Nets past, present, future(?) litter “Worst Contract” List

Andray Blatche, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson
Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson
The Nets have 3 of the worst contracts in the NBA, and may get more. (AP)

The Nets have famously and lavishly spent on their top-tier talent, and Bill Simmons of Grantland is here to recognize that. Simmons released his annual post ranking the worst 30 contracts in the NBA, and sure enough, all sorts of Brooklyn Nets contracts made the list.

Most notably, Simmons bunched the two obvious choices together, guards Deron Williams (Four years, $81.59 million) and Joe Johnson (Three years, $69.54 million), at the 5th and 4th spots:

The combined points-per-game, PER, salaries and ages of two different backcourt tandems from these past three seasons.

2011-12: 39.8 PPG … 38.7 PER … $34.4 million … 57 years old
2012-13: 35.2 PPG … 34.4 PER … $36.9 million … 59 years old
2013-14: 28.3 PPG … 30.7 PER … $39.9 million … 61 years old

2011-12: 27.2 PPG … 28.9 PER … $4.6 million … 45 years old
2012-13: 33.2 PPG … 35.2 PER … $5.6 million … 47 years old
2013-14: 33.2 PPG … 30.6 PER … $8.6 million … 49 years old

Backcourt A? Deron and Joe.

Backcourt B? Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson.

How do you say “Holy schnikes!” in Russian? For the 2015-16 season, Brooklyn already has $62.68 million committed to Johnson, Williams and a might-never-be-the-same Lopez. And Boston has its unprotected first-rounders in 2016 and 2018, with a right to swap in 2017.17 I’m starting to think you can’t run an NBA team while living in Russia. As Mark Felten from Sterling Heights wonders, “At what point do you stop calling Mikhail Prokhorov ‘Mutant Russian Mark Cuban’ and start calling him ‘Mutant Russian Ted Stepien?’”

Ouch. Also, true. There’s no denying that the Nets are shelling out record deals for subpar production, but they’ve also gotten a fair amount of value on the cheap. Andray Blatche, Shaun Livingston, and Alan Anderson are all producing on veteran’s minimum deals (Blatche’s is slightly above the veteran’s minimum, but they signed him to that last year), and the Nets had similar success with C.J. Watson and Keith Bogans last season.

Simmons also listed Brook Lopez’s deal 21st (Three years, $47.2 million — “Total bummer. I don’t feel good about this.”), as well as two trade targets that the Nets reportedly have interest in: Jarrett Jack (22nd) and Marcus Thornton (11th). Jason Terry’s contract (Two years, $11.48 million) surprisingly does not make the list, though he did list Terry as an “overpaid role player.”

The top choices are a bit lighter for Nets fans, though: New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire (Two years, $45.09 million), former Nets forward Gerald Wallace (Three years, $30.3 million, now with the Boston Celtics), and Knicks human Andrea Bargnani (Two years, $23.36 million) round out the top three.

Grantland — The Worst Contracts in the NBA