NBA rosters are small. The amount of players who make a significant impact on each and every game is even smaller. Still, there is a large amount of money for each team to spend and many different philosophies about the perfect way to build a team. These factors can lead to a number of questionable contracts.
Sometimes a contract isn’t bad because the player doesn’t live up to expectations. Injuries happen all the time and can really affect a player going forward. With the NBA being a salary cap sport (since 1985), teams have to avoid these bad contracts in any way possible. These are the worst contracts in NBA salary cap history.
Jon Koncak – 1989 – $13.1 Million
Koncak was a pretty good defender for the Hawks but didn’t offer much offensively. He landed one of the first major contracts in NBA history and was paid more than players like Magic Johnson. The deal was so famous that his derisive nickname became Jon Contract.
The 1970’s and 1980’s aren’t littered with awful NBA contracts because players just didn’t make the kind of money that could hamstring a team. Koncak’s contract, though only $13 million was memorable as it set a familiar pattern for terrible NBA contracts. Centers with potential will nearly always get paid.