Its game day! With that comes the final installment of “Listmania” and I hope you enjoyed the series as much as I did writing it.
In the last segment I covered players who had increased their value during the post season but the reality is every team is feeling the hurt of the economy. In Miami you could catch a game with a friend for $20. At the same time, that $20 would only manage to buy you parking in Toronto to see the Raptors play. If teams were willing to go over the luxury tax they may be thinking twice about that now. With the salary cap yet to be set, I don’t see too many teams handing out max deals and if they are in the position to they might wanna hold off ’til 2010.
I chose to go with the big ticket players to put it into perspective even though some of them are nearing the end of the careers. Inflated contracts, bad knees, or simply age has put them on here but it is what is is and the players on the list are going to be affected the most.
Stephon Marbury – $18.6 million in 2008 – I truly believe that this guy got shafted – Bad timing, bad situation but some of its on him all leading him into being a casualty of the system. He is way past his prime and will be lucky if a team threw out MLE money at him but when you been raking in the millions sitting on your couch, it can’t be all that bad.
Jason Kidd – $21.37 million in 2008 – A Guaranteed Hall of Famer with some off the court blemishes, Kidd is running on fumes. Dallas took a gamble on him trying to win now and I would be shocked to see any team give him contract longer than 3 years and it would probably total the salary he made this past season.
Allen Iverson – $22 million in 2008 – A new team, a new look. Iverson had his most disappointing season, riddled with injuries and a situation where he wasn’t comfortable. Another future HoF’er who isn’t quite ready for his new role, nor is he ready to slow it down. Teams will want him but probably for 2 years, I would love to see him do a full circle and reunite with Larry Brown.
Wally Szczerbiak – $13 million in 2008 – Wally sure didn’t help his value in the playoffs. His contract was way too inflated and spent the last few years being used in trades for salary cap space. He has one thing going for him, he can shoot and every team needs one of those just not at $13 million a year. He will find a team or stick with the Cav’s but his bi-monthly paycheck will likely be half of what he is used to.
Mike Bibby – $15.2 million in 2008 – It worked out well for Atlanta making it to the playoffs for 2 straight years and I wouldn’t be surprised if they re-signed Bibby but he is not a $10+ million player anymore. He would be a good veteran for them and with most teams keeping their wallets shut this off season he may not have too many options going forward
Shawn Marion – $17.2 million in 2008 – He wanted to be the man and once he left Phoenix he was exposed for all his weaknesses. He cheats on D, tries too hard for the big plays and is pretty weak in the half court sets. He can still jump out the arena and is an above average rebounder for his position but I don’t see him getting more than $8 million a year from any team.. we are in a recession after all.
Rasheed Wallace – $13.7 million in 2008 – Talks about walking away from the game are premature. There will be the teams that wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole but that has nothing to do with basketball. He may not see offers in the double digits but I think there are teams that could use his services at 7-8 million and he should command more than Marion just on defense alone.
Malik Rose – $7.65 million in 2008 – I had to look back at the history on this one. Career Averages of 6ppg to go along with 4rb’s earned him this fat contract? He has been in the league 12 years but I think we will see him back next year warming some bench and being the veteran voice the locker room, but there is no way he is making more than $2 million a year to do that.
Rasho Nesterovic- $8.4 million in 2008 – A serviceable backup center, that’s about all he is now and won’t command much attention in terms of sought after free agents. I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes a lot less to go play for a contender again – San Antonio anyone? There have been rumblings of him returning to the Raptors and I love the idea but only for the right price. Let’s NBA!
Andre Miller – $10 million in 2008 -It got ugly towards the end in Philly even though the team has enjoyed some level of success since he joined them. His averages are still good and he has stayed relatively healthy and will be high on the list of teams like Miami but they are worried about 2010 and may not have the $$ he wants to see on the offer sheet.
Players who missed the cut but will feel the pain nonetheless: Lamar Odom, Drew Gooden, Chris Wilcox, Jason Collins, Stromile Swift
We may have seen the last of them on the court: Juwan Howard, Antoine Walker, Steve Francis, Raef LaFrentz, Adonal Foyle