Underachieving Players Making $10MM+

February 9 2013 at 4:56pm CST By Chuck Myron

Yesterday, we heard about a Bobcats proposal that would send Ben Gordon to the Nets for Kris Humphries. That came on the heels of news that the Bulls and Raptors have talked about a potential trade involving Carlos Boozer and Andrea Bargnani. In both scenarios, the teams would be swapping players who make eight-figure salaries. By and large, none of the four have proven a worthwhile investment.

Such is often the case as teams have to figure out the best way to deal with the strain on their salary caps. Sometimes, those clubs find a trade partner, whether it's someone who wants to swap one overpaid guy for another, or a team that's willing to absorb a large expiring deal to create flexibility in the future. On occasion, a player whose salary is too hefty for one team fits just fine on another, as with Toronto's acquisition of Rudy Gay from the Grizzlies.  

With the trade deadline approaching, here's a rundown of other players making $10MM or more this season who aren't delivering commensurate production. The list doesn't include Derrick Rose, Danny Granger, and Andrew Bynum, who haven't played this year because of injury. Each player's 2012/13 averages in points, rebounds and assists per game, along with his salary for this season, are in parentheses.

  • JaVale McGee, Nuggets (10.1 PPG/4.8 RPG/0.4 APG; $10MM): McGee makes the most of his limited time on the floor, posting a 21.7 PER in 18.6 minutes per game. Still, four years and $44MM is a lot for a part-time player, and the Nuggets aren't averse to trading someone they just signed long-term, as they did last year when they acquired McGee for Nene.
  • Corey Maggette, Pistons (5.3/1.4/1.1; $10.924MM): He and Jose Calderon represent close to $22MM worth of expiring contracts Detroit could package in a deal. The Pistons would reportedly rather use their upcoming cap space to improve via trades than to pursue free agents.
  • Richard Jefferson, Warriors (4.0/1.6/0.7; $10.164MM): He was deadline fodder last year, and with an $11MM player option for next season, Golden State probably wouldn't mind sending him packing two years in a row. Still, the Warriors seem content to sit back and see what they've got now that Andrew Bogut is back.
  • DeAndre Jordan, Clippers (9.2/7.3/0.4; $10.533MM): He's scoring at a career-best rate, but the Clippers are paying more than $1MM for each point per game he averages, which could make L.A. anxious to part ways.
  • Pau Gasol, Lakers (13.4/8.0/3.6; $19MM): His struggles have been well-documented, but the Lakers would probably have a hard time finding takers for a $19MM-a-year guy who could be on the shelf for the rest of the regular season.
  • Eric Gordon, Hornets (17.0/1.5/2.8; $13.669MM): Friday was just the 26th game Gordon has played in his two seasons as a Hornet, and he's yet to display the 22.3 PPG form he displayed in his final year with the Clippers. Both Gordon and New Orleans appear open to a trade.
  • Amare Stoudemire, Knicks (14.1/4.6/0.4; $19.949MM): He's a bench player who's due more than $65MM between this year and 2015, when his contract is up. The Knicks would surely love to find a taker, but they'd be lucky to do so.
  • Hedo Turkoglu, Magic (2.9/2.4/2.1; $11.816MM): Orlando has been trying to dump Turkoglu since before the Dwight Howard trade, but may have more luck this year, with only half of next season's $12MM guaranteed.
  • Stephen Jackson, Spurs (6.7/3.0/1.4; $10.06MM): His numbers are approaching career-worst levels across the board. The Spurs may be content to let his contract expire at the end of the year, but if another team can take him off their hands in exchange for a guy who can better aid San Antonio's title chances this season, the Spurs might just do it. 
  • Emeka Okafor, Wizards (8.8/8.6/1.2; $13.49MM): He's averaging career lows in points and minutes, but his per-36-minute rebounding rate this season is his all-time best, and he has an above-average 16.3 PER. That probably still isn't enough to get another team to take him on for the nearly $28MM he's owed this year and next.
  • Nene, Wizards (12.7/6.7/2.8; $13MM): He was traded in the first season of a five-year, $65MM last year, so anything can happen. But he's only just now back to regularly seeing more than 30 minutes a game after dealing with plantar fasciitis, and the timing doesn't seem right for a deal.

ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.

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