table when he re-upped with the Heat.
3. Chris Bosh (Miami) six years, $110 million
Most people felt that Bosh wasn’t a max contract type of player. Luckily for Miami, Bosh apparently agreed, as he’ll try to scrape by on $110 million over the next six years.
4. Derek Fisher (Lakers) three years, $10.5 million
He may be an old man and not a “true” point guard, but he fits perfectly in the Lakers’ triangle offense, and most important, Kobe Bryant trusts him.
5. Carlos Boozer (Chicago) five years, $80 million
That’s a lot of money ($80 million) for a guy who resembles a pylon on defense, but the Bulls need an offensive big man to team up with defensive-minded Joakim Noah. Boozer is a guaranteed 20 and 10 guy who cost the Bulls $20 million less than Amar’e Stoudemire would have.
6. Ray Allen (Boston) two years, $20 million
He may have been hot and cold in the playoffs, and is getting long in the tooth, but overall, Allen’s game has been fairly consistent over the course of his Celtics career. Even better, considering he made $18 million last season, this new contract gives Boston a “two years for the price of one” discount.
7. Anthony Morrow (New Jersey) three years, $12 million
At 25 years old, Morrow appears ready to have a breakout season, which makes him a perfect fit for the Nets’ young, rebuilding team. New Jersey got him in the prime of his career for the bargain basement average of $4 million per season.
8. Ronnie Brewer (Chicago) three years, $12.5 million
Similarly, Chicago got a bargain of its own — the 25-year-old Brewer. You don’t get starting shooting guards who can bring it at both ends of the floor for this cheap very often.
9. Randy Foye (Clippers) two years, $8.5 million
Foye might have had an off-year last season in Washington, but he gives the Clippers a versatile guard, capable of playing either spot in the backcourt and lighting up the scoreboard.
10. Matt Barnes (Lakers) two years, $3.7 million
Barnes has always been a thorn in Kobe Bryant’s side, so the Lakers came up with a solution — sign him as a free agent. To get him out of Kobe’s hair alone is worth his $3.7 million contract. He’ll also be good for some offense off the bench.
1. Joe Johnson (Atlanta) six years, $124 million
Johnson is 29 years old, shot under 30 percent from the field as the Magic swept the Hawks out of the playoffs and left the court to the sound of hometown boos. Atlanta thought this added up to a six-year max contract.
2. Rudy Gay (Memphis) five years, $82 million
The consensus is that the Grizzlies paid Gay a lot more than any opposing suitor would have. Now where’s the money going to come from when teammates O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol see their contracts expire over the next couple of years?
3. Tyrus Thomas (Charlotte) five years, $40 million
Thomas has already played four seasons in the NBA and has never come close to reaching the potential teams saw in him. Do you really want to gamble $40 million that the light bulb is going to go on now?
4. Jermaine O’Neal (Boston) two years, $12 million
The Celtics must have been so impressed with the four points and six rebounds that Jermaine O’Neal averaged against them in the playoffs last season that they just had to give him $12 million to play for them.
5. Amar’e Stoudemire (New York) five years, $100 million
So this is what $100 million buys you in the NBA today — a player with bad knees, bad eyes and bad defense.
6. Amir Johnson (Toronto) five years, $34 million
Johnson has career averages of 15 minutes, five points and four boards per game. In Canada, this is worth $34 million. So why again does Toronto have trouble attracting free agents?!
7. Kyle Lowry (Houston) four years, $24 million
Houston decided it was a good idea to pay their backup point guard (Kyle Lowry) more than twice what they are paying their starting point guard (Aaron Brooks). Brooks ought to ask to move to the bench so he can get a pay raise.
8. Travis Outlaw (New Jersey) five years, $35 million
Outlaw managed to play in only 34 games last year (and shot under 40 percent from the field) due to a foot injury. This earned him a contract worth more than double his last one (for that, his agent deserves a raise, too).
9. Richard Jefferson (San Antonio) four years, $39 million
Jefferson proved to be a horrible fit in San Antonio last year, having his worst season since his rookie year. Yet he surprisingly opted out of his contract. But what’s even more surprising is that the Spurs handed him $39 million to stick around.
10. Brendan Haywood (Dallas) six years, $55 million
Haywood is an average player at best whose prime years are behind him. However, Dallas locked him up until he is 36 years old, at which point they’ll have paid him $55 million. Such are the perks of being a 7-footer.
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