All of our favorite NBA teams are guilty of overpaying athletes for what they have done and not what they are capable of. Here is a list of this year’s most overpaid NBA players.
Let me first explain how I decided who makes this list. I am not just looking at stats, but what they do for a team overall. An example would be Andrew Bynum in the 2012-2013 season. Bynum was being paid millions of dollars to sit the bench and cause issues in the locker room. Essentially, the 76ers paid $10 million dollars for a headache and one expensive game of bowling. Not an ideal situation for them and certainly not for the fans. I am looking at guys who are not worth what their teams are paying them. Someone whose pay exceeds their play.
5. Ben Gordon: Guard, Charlotte Bobcats (2012-2013 Salary: $13,200,000)
Last year Ben Gordon played average basketball, scoring 11.2 ppg while contributing 1.9 apg. Gordon struggled from the field, shooting at an all-time career low. The Bobcats were guilty once again of paying an athlete far more than his worth. Gordon was brought in for leadership and mentoring young stars like Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but never seemed to settle in.
Ben Gordon was well known for his sniper like skill set while attending the University of Connecticut, leading his team to a NCAA Championship in 2004. Despite the hype that he brought with him, he has been nothing but a disappointment to the league. Gordon is currently payed more than NBA stars Tony Parker, Stephen Curry, Ty Lawson, and Rajon Rondo. This makes him worthy of finding his way on this list.
4. Gilbert Arenas: Guard, Orlando Magic (2012-2013 Salary: $22,346,536)
Here is a fun fact for you: Gilbert Arenas isn’t a member of the Orlando Magic team nor is he in the NBA! While this should immediately disqualify him from this list, he remains on the Magic payroll. Arenas, who plays in China, is the fourth highest paid player in the league. In the past three years, Arenas has gone from 17.3 ppg to 4.2 ppg. One moment he was the NBA’s second round underdog story and the next he is waving guns in the air. Can’t say we have ever witnessed a player take such a drastic drop in popularity and production. Sorry Orlando fans, you are stuck with him for now. He will be gone soon, I hope.
3. Emeka Okafor: Center, Washington Wizards (2012-2013 Salary: $14,487,500)
Okafor was drafted second overall by the Bobcats in 2004. The Bobcats proudly stated on draft day that they felt they had the best player in the draft. A draft that consisted of Dwight Howard (1st), Andre Iguodala (9th), Josh Smith (17th), and J.R. Smith (18th). Spoiler Alert: He was not. Okafor’s defensive-minded style did not transform into the NBA player everyone thought. He holds his own under the rim and is a good option against strong low-post offenses, but averaging 9.7 ppg and 8.8 rpg is definitely not worth $14 million. Okafor serves the same role as DeAndre Jordan, Kendrick Perkins, Omer Asik, and Marcin Gortat. All of these players are paid significantly less and leave room for other great players on their team. The Wizards may have a solid defensive player, but it came at a significant price.
2. Jeremy Lin : Guard, Houston Rockets (2012-2013 Salary: $8,374,646)
I personally have never bought into the ‘Lin-sanity’ hype. During the 2011-2012 season, Lin experienced a 12 game stretch where he averaged 22.5 ppg and 8.7 apg. Fans went crazy and Jeremy Lin’s career was born. Every team wanted him and potential contract extensions were being discussed. All of this after only 12 games! Instead of looking at the skill set, teams were listening to the hype. Teams failed to recognize his awkward shooting form and his erratic dribble penetration. After his ridiculous run, he was injured and in only 35 games, finished the season averaging 14.6 ppg and 6.2 apg. In the 2012 off season, Lin was offered an unworthy contract by Houston. The Rockets overpaid for a sub par point guard in the 2012-2013 season during which Lin averaged 13.4 ppg and 6.1 apg. At times he did not display the ability of being the best guard on his team. With all of the hype, the over sized contract, and mediocre statistics, he is deserving of the number two spot on this list.
1. Amare Stoudemire: Forward, New York Knicks (2012-2013 Salary: $21,679,893)
I cannot help but place Stoudemire at number one on the list of the most overpaid NBA athletes. If the year were 2011, he may be in discussion for best forward in the league. In the 2010-2011 season, Amare averaged an incredible 25.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, and 2.6 apg in 78 games played. Analysts everywhere were raving over the athleticism of his 6′ 11” body. However, over the last two seasons Stoudemire has been an expensive paper weight for the New York Knicks, holding the benches down for most of each season. From 2011-2013, Stoudemire has played in only 76 games while averaging 14.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, and 0.4 apg. He appears to only be a shadow of the player he used to be. He is currently the 5th highest paid player in the league, averaging 6th man numbers and arguably the most overpaid player in the NBA.