Who are the most overpaid players in the NBA?


With the NBA locked out because the owners aren’t making any (or enough) money? Who are the worst contracts in the NBA? Who are the guys we can blame for this mess?

Well, we should blame the general managers and owners who gave out these contracts.

But who have the worst contracts in the NBA? Over at the Wages of Wins blog — based on the NBA stats of Dave Berri, author of Wages of Wins — they took a crack at it. They figured the cost of an NBA win ($1.58 million, which is total salary paid by the league divided by wins) then used their “wins produced” stat to figure out how much people contributed. (I have issues with wins produced, but it still makes for an interesting discussion.)

Here are the top three:

1. Michael Redd (Milwaukee). He made $18.3 million and played just 134 minutes due to injury. This is a case of a max contract going bad that the owners can point to as why they want shorter deals and buyouts. The Bucks offered him a six-year max deal starting at $12 million a season in 2005, when he was regarded as maybe the best pure shooter in the game. That next season he averaged 23.3 points per game and shot 39.5 percent from three, and while we can debate if he really deserved max money the guy was a very good player and just 26 years old. Knee injuries undid him and he has never been quite the same, playing just 61 games total the last three years of that deal.

2. Andrea Bargnani (Toronto). I have a problem with this one. No doubt Bargnani is overpaid at $8.5 million last season and he gives the Raptors poor defense and poor rebounding, plus he doesn’t get to the line enough. But the guy scored 21.4 points per game and had an above average PER. I’m not a fan of defending him because he is overpaid, but not one of the most overpaid in the league.

3. Yao Ming (Houston). He made $17.7 million last season but played just five games due to injury. Which was five more than he played last season. Another case where the owners would like to argue for shorter contracts of having buyouts so that seriously injured players don’t to keep pulling in massive contracts.

The rest of the top 10 are Gilbert Arenas (he should be higher up than Bargnani), Antawn Jamison, Brandon Roy, Kenyon Martin, Richard Hamilton, Nick Collison and Ben Gordon

Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins probable to play against Dallas Monday

DeMarcus Cousins
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It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)

So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.

This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.

Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.

PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant understands now is time to walk away

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It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.

It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.

In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.

More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.

Luke Walton: Warriors concerned about health, not 72 wins

Andre Iguodala, Luke Walton
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Stephen Curry acknowledges the Warriors – who are 18-0 and won four straight to end last season – talk about the NBA record of 33 consecutive wins.

But what about another major record Golden State is chasing, 72 wins in a season?

Shooting guard Klay Thompson called it possible. General manager Bob Myers deemed it impossible.

Interim coach Luke Walton would prefer everyone just keep quiet.

Walton, via CSN Bay Area:

“The 72 thing is far, far away,” Walton said. “We shouldn’t be spending any time thinking about that.

“I’ve also said before that we’re not going to coach this season trying to chase that record,” Walton said

“We’re still going to give players nights off on back-to-backs,” he added. “And we’re going to do our best to limit minutes for some of our players. Our main concern is being healthy come playoff time.”

I don’t think Golden State will win 72 games, but prioritizing health won’t necessary stop the Warriors. They’re so deep.

They outscore opponents by 5.8 points per 100 possessions when Curry sits, 5.6 when Draymond Green sits. Those marks would rank seventh among all NBA teams.

Golden State has the luxury of resting players and continuing to win. That’s what makes the chase for 72 realistic. This team is less likely than most to wear down late in a season where it’s pushing to win every game.

Health entering the playoffs is important, but a 72-win season would raise these Warriors to legendary status. If they’re in range late in the season, I think they’ll go for it – even if the top seed is already secured.

But for now, Walton is probably taking the right approach. Plenty of teams start fast (though never this fast) then drift back toward the pack. No point risking Golden State’s health yet.

Kevin Durant to media: You treated Kobe Bryant ‘like s—‘

Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant once told the media, “You guys really don’t know s—.”

The Thunder star expressed regret, but if he knew how we were going to treat Kobe Bryant, he might have stuck to his guns.

Durant, via Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman:

I did idolize Kobe Bryant. I studied him, wanted to be like him. He was our Michael Jordan. I watched Michael towards the end of his career when he was with the Wizards, and I seen that’s what Kobe emerged as the guy for us.

I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys treated him like s—. He’s a legend, and all I hear is about how bad he’s playing, how bad he’s shooting. It’s time for him to hang it up. You guys treated one of our legends like s—, and I didn’t really like it. So hopefully, now you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year. It was sad the way he was getting treated, in my opinion.

But he had just an amazing career, a guy who changed the game for me as a player mentally and physically. Means so much to the game of basketball. Somebody I’m always going to look to for advice, for help, for anything. Just a brilliant, brilliant, intelligent man. And it’s sad to see him go.

Kobe is shooting 20% from the floor and 30% on 3-pointers for a 2-14 team. How else should we describe his season?

Why not bash the person most publicly critical of Kobe? Or the many people around the NBA who recognize how far Kobe has fallen? Or Byron Scott, who has repeatedly intensified discussion of Kobe’s demise?

Why is the media, which is not some monolithic entity anyway, the primary target?

There are writers who fawn over Kobe, writers who criticize him and many more who do both. We don’t all think alike.

If we did, Durant would be bound to treat Kobe like s—, too.