The athletes that play in the NBA are genetic freaks. Nothing against football players or swimmers but when it comes to hitting the genetic lottery, the NBA is full of them. Tall, freakishly long-limbed, endowed with incredible physiques and hand-eye coordination and abnormally high amounts of fast-twitch muscle fibers… it just doesn’t get any freakier than the NBA.
Not only this, any perennial bench warmer in the NBA would absolutely destroy average citizens when it comes to a game of pickup basketball. Brian Scalabrine — or the “White Mamba” — played a few guys for a radio station in Boston and laid waste to some decent competition. These were cats who played in college… and they couldn’t even score on an out-of-shape Scal. So by and large, when I refer to 10 of the crappiest players in the NBA, I mean it with the highest possible esteem.
Now just to be clear, I set some bare minimum criteria so we are all on the same page. These players must be currently signed with a team, so guys like Drew Gooden or Tyrus Thomas are not available. These players must also play at least 10 minutes a game, or very close to it. Moreover, I have excluded all first and second-year players, though I was very tempted to add Anthony Bennett, as well as players that are 35 years old and up. And finally, the higher the player’s contract compared to his production, the more likely they will make this list.
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ELTON BRAND – Center, Atlanta Hawks
Salary: $4 million
Stats: 2.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 11 MPG
To be perfectly fair to Brand, he’s had a very productive and meaningful career, though he’s never won a championship. But he did manage to be selected to two All-Star teams and has posted a career average of 17.2 PPG and 9.0 RPG. However, at this stage in his career, due to age and injuries, he is getting paid a lot of money to do very little. I’m sure his veteran experience and leadership counts for something but at $4 million a season, the Hawks could have signed someone for a quarter of his salary for his current level of production.
ERIC MAYNOR – Point Guard, Washington Wizards
Salary: $2.02 million
Stats: 2.6 PPG, 1.9 APG, 10 MPG
Maynor was signed by the Washington Wizards this offseason thinking he would be a very high upgrade compared to A.J. Price, who was their backup point guard last season. His currently field goal percentage stands at 30.9 percent with his true FG percentage at 37.5 percent. Not only this, the Wizards’ bench has trouble finding the backboard on a regular basis. In typical Wizards fashion, Maynor has done very little but draw the ire of the Wizards faithful — just look for “#MaynorTime” on Twitter. It speaks for itself.
KRIS HUMPHRIES – Power Forward, Boston Celtics
Salary: $12 million
Stats: 5.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 15 MPG
Besides having some of the worst luck in terms of relationships (or the best of luck), Humphries has been a decent journeyman in the NBA. He was able to parlay a few decent seasons with the Nets into a two-year, $24 million contract, which he is still playing out. Now if he were making $1.5 million while putting up his current numbers, no one would blink twice. However, with a salary of $12 million for this season, Humphries is really taking the Celtics for a ride. Now consider this, Tyler Hansbrough of the Toronto Raptors has been more productive than Humphries, and yet, about $9 million cheaper as well.
BEN GORDON – Shooting Guard, Charlotte Bobcats
Salary: $13.2 million
Stats: 6.2 PPG, 1.7 APG, 16 MPG
For a player that’s made a living shooting the ball, Gordon has really declined. A career 40 percent 3-point shooter, Gordon is shooting 15.4 percent in nine games so far this season for a Bobcats team that is in the thick of playoff contention. Add on top of this his $13.2 million he is making this season, this makes Gordon one of the worst investments in the entire NBA. This somewhat does not comes as a surprise due to the fact that Gordon was an undersized 6-2 scorer that was never known for his defense or playmaking. It just comes as a surprise that he’s reached this point at age 30.
JAN VESELY – Power Forward, Washington Wizards
Salary: $3.52 Million
Stats: 3.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 18 MPG
In all fairness, Vesely has developed as a decent energy guy off the bench this season. However, he has a problem. He has trouble scoring the ball, from everywhere. Therefore, whenever Jan is on the floor the opposing team basically is playing 5-on-4 basketball. Last season, Vesely had almost as many fouls (107) as total points (126). Like other athletic big men who are not very skilled on the offensive end, Vesely has trouble hitting the rim when at the free throw line (33 percent). To pour salt on this wound, Vesely was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.