Pain in the bank: Here’s a list of players who collectively made over $600 million last season

The next time you spend a few bucks for an expired gas station hot dog, don’t feel so bad. It’s nothing compared to the money owners had to shell out for players last season who underperformed (or didn’t perform) for a variety of reasons.

Though it appears the NBA is getting smarter every year, season-ending injuries, wrong fits for the wrong teams, and lack of common sense by those who overpaid for a player (or three) are reasons, among others, that investments didn’t work out as planned. There’s always a gray area when it comes to who did or didn’t play up to their contract in any season, but those contracts totaled arguably over $600 million in 2013.

A decent chunk of that money paid out last year–about $150 million–was featured in contracts that expired after the season. Others, like Gilbert Arenas’ paychecks, at least didn’t count towards salary caps. Investments such as Chicago’s in Derrick Rose and Indiana’s in Danny Granger still have a good chance of bouncing back and earning their worth. There are also albatross-like contracts that happen because, well, it only takes one team to overpay for a players’ services.

Bad contracts happen in every major sport, though they’re always something to joke about when it comes to the NBA. Off the top of my head with no proof whatsoever, I’ll say that’s probably because, if anything, that draft busts and overpaid signings are easily more recognizable in the NBA than any other sport. Prospects in the MLB can flame out in the minors with very little publicity and I can’t name a single player drafted in the first round of the most recent draft anyway. Free agent deals are a different beast, most notably the contracts for Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols.

For the NFL, draft busts and free agent signings also typically don’t receive much publicity unless it’s a wide receiver, running back, quarterback, or a headcase towards ESPN. I’m not even going to try and explain anything about the NHL. I only follow that league a few hours each year. It’s too bad it overlaps with the second half of the NFL’s season and just about all of the NBA’s.

Again, that’s based off nothing more than thinking about attention bad draft picks and free agent signings receive from the media. This post features salaries that I believe gave owners in the NBA headaches throughout the 2012-13 season.

All salaries are from Let the fun begin:

Gilbert Arenas – $20,807,922

Amar’e Stoudemire – $19,948,799

Joe Johnson – $19,752,645

Andrew Bynum –  $16,889,000*

Rudy Gay – $16,460,538

  • After getting his eyes fixed, I have no idea what to expect from Rudy next season. He could come back to live up to his contract and bag another similar-sized one or continue being one of the league’s most frustrating talents.

Derrick Rose – $16,402,500

  • : (

Brandon Roy – $16,359,805

  • 😥

Elton Brand – $16,059,854*

Carlos Boozer – $15,000,000

Baron Davis – $14,850,000*

Eric Gordon – $13,668,750

Emeka Okafor – $13,490,000

Danny Granger – $13,058,606

Andrew Bogut – $13,000,000

Ben Gordon – $12,400,000

Kris Humphries – $12,000,000

Hedo Turkoglu – $11,815,000

  • Turkoglu recorded a PER of 3.4 and -0.5 win shares last season. Stellar.

Monta Ellis – $11,000,000*

DeAndre Jordan – $10,532,977

Corey Maggette – $10,924,138*

  • I tried looking Maggette up via Basketball-Reference’s voice recognition search box, only the site instead spat out “Corey My Daddy”. So creepy, yet if I was an NBA player I’d definitely pay the site to interpret my name the same way. Every single time.
  • Also, I had the similar difficulties with Emeka Okafor. The site doesn’t recognize his name via voice recognition at all. Among the names it thought I said:
    • “iMac out of a form”
    • “eMac out open floor”
    • “94”

Richard Jefferson – $10,164,000

Stephen Jackson – $10,059,750*

Andrea Bargnani – $10,000,000

JaVale McGee – $10,000,000

Gerald Wallace – $9,682,435

Andris Biedrins – $9,000,000

Jameer Nelson – $8,600,000

Mo Williams – $8,500,000*

Rodney Stuckey – $8,500,000

Devin Harris – $8,500,000*

Brendan Haywood – $8,349,000

Marvin Williams – $8,287,500

Lamar Odom – $8,200,000*

John Salmons – $8,083,000

Charlie Villanueva – $8,060,000

Tyrus Thomas – $8,000,000

Caron Butler – $8,000,000

Kendrick Perkins – $7,800,531

DaSagana Diop – $7,372,200*

Beno Udrih – $7,372,200*

Metta World Peace – $7,258,960

Trevor Ariza – $7,258,960

Andray Blatche – $7,118,502

Josh Childress – $7,000,000*

Samuel Dalembert – $6,698,565*

Drew Gooden – $6,687,400

Al Harrington – $6,687,400

Glen Davis – $6,400,000

Landry Fields – $6,250,000

Fransisco Garcia – $6,100,000

Luke Walton – $6,091,363*

Brandon Bass – $6,000,000

Michael Beasley – $5,750,000

Darko Milicic – $5,228,000*

Daniel Gibson – $4,792,332*

Marcus Camby – $4,590,338

Wes Johnson – $4,285,560*

  • Including rookie contracts felt like cheating, but poor Wes could barely get off the bench for a 25-57 Suns squad.

Hakim Warrick – $4,000,000*

  • Warrick’s played on six teams in four seasons. He’s like that freak athlete in college every intramural basketball team wants until they realize how good he really is–or isn’t.

Ryan Gomes – $4,000,000*

Joel Anthony – $3,750,000

Gerald Green – $3,500,000

Johan Petro – $3,500,000*

Raja Bell – $3,480,000*

Jan Vesley – $3,294,960

Kwame Brown – $2,819,044

  • It’s a necessity that he makes this list.

Nolan Smith – $1,404,960

Fab Melo – $1,254,720

Hasheem Thabeet – $1,200,000

  • Wasn’t even that bad for OKC last year, but also a necessity he makes this list.

* – expiring contract

This post has been edited to fix up a chunky paragraph or two.


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