Largest Free Agent Contracts Of 2012

There are still plenty of unsigned free agents on the market, but with respect to Carl Landry, Alonzo Gee, Brandon Rush, Leandro Barbosa, and the other top remaining options, we almost certainly won't see any more $30MM+ contracts signed this summer.

As Hoops Rumors' Free Agent Tracker shows, 15 free agents have signed multiyear contracts worth $30MM or more this offseason, based on reported salary figures. We're not 100% sure all the reported salaries are accurate, but these are the numbers we know so far, and should at the very least be in the neighborhood of the official figures.

So which players saw the biggest paydays this summer? Listed below are the 15 largest free agent contracts of the summer of 2012, from Deron Williams to Goran Dragic. Let us know in the comments section which players you feel are worthy of these massive contracts, and which ones might have been overpaid. Here's the complete list:

Note: Blake Griffin signed a five-year extension with the Clippers that would rank second on this list, but since he wasn't a free agent, he isn't included.

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3 thoughts on “Largest Free Agent Contracts Of 2012

  1. Eric Swenker

    All of the max deals are garbage, and will choke their teams. Unless you are Durant, Kobe, or LeBron, you shouldn’t have a max-contract.
    Seeing Lebron and Wade and Bosh all take minor pay cuts (down to 16-17M each this season) make me wonder why other players are still getting 20M. Amar’e, Boozer, Melo, and now Deron. Not to mention, Deron is playing with another 20M in Johnson now. 40M on 2 superstar players?!?! Whereas the heat have 3 for 50M? That’s the formula now. Anybody getting 20M is choking their team. It’s just too much considering the cap space. Teams need depth and diversity, and 20M for 1 player is too much. For the Heat, 20M comes out to 1 superstar AND a seasoned vet. For the Nets, it’s 1 player.
    To that extent, seeing Hibbert, Gordon, and Lopez make nearly as much as LeBron is ridiculous. I just cannot fathom players still getting 20M per year on average, or borderline stars like Hibbert, Gordon, and Lopez getting maxed out after their entry contract. Sad part is that the Pacers, Hornets, and Nets have no choice otherwise Portland, Phoenix, or Golden State will offer the max.
    All that said, at least those 3 players are somewhat valuable. Seeing McGee, Illyasova and George Hill get 10M or more a season brings me to tears. Javalee McGee is the worst contract on this entire list for many reasons. Bad attitude, horrible consistency, thinks he is God sent (remember when he said he was definitely getting a max after this season?!) and overall, he is a poor man’s Tyson Chandler with far worse defense. He relies on his natural athleticism which is outstanding, but doesn’t put the ball in the basket nor gets you wins. Look for this to be a salary dump at some point, especially since his contract completely replaces Nene’s (who was 10x more worth it).

    • Rich T

      Well said but the reality of what you are saying is that the players would rather make 20-30mil more (5mil or so per year) over the span of their contract than win. Winning is not the most important thing to a large majority of the players. They would really like to win but only after getting paid. On the other hand, giving up a potential 20-30mil might not be the smartest move either.

      • Eric Swenker

        Fair enough. It’s a good thing that maxed-out players are finally getting criticized for taking money over winning. Those jerks need to understand that choking your team for 4 years, while squeezing an extra like 15M over 4-5 years, is unacceptable for fans. It’s not 20-30M. Lebron and Bosh are getting approximately 3M less than those others per year. That’s 18M assuming all of the Heat big 3 exercise that last year, saved per player, or 3 M per season. I can see the Thunder doing the same thing very soon, to stay competitive. Perhaps the Bulls, once Boozer leaves, can do the same thing. Nonetheless, giving up 3M per seaon, when you already make 15M, for the increased chance to win, which substantially increases endorsements, and then attracts other big-time free agents on the cheap (Battier, Allen, Lewis), which increases more chances to win, which again increases endorsements, especially after you retire…
        …will generate more than 18M over the life of an NBA player. Even including garnered interest on that intial 18M from the first 6 years. There’s a large financial difference in being stupidly rich and being remembered for greatness, and then being stupidly rich and being remember for the living legend that you are.
        How the hell else do you think Michael Jordan managed to gobble up the Bobcats? You think 30M per season, for like 4 years, and the rest of his salary, and even endorsements, paid for the Bobcats?
        After considering his divorce, properties, gambling addiction, affinity for expensive golf clubs and expensive cigars, you really think the NBA salary, Nike, and Space Jam all paid for the Bobcats? Nope. We are talking Michael Jordan literally getting well paid for anything he does. People like Barkley, Malone, Hakeem, will never have enough money to buy a team, even though they were akin in talent to MJ.
        Winning, my friends, was the difference.


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