The NBA is a league of superstars because the best players make the most money and have the most impact on their teams. Throughout NBA history, that has always been the case and will continue to be. Looking ahead to next season, there are also some really bad contracts out there.
Nobody knows what goes through GM's heads when they sign players to whopping contracts, especially when they are role players without All-Star impact. While it is not the player's fault they are receiving so much money, teams need to be aware of how they are forking out their cash. Here are the 10 worst contracts heading into the 2022 season.
10. Ben Simmons
2021-2022 Season: $33,003,936
2022-2023 Season: $35,448,672
2023-2024 Season: $37,893,408
2024-2025 Season: $40,338,144
It is strange to see an All-Star and All-NBA Team performer on this list, but Simmons had a very disappointing postseason last year. Shooting 34.2% from the free-throw line during the playoffs might have killed the 76ers chances of reaching the Finals, especially with Joel Embiid playing like an MVP all year.
Simmons is a liability on the floor in crunch time, which is very strange for the team's best playmaker and starting point guard. Unless Simmons can get out of his own head and improve his shooting from all over the floor, he will never be worth the max money he will receive over the next 4 years.
9. Eric Bledsoe
2021-2022 Season: $18,125,000
2022-2023 Season: $19,375,000
The Los Angeles Clippers seemingly had enough of Patrick Beverley's antics and decided to move on from him and veteran point guard Rajon Rondo. Both point guards are headstrong players and probably do not fit the Clippers' culture. Going forward, they have Eric Bledsoe as their new point guard.
Bledsoe is a solid defender, but he is turning 32 next year and had a poor season with the Pelicans. He averaged 12.2 PPG on 42.1% shooting from the field, and cannot be relied upon to hit threes at a consistent rate. The Clippers still believe in Bledsoe's ability to be an impact role player, and that is why they accepted to pay over $18 million per year for 2 seasons.
8. Davis Bertans
2021-2022 Season: $16,000,000
2022-2023 Season: $16,000,000
2023-2024 Season: $17,000,000
2024-2025 Season: $16,000,000*
A massive premium was paid for shooters last offseason because the game has changed so much. Floor spacing is key, especially as a big man and Bertans did it exceptionally well during the 2020 season. He shot 42.4% from three that year and received a 4-year, $65 million contract from the Wizards.
Bertans saw his numbers dip this season, averaging 11.5 PPG and 2.9 RPG while shooting 39.5% from three. It is obvious these are not starter's numbers let alone worth $16 million per season. Bertans is still a great shooter and Washington will hope that they see an uptick in his numbers
7. Andrew Wiggins
2021-2022 Season: $31,579,390
2022-2023 Season: $33,616,770
It does not seem like Andrew Wiggins will ever reach his potential as a two-way superstar, even if his athletic gifts are extraordinary. Wiggins has been a very good player since he entered the league, but everyone expects more of him. After all, there is a reason the Minnesota Timberwolves gave up on their No. 1 overall pick.
Wiggins had another solid season averaging 18.6 PPG, but he is not the most consistent shooter and only shot above 45% from the field 3 times in 8 years. The swingman is a solid starter in the NBA, but that is not worth over $30 million per year.
6. Gordon Hayward
2021-2022 Season: $29,925,000
2022-2023 Season: $30,075,000
2023-2024 Season: $31,500,000
Swingman Gordon Hayward was a max player before his catastrophic injury in the 2018 season, where he missed the entire year. Since then, Hayward has not been the same player at all. Yet, the Charlotte Hornets decided to bring him in with the hopes of making the playoffs.
Hayward averaged 19.6 PPG and 5.9 RPG which are solid numbers, but he couldn't help the Hornets make the playoffs and will turn 32 next season. Hayward is an above-average scorer at this stage, but that is not worth the $90 million he will get over the next 3 seasons.
5. Tobias Harris
2021-2022 Season: $35,995,950
2022-2023 Season: $37,633,050
2023-2024 Season: $39,270,150
Tobias Harris is a very good player and a key 3rd option for the Philadelphia 76ers team that has been competing over the past few seasons. But there is no way Harris should be getting over $35 million per season over the next 3 years. Harris has regular-season averages of 19.3 PPG with the Sixers so far, but his numbers dip in the postseason.
Harris is a solid scorer and rebounder, but putting up 18.2 PPG on only 33.1% shooting from three has not been enough to boost Philadelphia's title hopes. Of course, the 76ers have the issue of Ben Simmons and Embiid's inability to stay healthy but the massive contract of Tobias Harris doesn't help.
4. Kristaps Porzingis
2021-2022 Season: $31,650,600
2022-2023 Season: $33,833,400
2023-2024 Season: $36,016,200*
Kristaps Porzingis was a max player when he played for the New York Knicks, making an All-Star Team and getting the moniker "The Unicorn" because of his tremendous versatility on both ends of the floor. But the Latvian had a horrific postseason for the Mavericks and could be on the trading block.
Porzingis averaged 13.1 PPG and 5.4 RPG, subpar numbers for a complementary star next to Luka Doncic. The big man has yet to improve his game despite showing early signs of promise, and the torn ACL he suffered in the 2019 season could be a big factor why. For now, Porzingis has the top-5 worst contract in the league.
3. Al Horford
2021-2022 Season: $27,000,000
2022-2023 Season: $26,500,000
Al Horford is back in Boston where he can provide valuable leadership qualities and defensive impact around the basket. Horford is 35 years old and is way past his prime, but Boston opted to soak up his salary to move on from Kemba Walker.
Horford averaged 14.2 PPG and 6.7 RPG last season, shooting 36.8% from three and playing 27.9 MPG. The big man only appeared in 28 games and that simply isn't going to cut it when he is getting paid over $26 million the next 2 seasons.
2. Kevin Love
2021-2022 Season: $31,258,256
2022-2023 Season: $28,942,830
Kevin Love has dropped off significantly over the past few seasons, and could not even perform at a decent level for Team USA in the Olympics. The 5-time All-Star knows he is not the same, and decided to take himself out of the spotlight by bowing out of the Olympics tournament.
At the very least, Love can still hit the three at an above-average rate but that still is not worth the $31+ million salary he will get paid next year. It might make sense for Love to get bought out because, at this stage, he should become a role player for a title contender.
1. John Wall
2021-2022 Season: $44,310,840
2022-2023 Season: $47,366,760*
John Wall used to be a top-5 point guard in the game, but that period has long passed. Wall is nearly 31 years old which isn't old by NBA standards, but he has a ton of wear and tear on his joints. Wall has played under 50 games over the last 4 years and hasn't made an All-Star Team since 2018.
Wall was quite good when healthy last season putting up 20.6 PPG and 6.9 APG, but he suffered yet another injury that needed surgery. John Wall will likely never be fully healthy again and getting the 3rd highest salary in the league is simply ridiculous.
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