Top 10 NBA Free Agents Ready For The Biggest Pay-Cut

By: 07.26.10

Shaquille O'Neal (photo. Chenoa Maxwell)

During NBA Free Agency, there are always winners and losers. There are guys like Rudy Gay and Wes Matthews that made huge jumps in their salary scale, and there are guys like Jermaine O’Neal and Ray Allen that took huge pay-cuts. After eating high off the hog for quite some time, reality is going to soon set in for a lot of NBA guys. So without further ado, here are the Top 10 NBA Free Agents Ready For The Biggest Pay-Cut.

10. Jamaal Tinsley (09/10 Salary: $738,091)
Yes there are other players that made more last season, but even they will sign for the veteran’s minimum. Of all the free agents out there, I believe Tinsley has the smallest shot at an NBA return.

9. Kwame Brown (09/10 Salary: $4,000,000)
You gotta give credit to Kwame Brown. After a disappointing start to his career, he somehow tricked teams into continuing to give him money. While his name has surfaced this summer, there’s no way he’ll make close to $4 million. Then again, even Darko got $5 million a season.

8. Trenton Hassell (09/10 Salary: $4,350,000)
I’ve long been a fan of Hassell, but his time is almost at the end. Anything the 31-year-old can do, I’m sure there’s an eager 20-something ready and willing to do it for less. So while Hassell may latch on somewhere, it most likely won’t be for much.

7. Adam Morrison (09/10 Salary: $5,25,7,229)
Everyone likes to talk about Adam Morrison. Why? Because this kid used to get buckets like Kevin Durant in college. These days though, he’s just looking for an opportunity to play. So wherever he lands, expect him to take a huge pay-cut from his rookie deal.

6. Jerome James (09/10 Salary: $6,600,000)
After his production (or lack thereof) ever since he landed in New York, there’s no way that Jerome James can trick anyone into giving him big money. In fact, I don’t think he’ll ever play in the NBA again. He’s played four NBA games in the last three years. It’s basically robbery.

5. Etan Thomas (09/10 Salary: $7,906,088)
We’ve all seen Etan Thomas play, so how does he get a deal worth close to $8 million? To tell you the truth, I don’t know. He’ll be back in the League this year, but for nothing more than the veteran’s minimum.

4. Josh Howard (09/10 Salary: $10,890,000)
This contact – at the time – was understandable. Howard was an All-Star, leading the Mavs into the playoffs and at the time, a stand-up guy. Well, things change. Once he’s fully healthy, J-Ho has the chance to help a contender this season. Unfortunately for him, he’ll have to do it for much less than he’s used to making.

3. Bobby Simmons (09/10 Salary: $11,242,666)
It seems whomever wins the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award always scores a big-time deal. Unfortunately, Simmons never continued to improve. At 30-years-old, teams should definitely take a look at the small forward, but the only way he’s seeing over $10 million is on a multi-year deal.

2. Shaquille O’Neal (09/10 Salary: $21,000,000)
Without a doubt, Shaq is playing next season. And after making $21 million last year, he should just go to a team where he has the best chance to win. (Or, as I’ve said before, return home to Newark.) Wherever he suits up next season, he’s going to be missing some zeroes on his paychecks.

1. Tracy McGrady (09/10 Salary: $22,483,124)
All signs right now are pointing towards T-Mac signing with the Bulls. They have open roster spots, Derrick Rose wants him and of all the teams out there, Chicago probably gives him the best opportunity to play. But hopefully McGrady saved some of the money he’s been making, because he’ll be lucky to make more than $5 million a year.

What do you think?

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