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HurricaneDij's Top Ten NBA Buster Contracts (2022 Edition)

HurricaneDij39

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*Wall and Westbrook are the most documented of this type, and are exempt form the list with one year left.

10) Kelly Olynyk, C/PF, Detroit Pistons (One year remaining at $12.8 million with a partially guaranteed salary for 2023-24) - Detroit has to use their payroll on someone, I suppose. On a rebuilding team that is lacking of a veteran presence, this was a peculiar choice to fill that role to say the least.

9) Gordon Hayward, SF, Charlotte Hornets (two years, $61.58 million) - During the shortened 2020 offseason, he seemed worth the investment as Charlotte was not carrying any major long-term commitments at the time. Unfortunately, Hayward's injury-prone track record from his Boston days traveled with him to Charlotte. It is worth considering if perhaps GM Mitch Kupchak regrets stretching Nic Batum to sign this guy.

8) Julius Randle, PF, New York Knicks (four years, $106.44 million) - It’s difficult to feel sorry for Knicks fans on this one, as the top player who led the franchise to its first playoff appearance in eight years ought to be rewarded. That said, it may be worth a debate if Randle had an aberration year in 2020-21.

7) Evan Fournier, SG, New York Knicks (two years, $36.86 million) - This is a guy I've liked in the past, and Fournier could be a good player for any given team to have. However, because he is largely a poor man's Gary Trent at this stage in his career, your team is going nowhere fast if he's one of your three highest paid players.

6) Jonathan Isaac, PF, Orlando Magic (three years, $52.2 million) - One has to hope that this kid will one day get healthy, because his salary really stands out on Orlando’s payroll. On New Year’s Day in 2020, Isaac suffered a bone contusion in his left knee. He later returned for the bubble that following August and proceeded to tear his ACL and meniscus in the same knee during Orlando’s second game inside the bubble and has not played since. Due of these injury woes, I’ve come to regret having taking him as my small-ball five during our current players mock draft on Sports SportsHoopla last summer. I should have taken Steven Adams and lived with the consequences.

5) Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz (four years, $169.66 milllon) - As a big man most recently having flashed an inability to score in the post against a 6’5” Luka Doncic, Gobert has proven time and time again that he is not a franchise player. But he’s playing on a superstar’s contract. Regardless of whether or not the Jazz are able to move Gobert, that contract will ultimately hinder them in any attempt to prevent co-star Donovan Mitchell from demanding a trade out of Utah in the coming years.

4) Duncan Robinson, SG, Miami Heat (four years, $74.35 million) - So, Miami has reached the conference finals in two of the last three years. Good for them. This team as constructed is not built to age well, however, and Robinson is the one semblance of long-range shooting talent on what is otherwise an aging, uninspiring roster. And while he was due for some regression this season - If Robinson is not shooting it well, then what is he?

3) Tobias Harris, PF, Philadelphia 76ers (two years, 76.9 million) - This one hurts a little, because I like him as a player, but given that he had fallen outside my top 50 players list this year, there was virtually no choice but to have him here. Having a averaged a pedestrian (for his standards) 17.2 points per game this past season, Harris did not stand to benefit from Ben Simmons’ trade request. The good news for Philly is that with two years left, this deal will have come off the books why the time they're ready to pay Maxey.

2) Devonte’ Graham, PG, New Orleans Pelicans (three years, $36.3 million) - Here you go - A career 37.2 percent FG shooter. Jerry Stackhouse called and told me this dude needs to work on his shooting efficiency. The signing made some sense last year at this time with the departure of Lonzo Ball, but head coach Willie Green played C.J. at the point soon after his arrival at the trade deadline. And with the emergence of Jose Alvarado as a backup, the need for Graham just isn’t there anymore in N.O. Graham’s contract will be a sore spot for the Pels if and when the time comes to extend Zion.

1) Davis Bertans, PF, Dallas Mavericks (three years, $49 million) - Have the Mavs peaked with this year’s conference finals run? In my humble opinion, the answer is yes, and this contract is the number one reason why, as it will prevent the team from filling future needs. Bertans is a modern day Pat Garrity in that he offers size, three-point range, and absolutely nothing else. In large part to appease Luka who did not coexist with Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas dealt Porzingis and a second rounder for this toxic contact along with Spencer Dinwiddie, who was ultimately key in their playoff run. It just goes to show the level of power one player can have on an organization, but in this case and because of their playoff success you’ve got to admire the Mavs’ perseverance for the levels they have gone to keep their franchise superstar happy. For now.

Honorable Mention:

- JaMychal Green, PF, Oklahoma City Thunder (one year, $8.7 milion) - So we have our first trade of the summer, as Denver GM Calvin Booth wasted no time in cleaning up the previous regime's mess. This one is not being mentioned for the contract itself, but rather the concept that went about it. In addition to JaMychal, then-Nuggets GM Tim Connelly also allowed Will Barton to opt out for more money last summer. Connelly then proceeded to sign Jeff Green to play a similar big forward role that JaMychal did/does. Then this season, Boogie Cousins proceeded to play the best backup center minutes during the Jokic era, and Denver faced greater luxury tax concerns had they retained he and both Greens. A lot to process, isn’t it? Don’t get the wrong idea - JaMychal could still be a quality player in the right situation. He had a nice little 20-10 game in Portland back in February, though his three-point shooting fell off dramatically overall in 2021-22 and it proved to be the ultimate factor in him becoming an afterthought in Denver’s rotation. C’mon Minnesota, you know you want this guy on your team… And now they'll have a good chance at getting him next February.



- It's also worth noting that this write-up was published before the Christian Wood trade was agreed upon.

HurricaneDij's Top Ten NBA Buster Contracts (2022 Edition)
 

CitySushi

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No notes. I'm only commenting because of the Pat Garrity reference. That's actually a weirdly accurate comp.
 

Shanemansj13

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How is Bertans #1 and Duncan is #4. Making more money on a longer deal and he was unplayable in the playoffs. Bertans wasn’t great but he was a key in some wins. Bad contract? Sure but he’s not #1.

Other than that, it looks good. Don't think one year contracts for the most part. It's expiring
 
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Mebert

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My only critique is I think a players with one year left are exempt imo. Once they are expiring, even the bad contracts can be an asset.
 

HurricaneDij39

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The first of our three picks received in the JaMychal trade revealed… A former five-star prospect. Though a bit of a late-round project whom we might not know his true value for a good three years…

 
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