NBA free agency is going to be one to remember this offseason. After the league reported that the expected salary cap will be $94 million, more teams than expected are going to have money to spend. That being said, there’s a relatively small number of superstar players actually available on the market. Once they’re gone, expect the market for role players to be higher than normal. Let’s take a look at some of the players who might fall into the overpaid list:
1. Harrison Barnes
Everyone knew this was coming, I mean, everyone. Even with the terrible NBA Finals performance Harrison Barnes had, I still think someone is going to give Barnes a huge contract based on potential alone. Before Steve Kerr was the head coach, Harrison Barnes was getting the bulk share of minutes over Draymond Green as the small ball four. What’s unknown about Harrison Barnes is, what kind of player is he? What kind of player can he be when he’s getting 12-15 shots per game? I don’t think he’s a superstar. but he may be on the verge of receiving a big deal for potential, and the success he had as a member of a great team. At only 23-years-old, expect this man to get paid.
2. Dwight Howard
Oddly enough, of everyone on this list Dwight Howard is easily the best player on it. He actually made this list due to a number of things: his entire career since he left Orlando has been a huge disappointment, he’s got durability concerns, he’s already 30, and most importantly, everyone still questions his motor. We know Dwight is going to get his money, but I’m expecting Dwight Howard to get paid like a superstar, even though he isn’t one anymore.
3. Dion Waiters
Other than Dwight Howard, there probably isn’t another player on this list that has as many hot and cold moments other than Dion Waiters. He’ll make the right play and you’ll say, “Why can’t he just do that more often?” Other times you’ll see him go full Dion Waiters and you’ll say, “I see why LeBron James didn’t want him.” I think Waiters can best be used in a role similar to the one he had with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but my feeling is that he wants more than that. I’m sure another team will bite the bullet and open the check book for Waiters.
4. Bismack Biyombo
Every year in the playoffs there’s always that one player that’s in a contract year that puts up numbers: this year it was Bismack Biyombo. On the plus side, he’s a 23-year-old center that was one of the best rim protectors in the league, but offensively there’s still much to be desired. What we saw in the playoffs wasn’t anything new: he protected the rim, blocked shots, and snagged almost every rebound in sight once Jonas Valanciunas went down. What we don’t know is, will we continue to see THAT Bismack Biyombo, because to this point in his career we haven’t. Expect Bismack Biyombo to receive a contract based the serious work he put in during the Raptors’ playoff run.
5. Joakim Noah – Nobody really knows how much he has left. The debacle that was the Chicago Bulls completely went in the tank once he got hurt. While his leadership and defensive tenacity will never be questioned, his offense has been growing increasingly suspect, especially when it comes to scoring the basketball. Teams that strike out on Dwight Howard and Hassan Whiteside might get desperate, look for Joakim Noah to benefit from that with a larger than expected deal.
6. Matthew Dellavedova – The LeBron James effect will be in full motion here. Playing alongside LeBron James will make almost any player look surprisingly good, especially since he covers up so many mistakes of his teammates. Matthew Dellavedova isn’t particularly great at anything. As the market for point guards is EXTREMELY weak, Matthew Dellavedova could be quite the benefactor of such circumstances.
The Wizards are honestly in a tough place. Bradley Beal is still on the come up as he just turned 23-years-old this summer. Realistically speaking, the Wizards probably can’t afford to break up one of the best backcourts in basketball, especially when you consider the season John Wall just had. The problem is that we haven’t seen that backcourt on the court together long enough. Beal has had an array of injuries in his short career, causing many to question his durability. One way or the other, Beal is going to get paid. Teams know the risk they’re taking, but it could come back to bite them further down the road.
The prototypical stretch four that’s all the rage right now. The premium on shooting in the NBA is probably as high as it’s ever been, so expect Anderson to get signed to a larger deal this offseason. He’s not going to really give you much on the defensive end, but pair him with a good big and he could be highly effective (think about Detroit here).