5 of the Most Overpaid NBA Players in 2015-16

Who made bank while underperforming relative to their price tag this season?

People not already submersed in the NBA culture have been astonished at the free agency deals being handed out left and right in the new $94 million salary cap era. And who can blame them?

After all, Timofey Mozgov is set to make $16 million per season in his new deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, marking a 223% pay increase from his $4.95 million salary with Cleveland a year ago. That's a little more than the usual 3-5% raise we're all more accustomed to.

But for those who understand why NBA role players are making more than NFL starting quarterbacks, the new market comes as no surprise. Companies want advertising and sponsorships, TV networks want their money, and the NBA reaps the benefits of a new nine-year deal worth $24 billion (that's right, with a "b") over the life of the contract.

So it follows that the performers -- the players -- are getting richly rewarded for being a part of such a thriving product.

Whether you understand the ins and outs of the NBA financial market or not, all would agree that some players are probably being overpaid. That's nothing new.

This past season, just as players outperformed their respective rookie or simply outdated deals, many underperformed the expectations placed on them by their lucrative contracts.

Of those, here are five of those that were most overpaid, according to the numbers.

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

Salary Win Shares $/Win Share
$25,000,000 -0.4 $62,500,000*

I get that Kobe Bryant is a surefire hall-of-famer and that he's probably one of the top 15 players to ever play the game. This is no knock on him. Rather, it's a knock on the Lakers' front office, a group that decided to pay a 35-year-old Kobe a total of $48.5 million basically to say goodbye to Lakerland.

If you ask the right person, you might find that the Lakers' money was worth it -- at least, in terms of tickets filled and merchandise sold. But when it comes to the team and the business, the farewell wasn't worth all the money that went down the drain along with Bryant's health.

In essence, Kobe's -0.4 win shares means that he contributed almost half a win to opposing teams while not contributing a share of one to his own squad. This cost the Lakers $62.5 million for (what the asterisk beside the above figure indicates) -1 win share.

As a result, the Lakers finished last season 17-65 and failed to build chemistry among their young players. Despite Kobe missing 16 games due to injury and/or rest, it was tough for the team to build any kind of rhythm when he was tallying nearly as many shots (16.7) as points per game (17.6) when he took the floor.

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

Salary Win Shares $/Win Share
$20,093,063 0.4 $50,232,658

After earning MVP honors with the Bulls in the 2010-11 season, Derrick Rose signed a five-year, $94 million contract that would pay him over $20 million a season in years three through five. Those are the years that Rose would be 27, 28 and 29 years old -- the prime of what could've been a great career.

That's what it should've been. After several knee and ankle injuries, Rose hasn't been the same player. The explosiveness we once saw is now gone. Instead of providing 13.1 win shares at an easy price of $5.5 million a year, Rose has struggled to reach a combined one win share over the course of the last three seasons.

Since the end of the 2015-16 season, Chicago has decided to go in a different direction, shipping their once cherished player off to New York where his old legs might find a new game.

Now that all is said and done, you still can't blame the Bulls for paying what would've been their franchise player. But it has to pain them to see that Rose cost them over $50 million for a single win share in a rough 2016 campaign.

Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets

Salary Win Shares $/Win Share
$24,894,863 0.7 $35,564,090

Prior to being waived and having his contract bought out by the Nets, Joe Johnson played in 57 games, tallying a total of just 0.7 win shares and .018 win shares per 48 minutes. At 34 years of age, Johnson was simply unable to contribute much to a Brooklyn team absent sufficient firepower outside of Brook Lopez.

Before making his way to Miami for the remaining 24 games, Johnson was posting a career-worst player efficiency rating (PER) of 10.7 while shooting for an effective field goal percentage of 47.6%, his worst mark since 2003-04 and more than 10 percentage points lower than what he shot with the Heat.

While it's true that "Iso Joe" saw his role and value increase while in Miami, it's also undeniably true that Johnson has turned a year older since the end of the season. The Utah Jazz were more than aware of that, as they signed Johnson to $22 million spread across two years -- a more than reasonable deal for a player of his caliber, experience and age. Take notes, Brooklyn.

Roy Hibbert, Los Angeles Lakers

SalaryWin Shares$/Win Share

Just about a year ago, Roy Hibbert's tenure with the Indiana Pacers came to an end, as he was traded to the Lakers for a future second-round pick. Along with Hibbert came a player option worth $15.5 million, which he was quick to pick up at the time. I'm sure the Lakers thought it was all worth it.

After just a season in Los Angeles, it's safe to say that both parties are in agreement that it just wasn't the right fit. At age 29, Hibbert was used to competing at a high level and battling for Eastern Conference supremacy, having been to the playoffs four consecutive years, including two appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals. And the Lakers' focus wasn't on making Hibbert comfortable or making him a vital piece to plan the rebuild around.

It's understandable that Hibbert failed to produce in this type of environment, as he put up a career-low 5.9 points in 23.2 minutes per game. As a result of his inefficiencies, Hibbert's .056 win shares per 48 minutes and 11.2 PER were the worst of his eight-year career.

The fact that both he and Kobe make this list is a testament to the Lakers' front office flub-ups.

Wesley Matthews, Dallas Mavericks

Salary Win Shares $/Win Share
$16,400,000 3.7 $4,432,432

Dallas knew the risk with Wesley Matthews. The then 28-year-old was coming off of an Achilles injury that prematurely ended his season with Portland in 2015, but Matthews was known as a tough, grinding player.

They really didn't have much of a choice, anyway, after DeAndre Jordan went back on a tentative agreement to join the Mavericks in free agency that summer. As a matter of fact, Matthews saw his contract increase by $13 million after Jordan de-committed.

In spite of the extra incentive to produce, Matthews just wasn't able to get it going. He miraculously played in 78 of 82 games and averaged a shade under 34 minutes per night, but his PER of 10.9 and his true shooting percentage of 53.2% were the worst marks of his career. The three-and-D shooting guard is set to make even more money this year, but he'll be another year removed from injury, so he might be ready to make good on his worth.