What did I find? The majority of the highest paid players SUCK! The thing with NBA contracts is that each deal is capped at a certain amount depending on how long the player has been in the league. What this does, essentially, is cause older players to make more based on what they have already accomplished and not their potential. As such, you see a ton of over-the-hill, sometimes bench warmers making a TON of money. The following is a list of the top 10 and how much they are making this season.
1. Tracy McGrady – 23,269,261
The highest paid guy in the game. Best player in the league? Maybe 8-10 years ago. And that’s why he’s getting paid what he is now. Unfortunately, McGrady is nothing more than an injury prone second option. How’s that for being worth the money.
2. Kobe Bryant – 23,034,375
Nothing to say about this one. He deserves every penny.
3. Jermaine O’Neal – 22,995,000
Was this guy EVER worth 23 million bucks? I venture to say no. He had 3 solid, all-star seasons with Indiana in the early 2000’s, but third highest paid? Keep in mind when he was making those all-star appearances, the East had virtually nobody else that could even remotely play center, so take that in to account.
4. Tim Duncan – 22,183,218
Was worth this amount of money 5 years ago, but Duncan is done. Yes he’s still putting up great numbers, but his prime is over. You should be paying guys this much in their prime, not on the back side of it.
5. Shaquille O’Neal – 20,000,000
If there is anyone on this list that is getting paid strictly based on their name it’s Shaq. This guy hasn’t been very good in YEARS. We’re talking, you could find a guy that can put up Shaq’s numbers and pay him about 1.5 million. Why is he making 20? Because his name is Shaq. A classic case of “pay me for what I’ve done”. The only thing done, is Diesel’s career.
6. Dirk Nowitzki – 19,795714
Ok I over exaggerated when I said Kobe should be the only one on this list. Dirk does deserve this money. Of course, he’ll never win a title, but that’s a different matter.
7. Paul Pierce – 19,795,712
See: Tim Duncan
8. Ray Allen – 19,766,860
See: Paul Pierce
9. Rashard Lewis – 18,876,000
I have no idea how Rashard Lewis convinced the Orlando Magic to pay him this kind of money. This is actually NOT a case of ‘what have you done in your career’ so much as what have you done this past season. He had a great year with the Sonic and the Magic jumped all over this guy. Needless to say, he has not been worth the money. Now that he’s a third option behind Dwight Howard and Vince Carter, I would venture to say it’s one of the biggest bust contracts of the past decade.
10. Michael Redd – 17,040,000
Unfortunately, we might not actually know if this is a good contract or not. Redd actually has(d) a great deal of career ahead of him. Maybe. Injuries have ruined this guy the past two seasons and there is doubts as to whether or not he’ll be back at all. If he does, one can only assume the injuries will have taken a toll on his game.
so there you have it. The highest paid players of the 2009-10 season. Ironic when you think about the top 10 players in the NBA skill-wise, how many are on this list? Only 2 – Kobe and Dirk.
Of course, after free agency you can bet LeBron, Wade, Bosh and Amare might be on this list. They would be worth it. But right now, are these guys worth the money?