Latest posts by Colton Jones (see all)
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- Kyrie after Celtics’ latest loss: ‘What’s the big picture? What are we doing here?’ - January 13, 2019
- Grizzlies lose forward Anderson for 2-4 weeks - January 13, 2019
With the dust all but settled on The Summer of 2018 in terms of player movement, it’s not too early to take a sneak peek at The Summer of 2019.
And, wow, there are some awful contracts in terms of players holding options looming for next summer for several NBA squads.
Here’s one guy’s take on the 10 worst such deals for the 2019-20 season, starting with the most-expensive pacts and working our way down:
- 1. Hassan Whiteside, Miami ($27 million)
The 29-year-old center is coming off his worst season in the last three, one in which he averaged 14.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.7 steals.
Not bad numbers, but for a guy who will earn major coin if he opts in with Miami next summer, not to mention who played in only 54 games because of injury then clashed with coach Erik Spoelstra about his minutes (played an average of only 25.3) in the regular season, well, you get the idea.
Then, in the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers, Whiteside became a non-factor, averaging only 5.2 points, 6.0 boards and 1.2 blocks in but 15.4 minutes as the Heat were KO’d by the Sixers in five games.
- 2. Marc Gasol, Memphis ($26 million)
Like Whiteside, Gasol is a big man who will make big bucks in the 2019-20 season. However, unlike Whiteside, Gasol, a 33-year-old three-time All-Star, is playing for a team that struggled mightily last season, in part, because of a rash of injuries.
Gasol averaged 17.2 points, 8.1 boards, 4.2 assists and 1.4 blocks last season. However, he will turn 34 in January and by the time next summer rolls around, it remains to be seen how effective Gasol will be, especially considering his contract.
- T3. Kent Bazemore, Atlanta ($19.3 million)
The swingman is coming off his best season of his six-year NBA career, averaging 12.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steal in 27.5 minutes.
However, at more than $19 million, a player of Bazemore’s level can be found at a much better price tag, as far as a team is concerned.
- T3. Tyler Johnson, Miami ($19.3 million)
Along the lines of Bazemore is Johnson, Whiteside’s Heat teammate, whose numbers — 11.7 points, 3.4 boards, 2.3 dimes in 28.5 minutes — are certainly not awful, but at more than $19 million, the Heat could find bigger bang for that kind of buck, given the option, which they likely won’t be.
- 5. Jeff Teague, Minnesota ($19 million)
The 30-year-old point guard had a solid season a year ago for the Timberwolves, averaging 14.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 7.0 dimes and 1.5 steals in 33.0 minutes.
But with Jimmy Butler heading toward unrestricted free agency next summer, Karl-Anthony Towns still not locked up and already paying big bucks for Andrew Wiggins, the T-Wolves could be heading for some difficult decisions and paying $19 million for Teague, a solid NBA player, won’t help matters.
- 6. Allen Crabbe, Brooklyn ($18.5 million)
As proof a fatter paycheck and bigger role don’t always go hand in hand, we present Crabbe, whom the Nets acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Andrew Nicholson on July 25, 2017 after he signed a four-year, $75 million offer sheet with Brooklyn as a restricted free agent the summer before, which Portland matched.
Crabbe averaged career highs with 29.3 minutes, 13.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 75 games (68 starts). However, in doing so, he shot just 40.7 percent from the field, his lowest figure since playing in only 15 games as rookie for Portland in 2013-14, and a full six percent lower than he shot in 2017 for the Trail Blazers.
- 7. Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto ($17.6 million)
The Raptors’ 26-year-old Lithuanian big man played a career-low 22.4 minutes in 77 games last season, averaging 12.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
Once again, when it came time to tangling with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs — while Valanciunas did put up solid numbers — 16.3 points, 12.3 rebounds — he was again outplayed by Kevin Love (20.5 points, 11.5 boards) of the Cavaliers, whom he simply could not chase to the 3-point arc.
As is the case with every other member of the Toronto roster, how Valanciunas meshes with two-time first-team All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard will be interesting to witness this season.
- 8. Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte ($17 million)
Though he is returning to the team for which he got his start in the NBA, nothing about Biyombo’s game remotely comes close to justifying his contract, a four-year, $70 million deal given to him by the Orlando Magic on July 7, 2016.
What did Orlando receive for the $17 million it paid the 25-year-old big man last season? Try 5.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 18.2 minutes in 82 games (25 starts).
Now, that contract is the problem of the Hornets, who dealt for Biyombo as part of a three-team exchange July 7. However, considering the guy they sent packing — Timofey Mozgov (along with Julyan Stone), whom is set to make $32.7 million over the next two seasons — at least Charlotte has added a guy in Biyombo whom can at least play in new coach James Borrego’s system, albeit at an exorbitant rate.
- 9. Marvin Williams, Charlotte ($15 million)
The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft by the Hawks out of North Carolina, Williams was a starter for the Hornets last season, averaging 9.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 25.7 minutes in 78 games (all starts).
Williams shot respectably, 45.8 percent from the field, 41.3 percent from long distance and 82.9 percent from the free-throw line, but on a contract that paid him $13.1 million last season, calls for $14 million this season and the player option for $15 million next season, thats a big price to pay for a starter averaging only 9.5 points per game.
- 10. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte ($13 million)
If there’s any doubt as to why the Hornets cannot afford to re-sign their best player — Kemba Walker, set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer — the fact Gilchrist joins two other Hornets on this list says it all.
The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Kentucky, Kidd-Gilchrist has started all but six games in his NBA career with the Hornets.
However, his offensive limitations — he’s attempted only 36 3-pointers in his career, making seven, and trying only two from deep all of last season — will likely make MKG an even less-appealing option for Borrego in his first season at the helm.