Miami Heat: Mike Miller
The Heat had a lot of options to put in this category. I could have put Chris Bosh, but when you average 18 points and nine rebounds you are probably valuable enough to the team for them not to void your contract – even if you are overpaid. Miller on the other hand has been injured or unproductive the entire season, and has been overshadowed by James Jones and Eddie House as the team’s designated sharpshooters. He is signed for four more years at around $6 million per, and Pat Riley would love to get rid of that contract.
Atlanta Hawks: Joe Johnson
Johnson is the Hawks’ best player, but the $124 million contract he got last summer is completely unjustified. As long as Johnson is on the roster, the Hawks will be a playoff team in the East, but he is not worth that type of money and will likely never lead the Hawks to a serious playoff run. With the team’s ownership group losing money, and fan attendance low, Johnson’s contract will probably become a huge albatross before all is said and done.
Charlotte Bobcats: DeSagana Diop
Mark Cuban signed Diop to a monster contract in the summer of 2008 that he immediately regretted, and somehow got the Bobcats to take on Diop’s $6-plus million per year contract. He is a good post defender, but that is about where his productivity ends. He has played only 16 games for Charlotte this year, but is on the books for two more long years (assuming he picks up his $7 million option in 2012).
Washington Wizards: Rashard Lewis
The Wizards took on Lewis’ contract earlier this season because it allowed them to get rid of Gilbert Arenas and officially usher in the John Wall era. Saying that, with the team currently mired in the Eastern Conference cellar, having the last two years of Lewis’ $22 million per year contract voided would be a Godsend for the team. They have said they want to build their team like the Thunder did around Kevin Durant, which means that the team needs to find young, relatively cheap complementary pieces and draft well. Lewis and his contract definitely don’t fit that plan.
Orlando Magic: Gilbert Arenas
General Manager Otis Smith decided to trade for Arenas in the hopes of igniting a fire under the Magic team. While they have done well after the trades for him and Hedo Turkoglu, with Arenas’ contract worth an average of $20 million over the next three years, Smith would probably like to see that wiped away. Arenas has not been near his old self this year, averaging just 11 points per game on 37 percent shooting, and has yet to show the explosive scoring ability that he had earlier in his career.