NBA Free Agent Big Men Overpaid in 2013

Former Jazz forward Al Jefferson signed a three year contract with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Former Jazz forward Al Jefferson signed a three year contract with the Charlotte Bobcats.

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Since the beginning of free agency, big men around the NBA have seemingly always enjoyed huge paydays even if their production seemed underwhelming.  From Jim McIlvaine to Jon Koncak, nearly every team in the league at one point or another has made a puzzling move. In 2013, a few have already been made, with more probably on the way. Here is a look at the three major big man free agent signings have gone so far (sans Dwight Howard).

Al Jefferson

Thought of as the best big man out there besides Dwight Howard, the Charlotte Bobcats threw a three year, $41 million contract at him to help try and turn around one of the worst franchises in the NBA. While the Bobcats will be a bit better with Jefferson inside, bad teams in the NBA don’t rebuild this way. With young talent such as Bismack Biyombo, Byron Mullens (if they bring him back) and rookie Cody Zeller, Jefferson will be blocking them from valuable playing time. Jefferson’s deal will eat up a lot of cap room, and that’s bad news when a team that struggled defensively is now paying for a center who struggles defensively.

Tiago Splitter

For casual NBA fans who tuned into the Finals, they had to chuckle when they heard Tiago Splitter signed a four year, $36 million deal. Despite being downright dreadful in the NBA Finals, Splitter actually had a solid 2012-2013 campaign with respectable fantasy basketball stats. San Antonio’s core is not getting any younger, and thanks to Manu Ginobili signing for a cheaper deal for the next few seasons, it appears as though the Spurs want to give this core two more chances to win a title.

Splitter is never going to be a go-to, standout type of player in the NBA. However, he is a dependable two-way player that fits into San Antonio’s system well. He might be overpaid, but they would have had to pay that price or even more to get a replacement.

David West

At 32 years of age, signing any injury-prone big man to a three year deal is a bit of a risk. The Indiana Pacers have to feel confident that West can still provide value though, and his style of play indicates that he can. West has a great midrange jump shot, and he has never relied much on athleticism. The Pacers, much like the Spurs, wanted to keep their team mostly intact, so this deal makes sense. He might be a bad contract in the final year of his three year, $36 million deal, but the Pacers are hoping that he can help them in the next two get by the Heat and into the NBA Finals.


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