Not even 24 hours into NBA free agency and plenty of deals have been made. We have seen top players like Paul George and DeAndre Jordan sign deals, while several other role players have also agreed to contracts. Some of these players managed to negotiate an absurd contract from their new teams. Here are the five worst deals signed in the very early stages of free agency.
5. Rudy Gay: 1 year, $10 million
While Rudy Gay was once a star in the league, the 31-year-old forward is now nothing more than a decent bench player who gets hurt too much. Gay has not played more than 70 games in a season since 2013-14, and his last two seasons he has only been on the court for 87 games combined. He opted out of his $8.8 million player option, and the Spurs decided to pay him even more to stay with the team? He proved last year he is no longer an elite, or even average, shooter, finishing just 31.4% from downtown despite shooting over two three-pointers a game. San Antonio looks to be overcompensating for the impending departure of Kawhi Leonard.
4. Derrick Rose: 1 year, $2.4 million
This is actually a really good value deal for Minnesota, bringing back a decent point guard for cheap. However, the bigger issue here is the statement it sends to the rest of the Timberwolves. Both Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns have expressed displeasure in head coach Tom Thibodeau and the Minnesota organization, and yet Thibodeau insists on re-creating his old Bulls team. If you want to show KAT and Wiggins that you believe in them and are trying to build around them, re-signing one of your former players who played just nine games for the team last year and wasn't very good might not be the right move.
3. Fred VanVleet: 2 year, $18 million
Oh Toronto, you are always so close to finally becoming a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference. Year after year, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Jonas Valanciunas have carried the team throughout the regular season, only to lack enough star power to advance far in the postseason. Toronto needs one more star to truly compete, but making backup point guard Fred VanVleet the 24th highest paid PG in the league is just taking money away from a potential star. The young point guard does show promise, but this deal leaves Toronto with negative cap to sign someone else. Looks like it will be more of the same next year for the Raptors.
2. Chris Paul: 4 year, $160 million
Re-signing Chris Paul makes sense for the short-term outlook in Houston. If Paul was healthy for those last two games in the Western Conference Finals, it could have been them lifting the Larry O'Brien trophy this year. However, Paul is already 33 years old and he's never healthy for an entire season. With this contract, not only is Paul the third-highest paid player in the league, but he will be making over $44 million as a 37-year-old veteran in the league. Also, such a huge contract like this could prevent them from re-signing Clint Capela, a crucial part of the Rockets incredible run a season ago. A two year deal with a player option for the second year would have made much more sense for Houston.
1. Trevor Ariza: 1 year, $15 million
This deal does not really make sense for anyone. Ariza leaves the Houston Rockets and instead joins one of the bottom feeders in the West, essentially removing himself from championship contention. Meanwhile, the Suns significantly overpay for a small forward who has made somewhere between $7 million and $9 million annually during his last four years with the Rockets. The Suns could have allocated that money to a young talent like Aaron Gordon or Marcus Smart, but instead they used a majority of their cap room on a 33-year-old forward.