As many fans know, the NBA free agency can be a curse. Not only can your team lose a valuable player, but they can also pickup a terrible contract. The 2016 off-season should bring many flashbacks. NBA teams also picked up some really bad contracts this off-season.
Jabari Parker signed with the Bulls for 2 years, $40M. The Bulls are a rebuilding team, so throwing away $20 million this year isn’t so bad, but $20 million next year means they can’t compete as much in the 2019 NBA free agency sweepstakes. I don’t know that Parker is worth that contract for the Bulls even if he has he plays at his best. He is also injured all the time, as he’s missed 145 games over the last four years, including 51 last year.
Zach Lavine accepted an offer with the Kings for 4 years, $80 million. The Bulls matched the offer, meaning they picked up another contract. This pickup by the Bulls is worse than Jabari Parker, as he is not only an injury risk, but also a limited player. He’s only played on bad teams, where he showed he can only contribute on the offensive end, but not really well. He’s a good option off the bench, but not worth that contract.
Dante Exum signed a 3 year, $33M deal. This is a pretty cheap deal, but stretches out over three years, meaning the Jazz could limit themselves for the next few offseasons. Exum missed his entire sophomore year and most of last year with injuries. Even when fully healthy though, his contributions do not warrant $11 million a year. He can’t shoot the three, and the rest of his offensive stats don’t help. He has shown some promise defensively, but he’ll need to stay healthy and play at his ceiling for thee years to be worth this contract.
Bad contracts are the worst for all teams. The Lakers still are struggling from their Luol Deng signing, the Blazers can’t make any moves for a while with their many bad contracts, and the Cavs seem to have no future. Rebuilding teams can’t get out of that phase, and good teams might lose their ability to compete by failing to bring more players on, or retain current players. The Bulls and Jazz are betting on their players with these deals, but I do not believe these bets will workout.
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