SOMETIMES things just don’t add up. Like when the Lakers gave Timofey Mozgov a four-year, $64 million contract almost two years ago to the day. Everyone knew that deal wasted doomed as soon as it was announced, yet NBA franchises continue to make similar brainfarts each and every offseason. Things might not be as bleak for the players listed below, but it’s still head scratching why teams chased them so hard. Clearly, they know something I don’t.
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Doug McDermott, Indiana Pacers
Contract deets: 3 years, $22 million
DOUGIE Buckets has struggled to find his groove since entering the league. He has flailed around struggling to carve out a consistent role and Indiana will be his fifth team in five years. McDermott isn’t a great defender doesn’t boast elite athleticism and seems to only have one major skill. That skill though is crucial in today’s game with McDermott’s shooting stroke from downtown (40% for his career) the reason he landed this deal. McDermott is usually the type of player that you can sign towards the later end of week one in free agency, which makes it even more confusing that Indiana ran at him with their chequebook at the stroke of midnight on the 1st of July. Weird, just flat out weird.
Elfrid Payton, New Orleans Pelicans
Contract deets: 1 year, $2.7 million
IT’S definitely worth taking a chance on Elfrid Payton at just over $2.5 million. In fact, that’s a criminally low amount of money for Payton to earn. I just don’t see how he fits in with NOLA’s nucleus. Sure, they needed to find someone to replace Rondo once he walked, but I would have loved to see the Pelicans chase someone who can actually shoot. His potential backcourt sidekick, who turned in a career year last season, isn’t a deadeye either and that could cause problems for New Orleans. This isn’t a disaster by any means and I still have hopes that Payton can become something in the NBA. I just don’t see how he fits this Pelicans outfit.
Image from pelicandebrief.com
Lance Stephenson, Los Angeles Lakers
Contract deets: 1 year, $4.5 million
SPEAKING of blokes who can’t shoot. Lance landing in LA just hours after LeBron fueled a series of (roughly) 3.2 million memes that flooded everyone’s Twitter feed. I’m not sure if the Lakers are serious about winning games next season and correct me if I’m wrong, but have we seen Stephenson excel anywhere outside of Indiana? This wasn’t exactly the big free agent splash Lakers fans expected after the secured LeBron’s signature. From a schematic perspective, I guess someone needs to fill in the minutes in the backcourt, but they then went and ALSO signed Rajon Rondo causing more of a non-shooter logjam. A player with a decent jumper to help LBJ space the floor makes a more sense than Lance Stephenson, right? Maybe Magic is a genius, time will tell I guess…
Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks
Contract deets: 3 years, $21 million
AFTER being bought out by the Hawks, Ersan Ilyasova carved out a nice role during the playoffs with the 76ers. Able to play a variety of roles, Ilyasova helped the Sixers with a veteran presence to guide the young guns too. Milwaukee moved swiftly to make sure he was returning to Wisconsin, where Ilyasova spent the majority of his early career. The born again Buck could become a nice reserve or may even feature in a more prominent role pending Jabari Parker’s future. Don’t rule out Milwaukee’s newest addition taking on a starting role as they try to one-up their 2017-18 result by making a deeper playoff push. He could be a great fit alongside Giannis Antetokoumpo. That’s a big could though.
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