The NBA free agency is in full swing, and we've seen several big names change their ball clubs, going after more lucrative deals or wanting to play for a championship contender. Either way, there was a notion that teams will try to save money in any way they can because of Covid-19 and the fact the entire world in a mini-recession, and owners are not willing to spend as they did in the last few years. We were somewhat wrong, and if you analyze the deals that were done so far, you can definitely say some players got paid in full.
Some of these players were able to arrange multi-year deals worth tens of millions of dollars because they definitely deserve them because of their output. On the other hand, there were some contracts, like the one Charlotte Hornets gave Gordon Hayward, that got the fans shaking their head because they believe he doesn't deserve that amount of money since his performance wasn't on the level you would expect for someone who will now earn $30 million per year.
Hayward's current teammate with the Hornets, Nicholas Batum, had one of the best explanations on what it's like when you sign a big contract in one of his older interviews. In 2016, he signed a five-year deal worth $120 million and was also one who got criticized he is not worth the amount he was given. Batum compared it with robbing a bank with an armed gun.
I've told other players this: Sometimes, when you signed a big contract, you feel like you're a criminal. Bro, it's like you went into a bank armed with a gun and you robbed the bank like, 'Give me the money!'"
Nicholas Batum, via Alex Kennedy
Batum said fans shouldn't be frustrated at the players for arranging these contracts because their agents do the most work alongside the team's front office. The front office makes the offer, and the reasoning is that the players will accept any deal that can come their way, especially if it's a multi-year deal worth tens of millions of dollars.
The fans are frustrated when they see their favorite ball clubs give big contracts to players that perhaps don't deserve them. One of the craziest situations in this year's free agency is the ten highest-paid free agents (Bertans, Harris, Morris, Grant, Gallinari, Beasley, Clarkson, Wood, Plumlee, Hood) have contracts that will pay them a total of $543M. Combined, they have a total of 0 All-Star appearances between them, so it's understandable why the fans are mad.
One of the explanations for this type of situation, at least this year, is the weak draft class, so teams that want to be in the playoff contention need to spend money on individual players because there is insufficient talent in the draft. Whether that is a valid reason or not, it's hard to tell, but there is no doubt we've seen some pretty crazy deals signed so far, and there will be plenty more to come in the following days.