Today I thought I’d take a look at the top 25 overpaid NBA thugs. They are all in here, from Stevie Franchise to Starbury, and including the ultimate thug, “Maniac” Matt Carroll. Here’s the list, if you have any discrepancies, let me know in the comments!
25. Chris Webber, Free Agent – $19,000,000
- Webber hasn’t been seen in the NBA this season after finishing last season with the Pistons. However he’s still getting paid $19 million from the 76ers for his troubles. He’s also likely still receiving kickbacks from the University of Michigan for his role in the Fab Five.
24. Kurt Thomas, Seattle – $8,091,187
- Thomas has been a rebounding machine for the young Sonics this season but you don’t pay someone $8 million to grab a few rebounds on a young team. He’s got to do more scoring to justify his contract. Since he is contributing, he’s relatively low on the list but with a little more scoring, he can move right off of it.
23. Bobby Simmons, Milwaukee – $9,280,000
- Mr. Simmons was emerging as a bright young star for the Clippers just a few years ago but has moved out of favor in Milwaukee. He’s no longer starting for the Bucks and might be the only man in history who would love to play for the Clippers again.
22. Kenyon Martin, Denver – $13,000,000
- Is there anything K-Mart can’t do? He’s proven he can ruin the chemistry of a team, be a renowned draft bust and open his mouth at the most inopportune times. The only thing he hasn’t proven? That he can be an effective, contributing member of a basketball team. The Nuggets gave him a simply absurd contract a few years ago and it’s a major reason they won’t be winning an NBA title anytime soon.
21. Quentin Richardson, New York – $8,105,500
- Q-Rich made the biggest mistake of his life last year: breaking up with his sugar momma Brandy. The reason: After this contract with the Knicks expires, Q-Rich will never, ever see a million dollars in an NBA contract again. The Knicks signed him because he was the best rebounding guard in the NBA and could spread the floor with his 3 point shooting. However, when you already have 19 PFs on your roster, why do you need another rebounder? And with Jamal Crawford and Starbury on the roster, do you really need another guy to take shots? My advice to Q: Use your contract to bail Brandy out of jail and ride her coattails for the rest of her career.
20. Theo Ratliff, Minnesota – $11,666,666
- Theo has always been one thing and one thing only: a defensive intimidator. Many years ago however, he was signed to a ridiculous contract which he is now in the last year of. At the deadline, he will likely be the biggest name floated around because of this expiring contract. In the meantime, he’ll likely spend the majority of his time on the injured list, sitting at the end of the bench.
19. Matt Carroll, Charlotte – $5,450,000
- The first ever NBDL MVP made a big splash in his first full NBA season, dropping a ridiculous 7 points per game, with a mind boggling 2 rebounds a game. The Maniac hasn’t stopped that kind of production since. This year he’s rewarded the Bobcats for their contract with 10 PPG and upped his rebounding by a full 0.4 a game. When you combine that with his genius defensive strategy of letting his man go by him, then calling for help, it’s stunning he hasn’t won multiple All Star nods by now.
18. Eric Snow, Cleveland – $6,700,000
- Eric Snow was once a valuable PG in this league. In his glory days in Philly with A.I., he was among the top 15 in the game all-around. Today, he’s a shadow of his former self, coasting on LeBron’s coattails in the hope that he’ll win a championship. I commend him on somehow making $7 million dollars to do it.
17. Raef LaFrentz, Portland – $11,813,750
- Raef’s career has paralleled Theo Ratliff’s in many ways. They each had one huge year, got signed to a ridiculous contract and then have proven to be an injury riddled bust. Today, Raef is spending his time warming the Jail Blazers bench, waiting for his contract to expire. He’ll likely be used to provide cap relief to some team next year when his contract nears expiry.
16. Darius Miles, Portland – $8,250,000
- Darius was just beginning to show an ounce of maturity when he had to have the infamous microfracture knee surgery that has ruined so many playing careers. He’s supposed to return to Portland in early December but I doubt he’ll be the same player. He’s never shown the dedication to really improving his game since coming into the league. He’s got all the talent to justify a ridiculous salary, but hasn’t thus far.
15. Steve Francis, Houston – $16,440,000
- Stevie Franchise has one last chance to resurrect his career and its right where it started: Houston. The reason Franchise isn’t in the top 5 of this list is that I think he’s going to make a big difference this year. On talent alone, the Rockets have few peers in the league. And I like what Rick Adelman is doing with Franchise. He’s easing him back into the starting lineup, making him earn his minutes. I predict by the end of the year, Franchise is in sync with T-Mac and Yao and the Rockets are one of the Big 3 with San Antonio and Dallas in the Western Conference.
14. Erick Dampier, Dallas – $8,587,000
- When Dampier feels like playing, he may be the best rebounder in the NBA. Dampier never feels like playing however.
13. Rasho Nesterovic, Toronto – $7,840,000
- GM Bryan Colangelo has very few sore spots on his resume. This is one of them. He hasn’t been able to get rid of Rasho yet, but if he does, the Raptors will be the perfect NBA team, salary-wise. Rasho will have one or two big games a year, then mire himself in mediocrity the rest of the time. He’s a very expensive 6 fouls against Shaq.
