Latest News, NBA / Aug 13, 2009 / 2:00 pm

NBA’s Top 15 Expiring Contracts

Larry Hughes

Knowing that teams are banking on spending bank next summer, there are certain players that help make everything fall into place, and those players are guys with expiring contracts. Teams that want cap space trade for them, and teams that have them know that they can trade them for pieces to fill out their roster. While this list could include every 2010 free agent, I’m sticking with guys that are more valuable as contracts than on the court. Realizing this, here are the top 15 expiring contracts this season:

1. Larry Hughes ($13,655,268) – No brainer here. The Knicks will be glad to see all that money drop off the books next summer.

2. Bobby Simmons ($10,560,000) – After winning the the Most Improved Player award and earning that big contract, Simmons hasn’t lived up to the hype.

3. Mike Miller ($9,750,000) – I like Miller on the Wizards this season and feel that the expectations won’t be as great as they were in Minnesota last season.

4. Quentin Richardson ($9,352,500) – As I wrote yesterday, the League is playing hot potatoe with Q’s contract. I wonder how many more times he’s going to be traded this year.

5. Kenny Thomas ($8,553,125) – After being a valuable contributor in Houston/Philly, Thomas has done next to nothing in Sacramento for the past three seasons.

6. Mark Blount ($7,962,500) – If you look at the Heat roster, they’ll be excited to see Blount’s contract come off the books to throw some money toward’s keeping D-Wade happy.

7. Darko Milicic ($7,500,000) – Personally I think Darko is going to have a good year for the Knicks, but the main reason they brought him in was to see him go in a year.

8. Etan Thomas ($7,350,000) – Thomas is a solid veteran who will be great for the Thunder this year, and should allow them to free up some money to invest in Durant long-term.

9. Brian Cardinal ($6,750,000) – For a guy who has never averaged over 10 points per game, Cardinal will be lucky to land back on a squad once this deal is done.

10. Antonio Daniels ($6,600,000) – A former starter in this League, Daniels can still play. But he could be traded like Rasual Butler was to help the Hornets save some money.

11. Jerome James ($6,600,000) – It took the Knicks two years to try and find a taker for James, so I doubt the Bulls will have any luck.

12. Luke Ridnour ($6,500,000) – Ridnour is definitely an NBA point guard, who could even be the Bucks starter this year, but if Brandon Jennings steps up his game the Bucks will definitely try and find a playoff team in need of a backup PG.

13. Matt Harpring ($6,500,000) – If he can stay healthy, Harpring can still ball.

14. Mike James ($6,466,600) – If everyone remains healthy in Washington, I could see James being shipped out like Rafer Alston was last season.

15. Tony Battie ($6,292,000) – Battie definitely doesn’t fit into the long-term plans in New Jersey, so if a team is in need of a backup big come the playoffs, expect the Nets to make a move.

Honorable Mention: I had mention former All-Stars Tracy McGrady ($23,239,561) and Jermaine O’Neal ($22,995,000) on here, but didn’t have the heart to list them above.

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  • LakeShow84

    Hughes going to have to return that suit after next season.. Cuz his new contract aint going to scratch the surface of where he at now..

    And no Aron.. Harpring cant ball anymore.. Dude is only effective @ home cuz he gets away with his BS..

  • Will Purdue


  • Tbest

    I’m pretty sure Brad Miller has about 12 million coming off the books.

  • Tbest

    I guess i didn’t read the full heading before reading the list. B Miller doesn’t deserve on the list.

  • Seven Duece

    I’m bugging over the money that scrubs make in the league!

  • Dagomar

    “hot potatoe” – shades of Dan Quayle.

  • Kobeef

    Aron – you’ve gotta call it like it is – Jermaine and T-Mac are gonna get dumped like a one night stand when the season ends and their teams will be overjoyed to see them go.

    Both will be lucky to ever wear an NBA uniform again.

  • Ducky

    T-Wac 23MIL off the books 4 the Rockets..
    God does exist and that is proof.

  • The Real Tryrone

    Ain’t no doubt that punkass Larry Hughes ain’t forshit y’all. All the cat can do is be jackin’ up shots all the time. Can’t can defend or dish dope dimes for shit. Dude
    ain’t a baller worth nothing.

    True thugs never lie.
    The Real Tyrone

  • hb in az

    Was almost gonna call ass on the whole article until you posted the honorable mentions, and fortunately or unfortunately, their teams have the highest 2 contracts in the whole L. Yet, def not the 2 best players in the L.

  • Ashlov

    Nice of you not to put Jermaine O’Neal on the Useless High Contracts List, but I don’t think anyone would be upset if he was. $23 million coming off the books is sexy.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar Acharya

    harpring may actually retire due to all of his unhealing injuries that he’s had over his rough and tumble career. he’ll make his decision in sept/oct (training camp) to see if he wants to give it another go. with the rules in place by the NBA-PA, if he retires he gets his $6.5 m, without having to play in any games. also the jazz wouldn’t get an injury exception — but still have to carry his contract on the cap for the last year. crazy.

    if he does call it quits, hope the jazz still have enough time to throw some money at morris almond (to fill in the void of SF chucker who can hit midrange shots; hail from atlanta, ga; and defend worse than anyone else on the team).

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    I can’t believe J.O’Neal is getting $23mil this season. Amazing. In the meantime the local police officer/fireman is making about $60k. Not to mention the front line soldiers in overseas fighting in the war…$26K before taxes. Man this country is the sh!T stain.

    True Thugs wear thongs and bust water guns at them haters.
    The Real GOrilla

    Real thugs post on message boards online.

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    The NBA…where “Why the F^k is he making that much” happens.

    DIMEMAG.com… where “Who let the real tyrone out his cage” happens

  • Shiptar

    @ Chicagorilla

    LOL, nice one :)

  • bkfrench

    @ Dagomar

    best comment hands down

  • TJ

    I doubt the Knicks got Darko ($7.5M expiring) mainly for the expiring contract when they traded Q ($9.3M expiring) for him. Simple math.

  • Da_Griff

    Partly Agree TJ. It’s a bit of both. They had too many wing men, so Q had to go. Getting another expiring contract and a big in return was good enough for the Nix to pick him up.

    Darko will get minutes this year cos he can run and he’s big. He always thought he was a guard. D’Antoni’s system is perfect for him.

  • dekko

    Dampier’s contract is not guaranteed next season so next summer could be an instant 13 mil trade coupon.

    And McGrady despite the sentiment should be #1. He has missed over 41 games so his 22 mil expiring contract is being 80% paid by insurance.

  • Sacto_J

    Couple things – anyone with expectations of Mike Miller should be kicked in the nuts. Kenny Thomas has done NOTHING for Sacramento, not “next to nothing.” Dude doesn’t even practice with the team anymore and was training with Chris Webber last year (we’ve got irony here, people.) How does a guy who was a “valuable contributor in Philly” not get any tick on the worst team in the league last year? He gets paid like a million dollars a minute. I don’t know who to blame, him or the Kings Mgmt. Can’t wait to see what that money leads to over the next couple of years (and hopefully it doesn’t include moving vans….)

  • http://dime fan

    I wouldn’t watch these guys play rec ball. Pay them to stay home and far away from the teams. A lot of roster spots for hungry and skilled players.

  • MC Welk

    Um, Carlos Boozer?