NBA Free Agency: The Worst Free Agency Deals Handed Out Thus Far

NBA free agency has gone bananas. From the rumors that have been circulating about where players may or may not be going, to the amount of money that teams are handing out, NBA free agency is the talk of the sports world. As players and teams are waiting to find out what Kevin Durant is going to do, some are taking and giving away money at nausea. And we are only a couple of days into NBA free agency.

Which NBA free agency contracts were the worst of the weekend? A couple of answers may surprise you.

Many of the available players in free agency decided to stay with their respective teams and were rewarded with hefty raises. Some left for bigger paydays or better opportunities to win. There will be a lot of big money checks that will get cashed over the next five years. Most of those players will not come close to being worthy of their NBA free agency earnings. Here is a look at the worst contracts offered in this year’s NBA free agency.

Mike Conley stays with the Memphis Grizzlies for a record-breaking deal.

Mike Conley Mike Conley agreed to a deal worth five years, $153 million to stay with the Memphis Grizzlies. [Photo by Fredrick Breedon/Getty Images]The Memphis Grizzlies barely had the money to pay head coach Dave Joerger before he was fired, but they found money for a good point guard. That is NBA free agency for you.

Mike Conley and the Grizzlies agree on the largest contract ever handed to a player. The deal, worth five years and $153 million, would suggest that LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant are all grossly underpaid athletes. These are the three best players in the NBA in that order and neither of them will make an average of $30 million per season. Curry will not come close to that anytime soon.

To add salt to the wounds of torn NBA players who are a few years away from NBA free agency, consider the following notion: Mike Conley has never been an all-star, never made an all-NBA team, and probably never will.

Matthew Dellavedova will sign a four-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.

What are the Milwaukee Bucks thinking?

While everyone was busy poking fun at the Los Angeles Lakers for signing Cleveland Cavaliers’ center Timofey Mozgov to a $64 million free agency contract, they did not see what his former teammate received. Matthew Dellavedova got $38.4 million in NBA free agency.p from the Bucks. It is the same Bucks’ team that wanted to trade a productive center in Greg Monroe so that they can save money.

Matthew Dellavedova Matthew Dellavedova celebrates winning the NBA title. [Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]Dellavedova is not a bad player, but aside from being an irritant, there are few things that he does well. He will be a candidate to land on the trade block within two seasons.

Conversely, Mozgov with the Los Angeles Lakers is not as bad as it seems. Mozgov did not fit what the Cavaliers wanted, which is to play with pace. He is a traditional center who protects the rim and will do the little things that will make the players around him flourish. Julius Randle is going to shine with Mozgov present and accounted for.

The other big NBA free agency signing for the Los Angeles Lakers is worst than the Mozgov deal.

Luol Deng signs a multi-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in NBA free agency.

When comparing what some of the deal in NBA free agency, there is one that truly sticks out. That would be Luol Deng’s free agency deal with the Lakers.

Luol Deng is a really good player, but his better days are behind him. The four-year deal he is set to sign with the Lakers is close to market value for someone with Deng’s resume. Overall fit is the reason why his signing is one of the worst.


Adding Luol Deng takes away minutes from rookie Brandon Ingram. That is ample time for developmental talent which will go to waste. And being honest, no team pays an average annual salary of $18 million to sit on the bench. It would suggest that Luol Deng will be signed with the intention of flipping his contract to a contender somewhere down the road. If that is what the Lakers are doing then everything makes sense. It is a gamble, to say the least.

The Luol Deng they are hoping to have is the Swiss Army knife forward that can do a little bit of everything. It all goes back to the overall fit, though. The biggest indictment on the Lakers signing Luol Deng is that they are younger players who can do similar things at a cheaper price.

Chandler Parsons gets rewarded for injury-plagued seasons with $94 million.


It is amazing how the Memphis Grizzlies manage to wind up on this list twice, but the Chandler Parsons deal is a head-scratcher. Not because of fit or anything basketball related. Parsons simply cannot stay healthy long enough justify such of a commitment.

On the plus side, Chandler Parsons can shoot. In the new direction of the NBA, shooting is a premium so the signing is not that terrible. And then you get to take a look at the injury history. Parsons has missed 37 games in the last two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. He was also hampered by injuries in those seasons as well.

Of all the bad contracts handed out in NBA free agency, at least Parsons can come out looking better, but it all comes down to health. Stay tuned to how this plays out in Memphis.

Teams are handing out bad deals in NBA free agency left and right with no conservatism in sight. Of all the terrible contracts, these stood out as the worst.

[Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images]