It’s no surprise that NBA players are handed buckets of money to play a game that (as Robert Horry eloquently put it) elementary school kids play everyday. As salaries increase, players vie for the best deal they can get. Often, a player will sign for what seems an obscene amount of money to then become a key player on a team. Sometimes the longevity of a contract can make fans wonder if the player was worth all that money, especially as they age and their productivity is not what it once was.
I found a piece that listed their take on the most overpaid player on each team in this upcoming season. While some of the may not shock you, there are a few to highlight from the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young- once the cornerstone of the franchise, Young’s antics and inability to elevate his team to a dep playoff run now makes the $37M he will earn this year seem like too great a cost.
Washington Wizards: Kristaps Porzingis- Like so many players on this list, you find age or injury has hampered their careers. Porzingis falls into the latter category but is moving into the former. He has not lived up to his “unicorn’ status, nor has he been able to be the centerpiece of a viable team. For $33.8M, he shouldn’t be considered mediocre trade bait every couple of years.
Charlotte Hornets: Gordon Hayward- Once upon a time, Hayward was one of the most sought after free agents in the league. The Celtics even signed his college coach Brad Stevens to entice him to come to Boston. That time has passed and and the foot injury that sidelined him —and his career— leaves a 33-years-old with a $30M price tag this season.
Miami Heat: Kyle Lowry- The one leader of the Toronto Raptors still has some gas in the tank, but his days as a starter are over and the one championship ring he earned came at the hands of Kawhi Leonard, so $28.3M is way too much to pay for a 37-year-old back-up point guard.
Boston Celtics: Al Horford- Another aging player (36-years-young to be exact) making $26.5M, that’s just under 20% of the team’s salary availability. There are still some other major players to pay, namely Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Might want to save a little for the other dozen guys who will fill out the roster.
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