Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Bill Simmons takes on the NBA's profligate owners and GM's, categorizing the worst contracts in the league and singling out the Nets for having four of the worst 25: Kris Humphries at $24 million over two years at No. 22; Deron Williams at #98.8 million over five years at No. 17; Gerald Wallace at $40 million over four years at No. 3; and Joe Johnson, at $89.2 million owed over four years at No. 1, just edging out Amare Stoudemire because JJ's contract has one more year to run than Amare's. (He also gives special mention to Travis Outlaw being picked up by the Kings.)
The article is filled with detail and sarcasm, both Simmons trademarks, but his bottom line for the Nets is that while Hump's contract is expiring and might have some value, the other three are destined to be disasters and the cumulative effect is hard to digest, no matter how much money or passion Mikhail Prokhorov has in grand supply. (Forbes estimates he currently has more than $8 billion in cash sitting around.)
Bottom line for Simmons: the financial train wreck that awaits the Nets in 2015-16 when unless things change dramatically and unpredictably, Prokhorov will face a luxury tax bill well into the eight figures.
Brooklyn has to pay Joe Johnson nearly $25 million. The exact number: $24,893,863. They're also on the hook for $31.15 million of Wallace and Williams that year, which means Brooklyn will be shelling out more than $56 million for three well-past-their-prime players that season. No wonder everyone keeps driving up the price tags of NBA franchises — everyone wants to own an NBA team in 2016 just for their cut of Brooklyn's luxury tax fees.
Simmons suggests that Wallace is already in decline, "NBA menopause" he calls it; D-Will is no longer the player he was in Utah (although if he keeps up his post-All Star numbers, he will be); and Johnson's deal is just too big to have any value in the post-CBA era. Anyone getting nervous yet? In East Rutherford or Moscow?
- The Sports Guy breaks down the worst contracts in basketball - Bill Simmons - Grantland