NBA First Half Awards
With the season just over halfway done, let's look at the major awards. Feel free to disagree but it's James Hardens world right now and we're just living in it.
The infamous summer of 2016 redefined the NBA landscape as the salary cap went from 70 million to over 94 million. Looking back, the summer will be remembered for Kevin Durant joining the Warriors, and terrible contracts. Some of contracts are mercifully coming off the books, there are still a lot out there that are haunting teams. This is the real reason that the Warriors can land Boogie Cousins for one year and five million, teams simply don't have salary cap space. What will surely be a painful exercise for a lot of fan bases, let's look at the 10 worst signings that are still on the books from the summer of 2016 in no particular order.
Glossary: WS - Win Share (number in parenthesis is player ranking from 2016 thru December 10th 2018)
Chandler Parsons | Wing | Memphis Grizzlies | 4 Years / 94.4 Million
1.3 WS (370) | 73 GP | 19.3 MPG | 7.0 PPG | 2.4 RPG | 1.7 APG | 0.5 STL | 0.2 BLK | 50.7% TS%
“Max or nothing motherf***er!” Parsons famously shouted to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban from a car window. Parsons found it funny, Cuban obviously did not. Two and a half years later Cuban probably finds it hilarious, the Grizzles however do not.
Joakim Noah | C | New York Knicks | 4 Years / 72.6 Million
2.3 WS (313) | 54 GP | 19.8 MPG | 4.6 PPG |7.8 RPG | 2.0 APG | 0.6 STL | 0.6 BLK | 49.0% TS%
When Noah signed his contract, it was heavily criticized as his body was already breaking down and his play was diminishing. It was one of the final nails in the coffee for former guru Phil Jackson, and Noah was just recently bought out after two years of zero production in New York.
Timofey Mozgov | C | Los Angeles Lakers | 4 Years / 64 Million
1.5 WS (362) | 85 GP |17.2 MPG | 6.3 PPG | 4.3 RPG | 0.6 APG | 0.2 STL | 0.3 BLK| 56.8% TS%
The first announced signing of free agency was Mozgov, coming off a NBA finals where he was phased of out the Cavs rotation. The Lakers first “big splash” in free agency was the beginning of a crazy summer.
Luol Deng | Forward | Los Angeles Lakers | 4 Years / 72 Million
0.9 WS (408) | 60 GP |25.4 MPG | 7.3 PPG | 5.1 RPG | 1.3 APG | 0.8 STL | 0.4 BLK | 46.8% TS%
The second piece of the Lakers “Big Three” played in 56 games his first season with the team shooting under 40% from the field. The team basically sent his away, and he hasn't been heard from since. Deng currently can be found on the bench next to Tom Thibodeau recruiting members of the 2011 Chicago Bulls.
Nicolas Batum | Wing | Charlotte Hornets | 5 Years / 120 Million
9.1 WS (103) | 166 GP | 32.3 MPG | 12.8 PPG | 4.8 RPG | 5.4 APG | 1.0 STL | 0.4 BLK | 52.9% TS%
The Hornets acquired Batum in a trade with the Portland Trailblazers at the beginning of the 15'-16' season and helped guide the Hornets to the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Hornets, Batum hit free agency during the cap spike and they were basically forced to sign him to a max contract. Batum is still a decent player, but not worth the 52.6 million owed to him AFTER this season.
Ian Mahinmi | C | Washington Wizards | 4 Years / 64 Million
4.0 WS (249) | 121 GP | 15.5 MPG | 4.9 PPG | 4.2 RPG | 0.6 APG | 0.9 STL | 0.6 BLK | 59.5% TS%
The Wizards had their eyes on two targets in free agency, Kevin Durant and Al Horford. Durant didn't even bother to give his hometown team a meeting, and Horford chose the Celtics over the Wizards. Fortunately for Wizards they were able to land Mahinmi and Andrew Nicholson as their consolation prize.
Meyers Leonard | C | Portland Trailblazers | 4 Years / 41 Million
3.6 WS (260) | 129 GP | 13.6 MPG | 5.0 PPG | 3.1 RPG | 0.9 APG | 0.2 STL | 0.2 BLK | 55.9% TS%
In the 14'-15' season, Leonard had a 50/40/90 season (field goal%/3 point%/free throw%) something that is almost impossible to believe. A stretch five who forgot how to shoot and can't do anything else, his second biggest achievement was probably getting cussed out by Boogie Cousins during a Kings Blazers post game interview.
Andrew Nicholson | C | Washington Wizards | 4 Years / 26 Million
-0.1 WS (661) | 38 GP | 9.0 MPG | 2.6 PPG | 1.6 RPG | 0.3 APG | 0.4 STL | 0.2 BLK | 42.7% TS%
What a disaster. However he did average over 22 points per game for the Guandong Southern Tigers in China this past season.
Miles Plumlee | C | Milwaukee Bucks | 4 Years / 50 Million
1.8 WS (345) | 116 GP | 13.4 MPG | 3.7 PPG | 3.1 RPG | 0.7 APG | 0.4 STL | 0.4 BLK | 57.3% TS%
After signing his 4 year contract, Plumlee lasted only 32 games in Milwaukee before being traded. Currently on his third team, Plumlee is averaging just over nine minutes per game for the Atlanta Hawks, and will make 12.5 million this season and next year as well.
Solomon Hill | F | New Orleans Pelicans | 4 Years / 48 Million
2.7 WS (304) | 107 GP | 26.8 MPG | 6.1 PPG | 3.6 RPG | 1.7 APG | 0.8 STL | 0.3 BLK | 50.9% TS%
Prior to the 15'-16' season, the Indiana Pacers declined a 2.3 million dollar option for Hill making his a free agent. The Pelicans were hoping Hill would be a three and d wing, but he just hasn't been able to stay healthy. Hill is a complete zero on offense which was expected, but the Pelicans have to be disappointed which his lack of defensive impact as well.
Notable bad contracts that just missed:
Hassan Whiteside | C | Miami Heat | 4 Years / 98.4 Million
Ryan Anderson | F/C | Houston Rockets | 4 Years / 80 Million
Allen Crabb | Wing | Portland Trailblazers | 4 Years / 74.8 Million
Bismack Biyombo | C | Orlando Magic | 4 Years / 72 Million
Evan Turner | Wing | Portland Trailblazers | 4 Years / 70 Million
Tyler Johnson | G | Miami Heat | 4 Years / 50 Million
Jordan Clarkson | G | Los Angeles Lakers | 4 Years / 50 Million
Jon Leuer | PF | Detroit Pistons | 4 Years / 42 Million
Matthew Dellavedova | PG | Milwaukee Bucks | 4 Years / 38.4 Million
Dwight Howard | C | Atlanta Hawks | 3 Years / 70 Million
Jamal Crawford | G | Los Angeles Clippers | 3 Years / 42 Million
Jeremy Lin | PG | Brooklyn Nets | 3 Years / 38.3 Million
Al Jefferson | C | Indiana Pacers | 3 Years / 30 Million
Jerryd Bayless | PG | Philadelphia 76ers | 3 Years / 27 Million
Darrell Arthur | PF | Denver Nuggets | 3 Years / 23 Million
All stats courtesy of basketball-reference.com, all contract information courtesy of spotrac.com