I’d hate to be a guy in the NBA who is known more as an expiring contact than a player. Remember back when Theo Ratliff had a big deal? His name was getting tossed around more than a hacky sack at Bonnaroo. So while every team is trying to piece together rosters for next season, there are certain players that will most likely not make it through the year without having to find a new apartment. Without further ado, here are the NBA’s Top 15 Expiring Contracts.
1. Michael Redd, Milwaukee
2010-11 Salary: $18,300,000
It will be interesting to see if Redd even gets off the bench this season. The Bucks are a young team, and have a lot of depth at the guard position. Just a couple years ago Redd was arguably one of the 12 best players in the United States. Next season, he’ll be lucky to pull more than $5 million a year. If he can’t produce, the Bucks may have to just let him come off the books next summer for nothing in return.
2. Andrei Kirilenko, Utah
2010-11 Salary: $17,823,000
It’s probably not a good thing that the Jazz were able to play so well last season while Kirilenko only played in 58 games. A couple years ago, he was considered one of the most versatile players in the NBA. Now? He’s worth more to the Jazz in a trade. We know that Utah is always looking to cut salary, so look for AK-47 to be moved to a contender with space this season.
3. Yao Ming, Houston
2010-11 Salary: $17,686,100
Yao is an interesting guy to have on this list. Sure he’s practicing a little right now, but will he ever be what he once was? The Rockets could probably never bring themselves to trade Yao, so he’ll most likely play out the season. Expect a lot of teams next summer though to make a move – just for the marketing value.
4. Zach Randolph, Memphis
2010-11 Salary: $17,666,666
Z-Bo has made it clear he wants an extension. The first-time All-Star last year (which Austin says was “overdue”) put up the numbers to deserve it. But as you can see with the unsigned status of their rookies, the Grizzlies aren’t shelling out big money to anyone not named Rudy Gay. If Randolph has another great 20-10 season, contenders could definitely make a play for him around the NBA Trade Deadline. That is, if Memphis doesn’t see him in their future plans.
5. Kenyon Martin, Denver
2010-11 Salary: $17,149,243
The Nuggets need big men, so K-Mart isn’t likely going anywhere. That, and most teams simply don’t want him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish his career in Denver.
6. Jason Richardson, Phoenix
2010-11 Salary: $14,444,443
The Suns are always looking to make moves, but they seem to like what J-Rich brings to the table. If they’re back in the mix for the Western Conference Finals, their best option is probably to keep him.
7. Peja Stojakovic, New Orleans
2010-11 Salary: $14,256,000
Unless your team’s best shooter goes down with a season-ending injury, no one is looking to add Peja to the rotation. But we do know that the Hornets have been sitting on this contract for a reason. Could they make a move for some young talent to put around Chris Paul? Potentially. Maybe he has one more 3-Point Contest victory left in him.
8. Tony Parker, San Antonio
2010-11 Salary: $13,500,000
Would the Spurs trade Parker to the Knicks straight-up? Probably not. But, if George Hill continues to impress, it makes it more and more likely that they move Parker before they lose him for nothing.
9. Samuel Dalembert, Sacramento
2010-11 Salary: $13,428,129
After being stuck on the Sixers payroll forever, they finally managed to make a move and send him to Sacramento. Now, the young Kings hold the golden ticket. There’s no way this team is making the playoffs this year, so they’ll have a multitude of options in front of them. Do they let him walk after the season for cap space? Do they trade him for some pieces to the puzzle? Let’s just see how he fits into the rotation.
10. Tyson Chandler, Dallas
2010-11 Salary: $12,600,000
As we’ve said before, playing for Team USA is the best thing to happen to Chandler. Being showcased with some of the best of the best has NBA GMs thinking whether or not they’ll want to make a play for him later in the year. And you know Mark Cuban is always willing to listen.
11. Troy Murphy, New Jersey
2010-11 Salary: $11,968,253
The Pacers already pulled the trigger and moved Murphy this summer, but he could easily change teams again. We know that the Nets are in a transitional period, but Murphy could definitely be a hired gun come playoff time.
12. Eddy Curry, New York
2010-11 Salary: $11,276,863
I’m pretty sure Curry’s contract has seen more action/ink than he has in the past couple years. And with the goal of bringing someone like Carmelo Anthony to New York next summer, this contract will play a vital part.
13. Tayshaun Prince, Detroit
2010-11 Salary: $11,148,760
The Pistons have been trying to trade Prince for the past two seasons. Whether it’s been actively shopping or just listening to offers, his name has been circulating. Detroit is in a rebuilding mode and he doesn’t necessarily fit into their future plans. Do they let him ride it out, or do they try and get something back in return?
14. Mike Dunleavy, Indiana
2010-11 Salary: $10,561,984
Just like Prince, the Pacers have been talking to teams about Dunleavy for a while now. And between him and T.J. Ford, they’re looking to deal. They already pulled the trigger on Murphy, so how long will it be before they cut ties with Dunleavy?
15. Jamal Crawford, Atlanta
2010-11 Salary: $10,800,000
Last season, Crawford was supposed to be the difference maker for the Hawks. Well, that didn’t quite go as planned. The same thing could happen this season around the Trade Deadline. Does a contender make a move to try and get an edge, or does Atlanta think he’s the answer to their own title hopes?
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