12. Juwan Howard, Dallas – $8,103,390
- Just like Webber and my boy Jimmy King, I’m sure Juwan is still getting kickbacks from Michigan in addition to this ridiculous chunk of change. He’s nothing more than 6 fouls to use against Tim Duncan and Yao in the playoffs at this stage of his career.
11. Kenny Thomas, Sacramento – $7,331,250
- Kenny has talent, but Sacramento has proven to be a horrible fit for him. He’s a great rebounder who doesn’t fit in with Sacto’s offensive game plan right now. He’ll never justify the contract but he can be a useful piece to another team. This is a guy Sacto need to shop to get better. You know Isiah Thomas is just waiting for him to go on the block.
10. Brian Cardinal, Memphis – $5,850,000
- Now that we’ve made our way into the top 10, we’ll start with a guy who has no place in the NBA, let alone early a seven figure salary. Brian Cardinal is the ultimate college player whose game doesn’t translate into the NBA. He’s a hard nosed grinder who has no athletic ability and is, at times, mistaken for a 6′8″ pylon. How the Grizz even thought about giving him this contract is beyond me.
9. Kwame Brown, Los Angeles Lakers – $9,075,000
- The biggest NBA #1 pick in history (even Michael Olowokandi can play defense) is only #9 on this list because he can turn this around if he ever gets his head on straight. Kwame has one of the best skill sets ever seen in the NBA, with the size to do some ridiculous things. He’s a nightmare to coach however and his career has been a steady string of disappointments. He’ll be fighting for the league minimum on his next contract.
8. Adonal Foyle, Orlando – $10,157,090
- Adonal is one of the most intelligent players in the NBA and a useful part of any team. He’s a shotblocking presence in the middle and he can rebound the basketball. However, he’s a ridiculously expensive bit part. Luckily for Orlando, Golden State is taking care of the payments for most of this salary. The bad news is he’s still on Golden State’s cap for another season.
7. Stephon Marbury, New York – $20,109,375
- Marbury has proven that he is a team killer wherever he’s gone. Whether its Minnesota, New Jersey, Phoenix or the Knicks, he’s unable to function in a team environment. He’ll never win an NBA title, he’ll never win the individual awards he truly craves and he’ll never get $20 million a year from anyone after this contract is done. He can still score with the best PGs in the league but when you take 30 shots a game, some are bound to go in.
6. Wally Szczerbiak, Seattle – $12,000,000
- I’m as big a Wally hater as you’ll find this side of Kevin Garnett. He’s strictly a shooter, with no secondary skills. He’s a poor man’s Matt Carroll. The Sonics can only hope that his me-first mentality doesn’t rub off on their many young stars. If they can unload this contract for anything, they should do it as soon as possible. His 10 points a game can be replaced by acquiring Matt Carroll at half the price.
5. Malik Rose, New York – $7,101,250
- As we continue our tour of the New York Knicks payroll, we find ourselves at the feet of San Antonio castoff Malik Rose. This man has had nothing but problems since signing his monster contract. It’s easy to remember his post game interviews and his sad faces. It’s difficult to remember him ever scoring a point as a member of the Knicks. He’s usually found at the end of the bench, next to #2 on this list.
4. Aaron McKie, Philadelphia (coach) – $7,000,000
- Aaron McKie currently holds the title of being the highest paid assistant coach in the history of the game. His playing career is over, however he smartly has not filed his retirement papers yet, allowing him to steal $7 million out of the pockets of the Philly owners. He played with the Lakers last year before finally realizing that he was never more than a 3rd guard and a defensive stopper who couldn’t stop anyone. He was waived under the 2005 Amnesty provision, which means that his salary isn’t on the cap of Philly, but they still have to pay it.
3. Michael Finley, San Antonio – $21,696,750
- The 2nd highest paid player in the NBA is collecting money from a variety of different sources. He’s still a very useful player on San Antonio, while he raids Mark Cuban’s pockets for megabucks. He’s grossly overpaid, but because he’s still alive (unlike the two guys below him), he’s not the stealing the most money.
2. Jerome James, New York – $5,800,000
- Finally, after shrugging aside a stable of competitors, we reach the highest paid man on the New York Knicks payroll. It may be easier to win the NBA MVP than to become tops on this list. This is what having a few decent games at the right time will net you. A few years ago, James lit it up for the Sonics in the playoffs after laying dormant the rest of his career. Now he’s going to be stealing James Dolan’s money for a few more years. Its debatable whether he’ll ever score another point for the Knicks in that time.
1. Shawn Bradley, Free Agent – $5,200,000
- The Stormin’ Mormon tops our list of most overpaid guys. He retired in 2005, yet his contract with Dallas spreads into this season. He was once a decent shot blocker and has been mocked the majority of his career. I still remember Mark Bryant slamming him to the floor in a game and Greg Anthony tossing a punch in his direction some time in the ’90s. Shawn does great charity work and is by all accounts a great guy. But man, he was a terrible basketball player.
Special thanks to HoopsHype for their great salary info!