Dallas Mavericks: Brendan Haywood
Cuban has a tendency to overpay for big men (see: DeSagana Diop and Erick Dampier), and he did that again with Haywood. Haywood has a contract that pays him an average of around $8.5 million for the next four seasons, and with the emergence of Tyson Chandler as the Mavs’ starting center, Haywood has become much less valuable to the team. With Chandler’s contract up after this season, Cuban would probably like to void Haywood’s and give it to Chandler instead.
Houston Rockets: Brad Miller
Daryl Morey does a great job of not overpaying for players, and this contract is not egregious, it just makes basketball sense. With the trade deadline deal that got the team Hasheem Thabeet, having Miller as the team’s backup center for the next two years will prevent the team from really being able to evaluate Thabeet, which they should try to do. That is, assuming the very productive Chuck Hayes retains his starting job.
Memphis Grizzlies: Mike Conley
Conley signed a five-year, $45 million extension with the team near the beginning of the season that had a lot of people scratching their heads. Conley has had a very solid season averaging 14 points, over six assists and two steals per game in helping the Grizzlies contend for the playoffs. However, Memphis has both Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol becoming free agents this offseason, and the money spent on Conley could have been better spent on retaining those two.
New Orleans Hornets: Emeka Okafor
Okafor has turned into a very solid center for the Hornets, nearly averaging a double-double this season, but the last three years of his contract call for salaries averaging around $12.5 million. With David West becoming a free agent this summer, and the team’s ownership status in flux, I’m sure having Okafor’s contract off the books would be welcome for David Stern and any future Hornets owner.
San Antonio Spurs: Richard Jefferson
Since arriving in San Antonio last season, Jefferson has not lived up to expectations, but that hasn’t mattered too much as the Spurs have rolled to the League’s best record this year. He is averaging 11 points per game, but still has yet to really find his niche in the Spurs’ system. And at about $10 million over the next three years, Jefferson could be considered R.C. Buford’s one bad contract on his entire roster.