No matter what is going on, you can always count on wrong business moves being made by individual NBA franchises at least once per offseason. Whether it is trading away countless future picks for aging players (Brooklyn Nets) or having too much cap space to know what to do with; there is always something to make fans of the game go, "wow, I can not believe my team just did that."
So today, we look back at the past decade to remember the times when average players got incredible amounts of money to ride the bench for the rest of their careers. Here are the worst NBA contracts signed throughout the 2010s.
#4: Nicolas Batum, five years $120 million
Batum is currently in his 4th year of this outrageous contract and will see to earn another $27 million in his final year with the Charlotte Hornets at 31 years old.
In his first year of this new contract, Batum was still a serviceable player averaging 34 minutes, a career higher 15 points, six rebounds and, 6 assists in the 2016/17 season. Unfortunately, since that season, Batum has seen a sharp decline in his production while continuing to average 30+ minutes for the Hornets.
Before his sharp decline, Batum was an above-average 3 and D wing in the NBA, but could never really find his form after getting paid massive amounts by the Hornets. Every main statistical category has dropped for Batum since that season, with a career-low in almost everything this year only managing 3.6 points per game in a dwindling role for this rebuilding Hornets team as he is just managing 23 minutes per game this season.
Like many of the people on this list, Batum lucked out in the 2016 free agency class when the salary cap saw a record increase and reached a record amount because of The new TV deal. Some front offices will look back, wishing they had spent this money more wisely and not ruined their future ability to sign top free agents in upcoming years.
#3: Timofey Mozgov, 4 years $64 million
Another product of the 2016 free agency class that saw franchises splash money on anyone and everyone, Timofey Mozgov managed to secure himself a four year $64 million contract for the Los Angeles Lakers after being on the title winner Cleveland Cavaliers the season before.
While Mozgov was there for that title, he did very little to contribute to it and especially did not do enough to warrant such a massive amount of money. He started 0 games for the Cavaliers in their postseason run, averaging just 5 mins and 1.2 points per game in the 2016 playoffs.
The Lakers were heavily criticized for what many believed to be the worst movie of the offseason. Mozgov only played 20 minutes per game in one season for the Lakers before being sent to the Brooklyn Nets along with D'Angelo Russell to dump his salary.
Mozgov has barely stepped on an NBA court since, being traded two more times since ending up on the Nets, and eventually leading to him being waived by the Magic after significant knee injuries.
#1: Luol Deng, 4 years $72 million
Without a doubt, this was one of the worst contract signings of the 2010s. Not so surprisingly, once again, this crazy signing was part of the 2016 free agency class.
Deng only managed to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers for two seasons of his four-year deal, with his first season showing a sharp decline in his output for the team, managing 7 points per game in 26 minutes.
In his second season, Mozgov only played the opening night game before coach Luke Walton decided it would be better to develop the young Ingram instead of giving Deng any minutes.
On the first of September 2018, the Lakers waived Deng as they agreed to a buyout so he could attempt to find meaningful minutes elsewhere and allowed Lakers to free up cap space to sign a max free agent in the offseason.
Deng was picked up by the Timberwolves for one season, only playing in 22 games before signing a one day contract with the Chicago Bulls to retire in 2019.Published 05 Apr 2020, 01:14 IST