Ranking the 10 worst contracts in NBA history 2022

The National Basketball Association has been in existence since 1946. It’s gone through multiple expansions and mergers to become what it is now. Over the course of those years, there are sure to be some off-the-wall contracts, especially in the early years before commercialization and major television deals.

However, lessons haven’t always been taken heart, and teams still find ways to make absurd deals. This list of 10 contracts might be the most unfortunate in modern NBA history. But what makes these contracts so terrible?

There are several ways a team could wind up on this list, but the overarching theme is overpaying for the value a team is getting in return. That value isn’t realized, though, for a number of reasons. Many of the individuals on this list unfortunately suffered terrible injuries, which led to much of the contract not being realized. Sometimes this was just bad luck.

But other instances show teams signing injury-prone players to larger-than-life deals, which are less forgivable. Other contracts on this list, like our first one, are the product of one spurt of great basketball on a big stage that resulted in a contract that’s never been lived up to.

Here are the 10 worst contracts in NBA history

10. Duncan Robinson (5 years, $90 million)

Duncan Robinson started off his college basketball career in the unlikeliest of places, Williams College in Western Massachusetts. He eventually transferred to the University of Michigan where he became the Big Ten’s Sixth Man of the Year. Robinson went undrafted but signed a summer league contract with the Miami Heat, where he played well.

He made his way through the G League but eventually got an opportunity to play for the Heat during the 2019-20 season, when Jimmy Butler went out with injury. He continued to be a valuable 3-point shooter through the playoffs, and his success continued the following season, averaging 13.1 points per game, with a 40-plus 3-point shooting percentage.

As a result, the Heat signed Robinson to a five-year, $90 million contract — the largest ever to an undrafted player. Unfortunately, Robinson’s honeymoon soon faded. He started coming off the bench in the 2021-22 season, his 3-point percentage fell below 40 percent, and his points dipped to 10.9 per game.

Robinson had been considered a strong trade prospect at times, but no other team has been interested in eating this massive contract for a deep bench player. While Robinson may have had a few moments of glory, the Heat surely regret making this deal in 2021. 

NEXT: 9. Kawhi Leonard (4 years, $176 million) 

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