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Rudy Gobert (David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
It’s time to dust off the orange and black crystal ball. Again.
After previously predicting the 2022 NBA off-season that will look best in three yearsIt’s time to go in the opposite direction.
While some of these transactions currently look fine (or perhaps already look suspicious), which project will go south in a few years? This may include signing some older free agents, maxing out non-max-caliber players, or cashing in on all available first-round picks in order to pursue a title with a core that has yet to pass the first round. Has not happened.
From big shocks to more under-the-radar activity, these are the moves of the summer of 2022 that will look the worst until 2025.
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Jesse D. Garbrant / NBAE via Getty Images
description: The Philadelphia 76ers signed Tucker to a three-year, $33 million deal.
Tucker is currently the second oldest player under contract in the NBA (37, who will turn 38 on May 5 and has just received a three-year deal.)
What could have gone wrong?
James Harden opted to take a $14 million pay cut, and was likely able to woo the defensive specialist from the Miami Heat to give Philly Tucker his outright non-taxpayer mid-tier exception.
To be clear, this deal should look really good this upcoming season.
Tucker was brilliant in Miami last year, starting 70 of his 71 games, shooting a career-high 41.5 percent from three and playing his typically one-on-one physical defense. He certainly didn’t look the part of the 36-year-old, at least most of the time.
Year 2 could also be fine, as his offensive role will mainly be to stand in the corners and knock down the open three. The defense will likely slip with additional wear and tear, though, especially if the Sixers can go on a long playoff run next spring.
In Year 3, Tucker will have a player option worth $11.5 million. Considering he receives the highest single-season salary of his career, Tucker will be 40 when that contract eventually expires.
With most players in their 40s playing on veteran minimum deals (for the few who actually make it that far in the league for sure), Tucker will still be raking in a hefty salary. Even Michael Jordan just earned 1 million dollars In his last season — which began at age 39 and ended at age 40 — a salary Tucker would earn 11 times more at the same age 20 years later.
This contract will look fine for now but will inevitably turn into a significant overpay by the end.
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Mike Stob/Getty Images
description: The Knicks signed Robinson to a four-year, $60 million deal.
Which projects should be one of the after giving Jalen Brunson best aging contracts In the off-season, the Knicks overpaid to keep Robinson.
New York was smart to extend the contract to help with future cap-space flexibility, but it also means paying Robinson more than $17 million this upcoming season. This number places him 12th in all NBA centers, above players such as Robert Williams III, Brooke Lopez, Jusuf Narcic, Jonas Valencius, Jacob Poelt, and just below Miles Turner and Jarrett Allen. According to ProFitXRobinson’s estimated fair market value for the upcoming season is just $10 million.
His age (24), athleticism and rim-protecting ability make him an extension worth considering. Robinson’s 53.6 opponent field-goal percentage on the rim rank 11th among players Those who hit 200 shots or more last season have more defensive-anchor ability, especially as their fouling is now more under control.
That being said, Robinson has made very little growth on the offensive end in his four years, which should be particularly concerning for a Knicks team that ranked just 23 (109.7 rating) on that side of the ball last season.
bleacher report Dan Fawley Robinson’s deal as the worst contract of the 2022 free-agency period, writing: “To ask him to make a decision with the ball or to do almost anything more than three feet away from the basket is tantamount to self-sabotage.” His average shot distance since then entering the NBA is 1.3 feet.”
New York needs to see some real aggressive development from Mitchell for this contract to be a good value, although we haven’t seen any evidence that it will actually happen.
for a player who The swing rating is ranked in the 28th and 36th percentiles In the last two years (after finishing in 91st place during his second season), it was a gross overpayment.
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David Sherman / NBAE via Getty Images
description: Minnesota Timberwolves won by Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverly, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, Jared Vanderbilt, 2023 first-round pick, 2025 first-round pick, 2027 first-round pick, 2029 first-round pick (top-5 protected) In return it acquired Gobert. ) and 2026 first round pick swaps.
Let’s start by saying that while Gobert is one of the best defensive players in NBA history, he should still be in his prime at age 30 and will inevitably make the Timberwolves a better team.
That being said, it’s a silly amount of draft capital for a player that doesn’t push Minnesota into championship contender status.
Wolves cannot trade a first-round pick for almost a decade (2031) and will have to wait until 2024 to part with it. Jaden McDaniels and rookie Wendell Moore Jr. represent the only truly movable pieces of the team with which to pursue upgrades, assuming Anthony Edwards is untouchable in any trade talks.
