In the past couple of days during the NBA’s free agency signing period, we have seen teams overpay for big men. Here is the quick run-down of the total contracts given to Marcin Gortat, Chris Anderson and Anderson Varejao.
Chris Anderson: 5 year contract worth up to 26 million dollars from Denver Nuggets
Marcin Gortat: 5 year contract worth up to 34 million dollars from Dallas Mavericks
Anderson Varejao: 6 year contract worth up to 50 million dollars from Cleveland Cavaliers
Yep, for those three players, there combined deals are worth 110 million dollars. Yep, you got it, 110 million dollars for individuals that are venerable reserves in the association. However, I am not quick to blame these teams and players for their spending habits since this was put into precedence by the Atlanta Hawks and former center Jon Koncak.
If we flashback to the year of 1989, Koncak was a back-up center for the Atlanta Hawks and was a very valued commodity on the free agent market. The Hawks decided to keep their back-up by offering a huge six year contract worth up to 16 million dollars.
At the time the deal was worth more than established superstars: Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and even Michael Jordan were below Jon Koncak in the payscale. Well, the Hawks got what they wanted with that deal, a back-up center who spent fair amount of time on the bench for the rest of his time in Atlanta. Koncak’s career was pretty much followed by the ghost of that huge deal until he retired in 1996 with the Orlando Magic.
However, “Jon Contract” started this trend of teams trying to overpay for certain talents specifically in today’s current NBA with lack of solid big men. That’s why you will see Cleveland shell out a contract upwards of 50 million for a player who scored 8.6 PPG and 7.2 RPG last season and Dallas dropping 34 million on a player who averaged 3.8 ppg.
So if your team decides to shell more than thirty million dollars on a back-up center or power forward, you have Jon Koncak and the Atlanta Hawks to thank.