Plenty of bad contracts to go around in the NBA 

Warriors forwards Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy seem to be Topic 1 and 1A around the Bay Area these days. Fans are booing them, the coach is criticizing them and the general notion seems to be that the Warriors are stuck with them.

Not necessarily on the Warriors being stuck with them. I’m not buying that. There are some claiming that Dunleavy and/or Murphy can’t be traded because of their "bad" contracts. But the fact is, so-called bad contracts get moved all the time in the NBA.

Vin Baker was traded. So was Shawn Kemp. Not to mention Steve Francis, Brian Grant, Penny Hardaway and even Evan Eschmeyer a few times. "Bad contract" is a relative term in the NBA.

If you’re going to say Dunleavy (five years, $44.5 million) and Murphy (six years, $58 million) have bad contracts, then you have to acknowledge that dozens and dozens of players around the league have bad contracts, too. Here are a few:

» Kenyon Martin, Denver: He is out for the season with a knee injury and likely won’t be the same player when he returns. Not that he was anything special before he got hurt. Martin has a player option for $16.5 million in 2010-11. Yeah, he’ll opt out.

» Nené, Denver: This injury-plagued power forward will earn $14 million in 2010-11.

» Antoine Walker, Miami: The Heat will pay Walker $7.7 million this year, $8.5 million next year and $9.3 million in 2008-09. All for a guy who is shooting 40 percent from the floor, 26 percent from 3-point range and averaging eight points per game.

» Brian Cardinal, Memphis: Remember "The Custodian?" He’s owed more than $20 million through 2010, including nearly $7 million that final year. He’s played about 12 minutes per game over the past two years — when he plays, that is. Even Jerry West is human.

» Andrei Kirilenko, Utah: Yes, Andrei Kirilenko, who owns a Frequent Visitor card to Jerry Sloan’s doghouse. You think fans here are unhappy with Dunleavy? Jazz fans aren’t crazy about the fact Kirilenko, who signed an $86 million contract, is averaging only nine points per game and can’t make a 3-pointer (23 percent).

Kirilenko is making $12.3 million this year and will make $18 million in 2010-11. Hmmm … Kirilenko at $86 million or Dunleavy at $44 million?

» Marko Jaric, Minnesota: Jaric is owed more than $30 million and he’ll make $7.7 million in the final year of his deal … in 2011. He’s averaging 5.7 points per game and playing only 20 minutes per night. Guess what? He wants out.

» Quentin Richardson, New York: The limited Richardson has a player option for $9.3 million in 2009-10. It’s tough to envision Richardson’s agent saying in May of that season: "I think we can go out and get you more next season."

Matt Steinmetz is the NBA insider for Warriors telecasts on Fox Sports Net.

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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