View Full Version : Underachievers?

07-13-2002, 01:10 AM
According to Sean Deveney (link (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/columns/20020712/throwinelbowsunderachiev.html))

All-NBA Salary Cap-Chewing Team

1. Shawn Kemp, Portland. Any discussion of overpaid athletes must start with Kemp. It started with Kemp last season when he was making slightly less than $13 million. This season, thanks to an extension he signed in 1997 while with Cleveland, his salary bumps to $22 million. Last season, Kemp averaged 6.1 points on 43 percent shooting in 75 games.

2. Juwan Howard, Denver. For the Nuggets, the only attractive aspect of acquiring Howard from the Mavericks in a deadline deal last February was that the $20.5 million they will have to pay him this season is a one-shot deal -- he comes off the cap next season.

3. Damon Stoudamire, Portland. Maurice Cheeks figured out last season what most NBA observers have known all along: Stoudamire is not much of a point guard. He is more of a shooting guard. A shooting guard who shoots 40.2 percent from the field and will be paid $13.5 million to do so. Oh, and he has an Oct. 1 court date set for possession of a controlled substance.

4. Vin Baker, Seattle. True, Baker showed a bit of improvement from his recent downward spiral, averaging 14.1 points and 6.4 rebounds. But he still drives coach Nate McMillan batty and with a $12.4 million salary, is an impossible guy to trade.

5. Greg Ostertag, Utah. It has been so easy to pick on Ostertag this past season, but the guy recently gave his sister a kidney. So we won't pick on him now, other than to say he will make $7.8 million next season.

6. Kelvin Cato, Houston. Give Cato credit -- it's not his fault that the Rockets gave him a $42 million contract based on how well he played during the preseason after Houston acquired him from the Blazers. Of course, it is his fault that he has taken that contract and essentially sat around since. This will be Year 3 of the six-year deal, with this one ringing in at $6.6 million.

7. Toni Kukoc, Atlanta. Kukoc was injured for 23 games last season, but even when he did play, he showed he is far from ever being the Kukoc of six or seven years ago. He averaged a career-low 9.9 points per game. The Hawks will shell out $8.6 million next season for Kukoc.

8. WardEisleyAnderson, Knicks. There are suspicions in some quarters that Charlie Ward, Howard Eisley and Shandon Anderson have somehow morphed into the same player. All three are paid in the $5-6 million range, all three average 4-5 points per game, all three have difficulty getting onto the floor, and all three are untradeable.

9. Chris Mills, Golden State. Yes, Mills does still play for the Warriors, though we use the term "play" loosely. The Warriors' accountants are sure aware of his spot on the team -- $6 million, mercifully expiring next summer.

10. Shawn Bradley, Dallas. Bradley was injured in the early part of the season, but even when healthy, he found himself frequently buried on Don Nelson's bench. The Mavs will give Bradley $4.6 million this year, the second of a seven-year, $42 million deal. His averages last season: 4.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 blocks. And the Mavs are still looking for a center.

11. Tim Thomas, Milwaukee. Thomas is another guy who did have some injury problems. He did not do badly when filling in for Glenn Robinson, and if he got more playing time, he probably would produce more. He is a good sixth man, averaging 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds, but the Bucks will pay him $10.6 million for that.

12. Alonzo Mourning, Miami. If you are going to make $20.6 million in one season, your name better be Shaq. Mourning's return to All-Star status last year was nice, but he averaged 15.7 points and 8.4 rebounds -- not enough to avoid an ‘overpaid' label.

13. Penny Hardaway, Phoenix. Maybe it's unfair of us to measure Hardaway against the player he once was. After all, the guy's knees have more slices than Domino's. Still, he's getting $12.5 million to sit and complain behind second-year man Joe Johnson.

14. Austin Croshere, Indiana. Among the schemes that Pacers coach Isiah Thomas has cooked up is this: "Tuck Croshere deep on the bench." He has been very successful. Croshere averages 16.9 minutes per game, and probably gets the most unpredictable playing time in the league. He would be much better off elsewhere, if someone would take his $6.7 million salary, and the four years, $34 million left after this season.

15. Dikembe Mutombo, Philadelphia. After trading Theo Ratliff and Nazr Mohammed as part of the deal with the Hawks to land Mutombo, the Sixers had little choice last offseason but to give Mutombo a maximum extension. Mutombo still is a capable center, but last season he looked old for the first time in his career. He is now 36 and will be paid $15.75 million this season, with another $36 million over the following two years.