How much money NBA players make is a debate that rages among fans on an everyday basis. The fan base of every team discusses how much money a certain player makes and whether he actually deserves the contract he has.
The Philadelphia 76ers are not immune to that debate.
The folks over at HoopsHype have put together a metric to measure such issues. The real value metric was developed by Hoops Hype analyst Alberto De Roa. In a recent HoopsHype article, authors Sam Yip Frank Urbina sorted the top 30 overpaid players in NBA history in terms of their real value.
There are four players on the list who have ties to the Sixers and they are:
No. 25 Evan Turner
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The No. 2 pick in the 2010 NBA draft, Turner lasted 4.5 seasons with the Sixers and he averaged 11.5 points and 5.5 rebounds as he didn’t pan out the way Philadelphia had hoped.
HoopsHype on Turner:
As we’ve discussed plenty already, the summer of 2016 was wild as far as money getting thrown around to average players. That’s how Evan Turner, who had played with three teams in the prior three seasons while averaging 11.3 points on 43.5 percent shooting (28.8 percent from three), got a four-year, $70 million contract from the Blazers.
The final season of that deal, which the Hawks were paying for by that point, was the most overpaid of his career, with Turner making $18.6 million while producing like a player worth $1.2 million, according to Real Value. In 19 games that year, Turner averaged 3.3 points on 37.3 percent shooting.
No. 20 Al Horford
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Horford, of course, was the big free agent signing by the Sixers in 2019. He spent one season with the franchise averaging 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists before he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2020.
HoopsHype on Horford:
In the crazed 2016 offseason, Horford signed a four-year, $113 million with the Celtics. Three offseasons later, in 2019, Horford followed that up with a four-year, $109 million contract with the Sixers, which was a total disaster for both parties.
Still, great work by Horford’s agent in both cases.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Horford’s two most overpaid seasons came during that contract. During his one year in Philadelphia, the former Florida Gator averaged 11.9 points and 6.8 rebounds while earning $28.0 million. Real Value valued his play at $11.7 million that year for an overpayment of $16.3 million.
No. 14 Theo Ratliff
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Ratliff was an All-Star for the Sixers in 2001 before he was injured and then traded to the Atlanta Hawks.
HoopsHype on Ratliff:
Theo Ratliff enjoyed a long NBA career despite being a limited offensive player thanks to his elite shot-blocking prowess, leading the league in nightly rejections three different times in his career and making two All-Defense teams.
However, due to injuries later in his career, Ratliff wasn’t able to live up to a three-year, $35 million extension he got from the Blazers in 2004, the primary time he was overpaid, according to Real Value. After that extension, Ratliff played more than 55 games in a season just once and fewer than 50 games five times.
No. 4 Dikembe Mutombo
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Mutombo was acquired by the Hawks in the Ratliff deal and he helped the Sixers reach the finals in 2001.
HoopsHype on Mutombo:
He was one of the best defensive players of all time, ranking second in NBA history in rejections, behind only Olajuwon but Dikembe Mutombo was extremely highly paid throughout his career, almost to an exaggerated extent.
Mutombo, a shot-blocking, rebounding specialist who never developed into much of an offensive threat outside of lobs and near-bucket finisher, ranked Top 11 in salary nine times throughout his 18-year career, even peaking as the league’s second-highest- paid player in 2004-05 when he made $19.5 million.
Unsurprisingly, that year was Mutombo’s most overpaid campaign, per Real Value, as he averaged 4.0 points and 5.3 rebounds over 80 appearances, an overpay of $17.3 million, according to the metric.