Biggest NBA Free Agency Busts Thus Far In 2016-17

Nov 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo (9) goes up for a layup while defended by Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) during the first quarter of the game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo (9) goes up for a layup while defended by Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) during the first quarter of the game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Looking back at the biggest NBA free agency mistake from the summer of 2016

This past summer, during NBA free agency, we saw many teams swap players in the way of million dollar contracts that were exchanging hands.

Some of the deals were warranted, such as the likes of Hassan Whiteside, Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan getting max contracts – with the way that they’ve produced this season, I don’t think anyone would argue otherwise.

However, for other teams, the big money spending hasn’t exactly worked out as they would’ve liked and some were obvious from the get-go.

Question is, which ones have been the worst so far? We explore.

Oct 4, 2016; Amherst, MA, USA; Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) dribbles the ball during the first half against the Philadelphia 76ers at William D. Mullins Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 4, 2016; Amherst, MA, USA; Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) dribbles the ball during the first half against the Philadelphia 76ers at William D. Mullins Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Al Horford – C – Boston Celtics

Contract: 4-years, $113 million 

Stats: 12.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks 

Although this probably has something to do with my Celtic bias, I thought this was an average deal. Seeing the amount of money everyone else got, then seeing this, I didn’t think it was that much of an overspend.

It’s still early, but every single one of Horford’s numbers is down except blocks per game. On top of that, Horford has only played three games so far this season. Even though you can’t really blame him for being out with a concussion, it’s also hard to see how this has worked out perfectly for the Celtics. 

It has not been a good start for the $26-plus million per year man in Beantown.

Nov 11, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo (11) points after he makes a basket against the Utah Jazz during the second half at Amway Center. Utah Jazz defeated the Orlando Magic 87-74. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bismack Biyombo – C – Orlando Magic

Contract: 4-years, $72 million 

Stats: 3.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.6 blocks  

A player that was paid largely off one playoff series and then was overpaid by a non-playoff team, Bismack Biyombo.

The problem isn’t the fact he regressed, it’s the fact he didn’t get better. Biymobo is exactly what we all knew he was, a rim-protector and rebounder. No matter how you slice it, those two combinations are not worth $17M a year while playing 25 minutes per night.

He is averaging four points per game in around 22-25 minutes. If we’re being honest, a former NBA center off the couch could come in and do that. If Biyombo is going to be the player that the Magic thought he could be when he inked that big contract in the summer, he has to be more productive. No doubt about it. 

Nov 11, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Evan Turner (1) shoots over Sacramento Kings in the first half at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Turner – G/F – Portland Trail Blazer

Contract: 4-years, $70M

Stats: 6.0 points, 4.4 rebounds 

This is just as bad as the Biymobo deal. A player who can’t shoot at all, in Evan Turner, joins a team that is known for shooting for $17.5 million per year.

I understand they brought him in for mostly defensive purposes, but his numbers have tanked in every area in relatively the same amount of minutes he was receiving in Boston.

Turner is averaging six points and four rebounds in 24 minutes per night. Even if you don’t know much about basketball, you know that’s brutally average – if that.

Nov 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo (9) is defended by Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) during the first quarter of the game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Rajon Rondo – G – Chicago Bulls

Basically, Rajon Rondo is a grumpy, terrible role player getting starting minutes while being paid $14M per year to do so. Rondo has been an atrocity in every aspect of basketball this season.

All of his numbers are down, and his defense is terrible per-usual. This past Saturday against the Kings, Rondo recorded ZERO points. ZERO.

How is that possible when playing 25 minutes a game? Again, we shouldn’t be surprised with that kind of performance, but it’s quite impressive. 

Obviously, the season is far from over, and these NBA players still have time to prove they were worth the big contracts they inked this past summer. Though, they’re not off to particularly good starts. Hopefully the can all step up and prove why they got their money.

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