If there’s one thing we’ve seen so far in free agency, it’s that teams are unafraid of making big moves. The salary cap is increasing, and that means contracts are getting larger and larger. Players who might not be good enough to make an All-Star team are getting max deals. Role players are signing multi-year, multi-million dollar deals. What this really tells us is that NBA contracts are starting to get more in line with MLB contracts, where your average player can command around $10 million per season.
Although the negotiating period for NBA free agency is still in its early stages, we’ve already seen some huge contracts that will force you to spit up your drink.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most outrageous contract agreements we have seen so far. Just remember that until a player signs on July 7, these contracts are not yet 100 percent official (we call this the DeAndre Jordan exception).
5) Evan Turner, Trail Blazers – 4 years, $70 million
Evan Turner is a good, versatile player, so we don’t exactly dislike Portland adding him. But Evan Turner making $17.5 million per season is a bit nutty when you consider stars like Jimmy Butler, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard all made around the same amount of money last season.
The deal even had Turner admitting it blew him away:
Evan Turner on Blazers' 4-year, $70 million FA offer: "It blew me away.
But it’s much more than a number. The fit was important for me.”
— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) July 1, 2016
Turner, the former No. 2 overall pick by the 76ers, spent the last two seasons with the Celtics, playing less than he was used to with Philly. He averaged 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, and he’ll likely slide into Portland’s lineup alongside the blossoming backcourt of C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard.
Turner hasn’t always had the best reputation within the locker room, even going so far as to reportedly fight a teammate, so we wonder how he’ll handle a situation where he may end up sharing minutes with Al-Farouq Aminu. Just don’t expect Turner to start becoming an outside shooter, as he very rarely shoots threes (his career 30.5 percent mark likely explains why). The good news is he always has been considered a strong defender and he likes their “tough” identity.
Beyond just the high amounts of money being paid to Turner, the ripple effect of this deal could mean the team does not match an offer sheet for Allen Crabbe. Many feel that when it comes down to it, re-signing Crabbe rather than overpaying for Turner would be a sounder strategy for Portland.
4) Evan Fournier, Magic – 5 years, $85 million