Russell Westbrook among the NBA's most overpaid players
As the NBA’s salary cap has grown rapidly in recent years and so have the size of contracts across the league, especially for those at the top of the pay scale. Let’s take a look at the five most overpaid players in the Association.
5. Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets)Batum might be the greatest example, from the last 10 years or so, of a small-market team reaching on a player it hoped would become a star. Batum averages 3.7 points per game and is making more than $25.5 million this season. He is laughably overpaid for the statistical output he contributes on a nightly basis.
4. Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder)Paul, a 34-year-old point guard leading a team that has no championship-level hopes in the near future, is getting paid more than $38.5 million this season. The team received draft picks when it gave away Russell Westbrook and should be using the season to build and develop younger options, like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder.
Instead the Thunder is paying Paul to incite on-court antics and put the team in the middle of the pack in a stacked West. Paul is getting paid for what he has done, not what he is going to do, and that is a recipe for a bad contract.
3. Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets)Westbrook is still considered an All-Star caliber player and a regular contributor. But at $38.5 million this year, for a mark of 68th in John Hollinger’s respected player efficiency rankings, Westbrook is a turnover machine who has never shown he can win in the playoffs.
Westbrook turns the ball over too much and takes too many bad shots in the fourth quarter to be paid as much as he does.
2. Chandler Parsons (Atlanta Hawks)The oft-injured Parsons hasn’t been a major contributor in a long time. This year he has played in only five games and scored a total of 14 points. A $25.1 million salary to contribute next to nothing is a tough pill for any team to swallow.
1. John Wall (Washington Wizards)It is bit unfair to include injured players on an overpaid and overrated list, but it’s more unfair to the spirit of the list to not include Wall’s contract and the anchor that it puts on the Wizards franchise.
Wall is not expected to play this season, but he is still getting paid nearly $38.2 million. In the final year of his contract (player option), as a 32-year old with Achilles-injury history and a playing style reliant on speed and athleticism, he will earn more than $47.3 million.
The prime of Wall’s career is over, he is contributing nothing in 2020, and he’s taking up so much salary-cap space that the Wizards will need a miracle to be a contender for the next half-decade.