The Detroit Pistons have stayed pragmatic so far this offseason, avoiding overpaying on the free-agent market.
They instead punted their cap space down the road on trades for Joe Harris and Monte Morris, not exactly exciting, but financially prudent.
Even though they managed to avoid getting locked into a long-term free-agent contract this summer, the Detroit Pistons still have several players whose paychecks do not match their production.
I should start by saying that I always back the players and want them to make as much money as possible. I don’t tune in to watch Tom Gores, so am happy to see players get their bag. But contracts matter in the NBA, as they are directly tied to team building and it takes efficient use of cap space to build a championship roster.
So when I say a player is overpaid, it’s not because I am looking in his wallet, as I was taught not to do that unless you were making sure someone has enough. I love to see working class players get generational wealth and know the billionaire owners (many of whom are trust fund babies) can afford it. So “overpaid” in this sense is all about cap space and production, as too many overpaid guys make it hard to build a winning roster.
Here are three guys getting paid more than they provide.
The 3 most overpaid Detroit Pistons for next season
Joe Harris: $19.9 million
This is a case of a player getting paid for past work that doesn’t match his present-day production. When Harris first signed a 4 year/$75 million contract with the Nets, it looked like a market-rate deal for one of the best shooters in the NBA.
At the time, Harris was averaging nearly 15 points per game and was at or near the top of the league in 3-point percentage. Hey may have been slightly overpaid at the time, but that was the going rate for a sharpshooter.
But now Harris is 31-years-old, his already shaky defense has gotten worse, and he is coming off a season where he averaged under 10 points per game for the first time in six years. His 42 percent from 3-point range (still excellent) was the lowest in five seasons and his minutes dropped from 30 per game from the four seasons before to just 20, lowest since his second year in the league.
When you look at other players around his salary range, you see names like Mikal Bridges, Myles Turner, Clint Cappella, Jarrett Allen and Bojan Bogdanovic, guys who are still producing big numbers.
Harris is still collecting checks from the past, and the Detroit Pistons are hoping he can regain his past form and help them out on the final year of his deal.