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The Worst Bucks Contract of the Last Decade: The Field of 10 is Set

Let the voting commence

Larry Sanders, Milwaukee Bucks Press Conference Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

The suggestions came hot and heavy after word came down that we would be ranking the worst Milwaukee Bucks contract of the last 10 years. Many of you already have a worst one set out in your mind, but I think it’s equally important we come up with a definitive list of the other nine absolute worst, garbage contracts this beautiful franchise has handed out this past decade. We cannot merely have one, we must meticulously go through this painful exercise, one by one, and emerge with an ultimate loser.

I combined the suggestions tossed out in the comments section and social media alongside my own personal research and whittled it down to a group of ten that I thought personified the worst of the worst to grace social media with a crappy picture of someone signing on the dotted line. Before I unveil the final contestants though, I want to honor a few folks who couldn’t quite make the cut:

  • Gary Neal: A former Spurs guard, his shooting and ball handling made sense in theory, like many of the players brought in for that ill-fated 2013-14 campaign. But, as we all know, everything went sideways in a hurry with that team. He appeared in 30 games and averaged 10 points, but also received a number of DNP-CD’s that year. Even at just a 2-year, $6M deal, Neal hated every facet of his time with the Bucks:

Neal unloaded on the Bucks — who buried him on the end of the bench after signing him to a two-year deal during the summer — before the game, saying he got out of town ASAP after he was traded to Charlotte.

“I didn’t turn nothing in,” he said. “I got on the plane. I left everything in the house, wrote a (rent) check and I was out of there. I was just getting out of a shootaround in Milwaukee when I found out. I took out my insoles (from my shoes) and I was out of there.

  • Carlos Delfino: While his 3-year, $9M deal (really just 2-year, $6.5M guaranteed) was never large enough to hamstring the Bucks, it didn’t help that he broke his foot so badly the Argentinian never played another game in the NBA. To add insult to injury, Delfino had suffered the foot fracture the prior season, but ol’ Johnny Hammond just wanted to bring that friendly face back to town. Ouch, in more ways than one.
  • Kenyon Martin: Okay, so he was only on the team for 20-odd days and it was a measly $414K the Bucks owed him, but this contract felt like peak J-Kidd GM days.
  • Greg Monroe: This may be a controversial one, but Moose narrowly missed the final 10 with his 3-year, ~$50M deal. He may not have been an ideal fit for where the league was going, but he did manage to put up 15.3 points and 8.8 boards one season, then 11.7 and 6.6 the following. He certainly didn’t live up to the lofty expectations set in his much ballyhooed arrival during the summer of 2015, but I thought he did just enough to not warrant a spot among this hallowed 10.
  • Others considered include: Eric Bledsoe (4-year, $75M), George Hill (3-year, $28.7M), Ersan Ilyasova (3-year, $21M), Thanasis Antetokounmpo (2-year, $3.1M), Joel Pryzbilla (1-year, $1.35M), Zaza (3-year, $16.5M), Jason Kidd extension

As I laid out in the introductory piece, there are several elements to consider for this process including context, size and length of the contract and player performance. Hopefully there’s a little latitude for people to interpret this on their own too.

Now, I am going to try and make this polling process crystal clear. We are counting down to the worst contract, and so it wouldn’t be any fun to pick our very worst right away and then count down to the 10th worst contract. Boring.

So, every day, we will be voting for the least worst contract out of this bunch. In other words, vote for the BEST of these bad contracts each time. I will clarify that before every poll, but theoretically, the very worst contract should receive the fewest votes possible throughout this entire exercise. That feels more fitting for an atrocious contract anyway.

So, let’s get this started. Please vote for the contract you think is the BEST out of this bunch.


What is the BEST Bucks contract out of this bad bunch?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    2010 John Salmons (5-year, $39M; partially guaranteed last year)
    (16 votes)
  • 3%
    2010 Drew Gooden (5-year, $32M)
    (9 votes)
  • 32%
    2012 Ersan Ilyasova (5-year, $40M; team option last year)
    (80 votes)
  • 13%
    2013 O.J. Mayo (3-year, $24M)
    (32 votes)
  • 12%
    2013 Larry Sanders (4-year, $44M)
    (30 votes)
  • 5%
    2015 John Henson (4-year, $44M)
    (13 votes)
  • 3%
    2016 Matthew Dellavedova (4-year, $38.5M)
    (8 votes)
  • 5%
    2016 Mirza Teletovic (3-year, $30M)
    (13 votes)
  • 7%
    2016 Miles Plumlee (4-year, $52M)
    (19 votes)
  • 10%
    2017 Tony Snell (4-year, $44M)
    (25 votes)
245 votes total Vote Now

Polling will close at noon (CST) on Friday, May 8.