On Twitter a couple weeks ago, WFAN Radio’s (New York) Evan Roberts tweeted a suggestion that as part of the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement, each team should be allowed to void one bad contract. I thought that was an interesting idea, and did some research, and here is one contract each NBA team would probably like to void:
Note: Contracts that expire after this season were not included on this list. All contracts listed here have at least one year remaining on them.
New Jersey Nets: Travis Outlaw
After the Nets missed out on all the major 2010 free agents, they were left scrambling for the remains of the 2010 free agent class. Their first “splash” was giving Travis Outlaw a five-year, $35 million contract. Everyone knew the team overpaid at the time, and Outlaw’s first season with the Nets has just reinforced that belief as he has averaged just over nine points while losing his starting job to rookie Damion James.
Philadelphia 76ers: Elton Brand
Brand has played well this season, leading the Sixers in scoring and rebounding as they look to be headed to the playoffs after missing them last year. Despite that, he is owed nearly $35 million over the next two years, which is near maximum money for a non-max player – especially one who has been so inconsistent and injury prone over his tenure in Philly.
Toronto Raptors: Jose Calderon
Calderon is a solid NBA point guard, and is averaging over nine assists per game for the Raptors, but for a team that is embarking on a serious rebuilding project, I don’t see him staying with the team longterm. He is owed an average of $10 million each of the next two years, and that money could be better spent by Toronto on younger, cheaper talent.
Boston Celtics: Jermaine O’Neal
The Celtics have O’Neal signed for over $6 million next season, and while he provides depth for them, the Celtics need money to re-sign Glen Davis. Plus, O’Neal has only played in 17 games this season. Finding a healthier, more productive alternative is something the Celtics would probably be interested in.
New York Knicks: Renaldo Balkman
The Knicks have an interesting salary situation. All of their salary is essentially concentrated in three players – Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire – none of whose contracts the Knicks would be interested in voiding. Balkman is slated for a $1.6 million salary in 2012-13 which means his salary would hinder the cap room the Knicks would have in the summer of 2012, making his the contract the one the Knicks would like to void.