While it may appear that covering champions in gold is simple, players do not always live up to expectations, especially after signing millionaire contracts.
10. Rashard Lewis
This is possibly one of the most high-profile cases in recent memory. We're referring to Rashard Lewis, who averaged 22.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in his final season with the Seattle SuperSonics (2006/2007).
More than respectable numbers, but not enough to justify the six-year contract that the Orlando Magic offered him a few weeks later: over 118 million dollars. A lovely and good madness, all the more so given that Lewis' performance dropped dramatically once he arrived in Florida, not even coming close to that of 2007.
9. Grant Hill
Perhaps the most understandable of the contracts collected in this article is the one signed by Grant Hill in 2000. Hill decided to change teams with the new millennium after becoming a superstar in the Detroit Pistons uniform, signing a 7-year contract that would have paid him over 92 million dollars.
Hill, on the other hand, suffered a serious ankle injury that required nearly five years to fully recover, proving the Magic's financial investment futile.
8. Jerome James
And now we have Jerome James, the second player from the New York Knicks. The $ 30 million five-year contract, like McIlvaine's, is surprising not because of the money, but because of the former Sonics' performance in New York, where they will never score more than 3 points on average.
7. Penny Hardaway
Penny Hardaway must deliver a speech similar to Grant Hill's. The American guard deserved that money in terms of technical abilities; however, the "when" raises some doubts. Hardaway had a serious knee injury in 1997, but the Phoenix Suns decided to invest in him anyway in 1999, offering him a contract worth 87 million dollars over seven years.
The former Orlando Magic player was injured again two seasons later, appearing only four times, and after being healed, he could no longer match his pre-injury performance, with a "peak" of 12 points per game in 2001/2002.
6. Larry Hughes
After a 22-point average season with the Washington Wizards, Larry Hughes persuaded the Cleveland Cavaliers' management in 2005 that he was the right man to join LeBron James, signing a $ 70 million five-year contract.
The agreement with LeBron, on the other hand, was never reached due to the former Wizards' unwillingness to work together, preferring to focus on personal statistics. He was traded after only two seasons in Ohio.
5. Vin Baker
Vin Baker is the quintessential example of "what might have been if..." He entered the league in 1993 and spent four seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he almost always averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game, earning him the attention of the Seattle SuperSonics, who offered him a seven-year contract worth 86 million dollars in 1999.
What the Sonics didn't know was that Baker had long battled alcoholism, which, after two seasons of playing at a high level, permanently jeopardized his career. He was invited to the NBA All-Star Game four times during his golden years.
4. Ben Wallace
Ben Wallace was unquestionably one of the best defenders in NBA history, and his six seasons in Detroit will live on in the hearts of many fans. That said, it's still a mystery why the Chicago Bulls offered a $ 60 million four-year contract to a player nearing the end of his career in 2006, and it was not surprising he was only traded for two years.
3. Allan Houston
At the time of the contract extension, the $ 100 million over six years did not appear to be a blunder for Allan Houston, a player who had consistently averaged over 20 points in his first two seasons with the New York Knicks.
Houston, on the other hand, began to suffer from chronic knee problems in 2003, to the point where he had no choice but to retire in 2005. Despite having already retired, Houston was the second highest paid player in the NBA in 2006 and 2007.
2. Eddy Curry
Do you think the Allan Houston story taught the New York Knicks anything? Ask Eddy Curry, who signed a 6-year contract worth $ 60 million in 2005 (while the team was still paying the now-former Houston player in the Big Apple).
Despite having a good feel for the basket in his first season, Curry began to gain weight visibly in his second year, appearing in a total of 10 games (none as a starter) between 2007 and 2010.
1. Gilbert Arenas
And now we've come to the end of this unique ranking, which is led by Gilbert Arenas. The offer of $ 111 million over six years from the Washington Wizards in the summer of 2008 still screams for vengeance.
Because? Arenas had only played 13 games in the season before this incredible comeback, due to injuries and legal issues. Even in subsequent seasons, when Arenas never made more than 40 appearances in a Wizards uniform, the music didn't change.