Amnesty Tango: Central Division

Photo by prayitno via Flickr

This is the 6th and final installment of the Amnesty Tango series, where I allow one player per team to wiggle out of his underpaying contract. 

Previous Tangos: Northwest Division – Pacific Division – Southwest Division – Southeast DivisionAtlantic Division

(Note: All salary information provided by Hoops Hype. Furthermore, it will be assumed all player and team options are in full effect.)

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls only have three contracts of extraordinary note. Luol Deng is a really good small forward, but he is overpaid since he’ll average $13 million a year over the next three seasons. Carlos Boozer is really overpaid.Well, never mind. When you have a chance to shell out $60 million over the next four years for a PF who can really yell, thump his chest and vanish in the playoffs, you go for it! In a perfect world, Derrick Rose would be able to swap contracts with Boozer immediately. The MVP is due $7 million next year and has a qualifying offer of $9 million for the summer of 2013. $9 million. That’s about what Boozer’s worth.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Sure Antawn Jamison is overpaid at $15 million next year, but bless his heart he’s a consummate professional and comes to play every night. Baron Davis makes $14 million next year and has a player option for $15 million in 2012. Let’s just say when he picks up that option it’ll be the first thing he’s exercised in years. Moving along, the Cavaliers are actually bereft of any underpaid talent. The rest of the deal’s are fairly cheap and in-line with the contracted player’s ability. Good showing, Cavs Dan! The Cavs are really in a good spot to rebuild.

Detroit Pistons

Oh, Detroit basketball. Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and Jason Maxiell will make a combined $36 million next year. I’m so sorry. Gordon clearly had an off year and should be better but his contract is still too high. Frankly, I’d hesitate on giving any of the seemingly underpaid players a chance at renegotiation because I’m not sold on any of them. I’m not convinced just yet of the power of Greg Monroe. He had awesome showings late last season, but let’s see if he duplicates it his sophomore season.  I guess Rodney Stuckey needs a slight pay bump, but I’d be scared giving him more than $6 million a year, at the moment.

Indiana Pacers

After an eternity, the Pacers finally find themselves out of the financial wilderness. Danny Granger has not exactly proven he’s worth the $13 million a year he’s due from here on out, but Darren Collison, George Hill, and Roy Hibbert are all underpaid by my estimation. Not horribly so, but nonetheless they each deserve a slight incrrease in salary. With my magic wand I’ll set Hibbert free to get those extra millions. As a legit center who has the ability to alter games defensively and offensively, Hibbert is a rarity.

He’s not the next coming of Hakeem Olajuwon, but he’s still going to be good.

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Milwaukee Bucks

Andrew Bogut is the big money maker in Milwaukee (3yrs/$39million) and I have no problem with that if he stays healthy. Elsewhere, though, we got problems. Drew Gooden, Beno Udrih (although not as much as you’d first think), and Captain Jack are all overpaid. It could be worse, though. Corey Maggette and John Salmons could still be around. As for the underpaid players, Luc Mbah a Moute should surely receive more than his qualifying offer of $1.1 million. He’s a nasty defender. Just filthy. He’s got some Bobby Jones in him.

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Seth Carstens