Hindsight is always perfect, and NBA contracts are often looked back on as a positive or negative experience. Players are normally paid for what they deserve, but there are cases where there are very bad contracts being given out. So much so, that even retired NBA players are being paid until this day.
Here are the NBA players, some of which are former All-Stars and even Hall of Famers, that are getting paychecks from NBA teams until the 2022 season. While the majority of these contracts were downright poor, to begin with, some players managed to negotiate contracts that benefited them years after retirement. Here are the 7 former NBA payers still getting paychecks until this day.
Larry Sanders - $1,865,547 (Milwaukee Bucks)
Last Season: Cleveland Cavaliers (2016-17)
Larry Sanders should have been a more valuable player for the Milwaukee Bucks because he combined length with defensive skills as a shot-blocking center. That is why the team gave him a $44 million contract in 2013 because Sanders was supposed to be a franchise player for them. After all, Sanders averaged 2.8 BPG in the 2012-2013 season.
Behavioral problems stunted Sanders’ career and he ended up playing his last game for the Bucks at 26 years old. Rumors came out that former head coach Jason Kidd did not help Sanders’ progression either, but the Bucks are still sending the center checks this season.
Monta Ellis - $2,245,000 (Indiana Pacers)
Last Season: Indiana Pacers (2016-17)
Monta Ellis was brought in to provide scoring ability alongside Paul George, the franchise superstar of the Indiana Pacers in 2016. Ellis was decent in his first season, averaging 13.8 PPG albeit at poor efficiency (42.7% from the field).
But the speedy shooting guard would go on to play his last season for the team, and in the NBA, in 2017. Ellis was originally signed to a $44 million contract, and only getting one good season out of him was frustrating for the Pacers. The 2007 Most Improved Player will be paid over $2 million this year.
Luol Deng - $4,990,000 (Los Angeles Lakers)
Last Season: Minnesota Timberwolves (2018-19)
The Luol Deng situation is one that irks Lakers fans until this day. The swingman was a former All-Star and one of the best defenders in the NBA during his time with the Chicago Bulls but got burned out playing heavy minutes for the franchise. By the time he signed a $72 million with the Lakers, he was finished.
The Lakers got very little out of Deng, 57 games worth, and are still paying him in excess of $4 million per season. Simply put, the Lakers were a disaster for a long time until LeBron James arrived, and this deal was one example of that.
Kevin Garnett - $5,000,000 (Boston Celtics)
Last Season: Minnesota Timberwolves (2015-16)
Kevin Garnett was not only a valuable player for the Minnesota Timberwolves but also the Boston Celtics where he helped the team win an NBA championship. The Big Ticket is still getting paid almost 9 years later, mainly because of his negotiation tactics at the time of his contract.
Garnett and the Celtics agreed to a $35 million payment over 7 years following Garnett’s retirement from the NBA which came in 2016. Kevin Garnett was one of the key stars that helped Boston win the 2008 title so the Boston faithful will have no problem with these checks getting sent out until this day.
Timofey Mozgov - $5,573,333 (Orlando Magic)
Last Season: Brooklyn Nets (2017-18)
Timofey Mozgov was also signed by the Los Angeles Lakers at the same time Luol Deng agreed to a $72 million contract. Paying $64 million for a backup center was a ridiculous move, but Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak was scrambling for any moves to appease frustrated Lakers fans.
Until this season, Mozgov is receiving a nice paycheck. The team paying him are actually the Orlando Magic, who will fork out over $5 million by the end of this season. Mozgov never even played for the Orlando Magic, but he will certainly not mind when the money hits his bank account.
Joakim Noah - $6,431,666 (New York Knicks)
Last Season: Los Angeles Clippers (2019-20)
Joakim Noah was signed to a monstrous $72 million contract by the New York Knicks, a franchise that felt they had a title contender thanks to washed-up former All-Stars. But Noah only played 53 games for the Knicks over 2 seasons, struggling to keep healthy.
Noah is still owed money by the Knicks despite playing less than a full season for them and was one of New York’s highest-paid players last year despite playing his last game in 2018. Noah was another example of how heavy minutes early in his career (Luol Deng) affected production in the latter stages.
Chris Bosh - $8,666,666 (Miami Heat)
Last Season: Miami Heat (2015-16)
Chris Bosh was signed to a $118 million contract to remain with the Heat because Miami wanted to hold onto the superteam they had for years thanks to the arrival of LeBron James from Cleveland. Of course, James would only last one more season with the Heat before returning to Cleveland.
To make matters worse, Chris Bosh suffered blood clots that killed his NBA career following the 2016 season. Miami certainly won’t mind paying Bosh paychecks following the on-court sacrifices the future Hall of Famer had to make to accommodate LeBron James and Dwyane Wade into the offense for years.