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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Sixers are in Miami to play the Heat tonight, and all signs point to ugliness. Not ugliness for the Heat, they’ll probably be dunking and making shots and resting by the fourth quarter, rather ugliness for the Sixers.
So we might as well throw a little salt in our collective wounds as we get ready.
Bill Simmons of Grantland wrote a column today documenting the 30 worst contracts in the NBA, and the Sixers have two of them.
30. Jason Richardson: three years, $1.6 million
Better known as “The Trade Tax Philly Had to Pay to Get Andrew Bynum.” Whoops. That trade was such a catastrophe that FEMA should start airlifting supplies to Sixers fans. Do they have enough food and water? Where do I send money?
21. Andrew Bynum: one year, $16.5 million
I hate putting an expiring contract this high, but when a playoff team trades one of the best defenders in basketball (Andre Iguodala), the league’s fourth-leading rebounder (22-year-old breakout star Nikola Vucevic), the 15th pick in last year’s draft (Moe Harkless) and a future no. 1 pick for three years of Jason Richardson (covered above) and zero games of a franchise center … I mean … has there ever been a worse trade? They went from “Second-Round Up-and-Comers With a Bright Future” to “The Lottery and Little to No Future” in one transaction.
Important note: I liked the trade for them. They had to do it! They flipped a Franchise Player Coin and watched in horror as it came up tails. Those are the breaks. Watching Bynum hit the open market this summer is going to be riveting. I’m feeling a two-year, $30 million deal with a team option for year three from Phoenix, a team that is the odds-on favorite to be involved in basketball’s first major PED scandal had phenomenal success rehabbing injury risks over the years.
That’s bad enough, of course. But for some reason the contract that Simmons wrote about that didn’t quite make the cut burns the most.
Elton Brand (Philly: one year, $16.1 million)
The Sixers could have kept Brand as a locker room leader and expiring contract/trade chip for the 2012-13 season, but they amnestied him so they could spend that cap space on Spencer Hawes (two years, $13 million), Nick Young (one year, $6 million) and Kwame Brown (one year, $3 million). In other words, they threw away $16.1 million to give themselves a chance to waste another $22 million. NBA teams are really, really dumb. Don’t forget this for a second.
Let’s see, Andrew Bynum’s $16.5 million plus Elton Brand’s $16.1 million adds up to $32.6 million for, you guessed it, not one minute of court time for the Sixers.
And as an aside to what Simmons wrote, Brown has a player option for next season, so it’ll really be two years and $6 million.
I’ll be sitting here waiting for the NBA Draft Lottery if you need me.