Minnesota now has the two highest-paid centers in the NBA with Gobert ($38.2 million) and Karl-Anthony Towns ($33.8 million), a frontcourt that will become far more expensive in just three years.
Gobert & Towns will enter the 2025–26 season making over $100 million by myselfAnd that’s before factoring in a projected maximum extension for Edwards.
If this team is winning the championship, nobody should care. For now, though, it’s a core that has made it to the playoffs once, losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. The West is still full, and even with Gobert, the Wolves still seem to be one or two below the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Grizzlies, as do the New Orleans Pelicans. Knocking on the door of claimant’s position in well.
Dropping four picks in the first round (especially three that are completely unprotected) is something you do to chase down a No. 1 option, like Kevin Durant or Paul George in 2019. My.
If the Wolves had won a single title, the trade would have been worth it. For now, though, Minnesota looks like just another really good team in a loaded conference that’s stuck with the current roster, for better or worse.
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Nick Antaya / Getty Images
description: The Detroit Pistons signed Bagley for a three-year, $37 million deal.
Leverage is often the same as what is paid to NBA players. As in, teams feel that they have to offer a player a certain amount for fear that another franchise will steal them on a similar contract.
So, who else was giving Bagley nearly $40 million?
It only cost the Pistons Josh Jackson, Trey Liles, and two future second-round picks to bring Bagley to the trade deadline last season, and while his raw numbers looked fine (14.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 27.2). 0.4 block in min. ), 2018 No. 2 overall pick registered a Minus-8.8 swing rating (12th percentile) in 18 games with Detroit.
Bagley was set to sign a one-year deal with the Pistons or some other team, as his career so far has been full of injuries and utter disappointment.
Detroit decided to extend a qualifying offer, and virtually none of the teams offered Bagley a hefty three-year deal to return, despite Bagley signing an offer sheet.
With a frankcourt consisting of Saddik Bay, Isaiah Stewart, Kelly Olinic, Nerlens Noel and new lottery pick Jalen Duren, it is unclear where Bagley fits into this rotation.
His lack of a three-point shot (29.1 percent for his career) seemed to suggest that Bagley would be better in the center, but would allow opponents to shoot heavily 65.0 percent on the rim The Pistons should put him ahead in power last season.
Detroit didn’t even give itself out with a team option in the end, as the full guarantee is $12.5 million each season.
Against whom were the Pistons bidding for Bagley?
Playing on a qualifying offer, signing a one-year deal at a lower rate, or putting in at least some non-guaranteed money or a team option at the end of the contract, would have all been a better option.
Detroit has had a great off-season, but it was a huge mistake.
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Avi Geever / NBAE via Getty Images
description: The Wizards signed Beale to a five-year, $251 million deal that includes a player option, no-trade clause and a 15 percent trade bonus.
Lots of maximum contracts were assigned in the 2022 free-agency period. Some more qualified than others.
Some players are already worth their maximum deals (Nicola Jokic, Jaa Morant), while some projects are worth them because they age in them (Zion Williamson, Darius Garland).
Then there are legends like Beale who have all-star talent but are on the level of none like Jokic, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant or Giannis Antetokounmpo, all of whom signed their own max in recent years. Huh.
The Wizards probably had no choice but to give Beal the max to stay, but what about all the extras?
29-year-old shooting guard was given a no-trade clause, some Only nine other players in NBA history Was ever safe up to that point. All (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, David Robinson and John Stockton) are either in the Hall of Fame or will one day be, while Biel didn’t even make it last season. East All Star Team.
Wizards would have to get Beale’s approval on any potential deal, though he’s still free to request a trade if he so chooses.
Talking about a potential trade, getting him on a contract now that averages more than $50 million per year will be much more difficult than one in the range of $20 million to $30 million, which was the last six. Beale had a salary range over the years. Where he previously received draft picks of any star in the league and one of the biggest returns of young players, Beale will be far less lucrative as he enters his 30s next summer and makes significantly more money.
Keeping the Beales helps sell tickets and continues to give the franchise a face, but it’s formerly a play-in-caliber team that’s far from title contention. The Wizards aren’t to be blamed for keeping him, but giving all the extra bonuses to a player who’s never going to be the No. 1 choice on a title team isn’t going to age well.