It’s time to dust off the orange and black crystal ball. Again.
After previously predicting the 2022 NBA offseason moves that will look the best in three years, it’s time to go in the opposite direction.
While some of these transactions look OK in the present (or maybe seem questionable already), which project to go south in a few years? This could include the signing of some older free agents, maxing out non-max-caliber players or cashing in all available first-round picks to chase titles with a core that’s yet to even make it out of the first round.
From major shake-ups to more under-the-radar activity, these are the 2022 summer moves that will end up looking the worst by 2025.


Details: Philadelphia 76ers sign Tucker to three-year, $33 million deal.
Tucker is the second-oldest player currently under contract in the NBA (37, set to turn 38 on May 5) and just received a three-year deal.
What could go wrong?
Philly was able to give Tucker its entire non-taxpayer mid-level exception thanks to James Harden opting out to take a $14 million pay cut, and it probably had to in order to lure the defensive specialist away from the Miami Heat.
To be clear, this deal should look really good this upcoming season.
Tucker was terrific in Miami last year, starting 70 of his 71 games, shooting a career-high 41.5 percent from three and playing his usually in-your-face physical defense. He certainly didn’t look the part of a 36-year-old, at least most of the time.
Year 2 could even be OK, as his offensive role will primarily be to stand in the corners and knock down open threes. The defense will likely slip with added wear and tear, however, especially if the Sixers can go on a long playoff run next spring.
In Year 3, Tucker will have a player option valued at $11.5 million. Assuming he picks up what will be the highest single-season salary of his career, Tucker will be 40 years old when this contract finally expires.
With most players in their 40s playing on veteran minimum deals (for the few that actually make it this far in the league of course), Tucker will still be raking in a hefty salary. Even Michael Jordan earned just $1 million
in his last season—which started at age 39 and ended at age 40—a salary Tucker will make 11 times as much roughly 20 years later at the same age.
This contract will look just fine now but will inevitably turn into a significant overpay by the end.

The Details: Knicks sign Robinson to four-year, $60 million deal.
After giving Jalen Brunson what projects to be one of the best-aging contracts of the offseason, the Knicks wildly overpaid to keep Robinson.
New York was smart to frontload the contract to help with future cap-space flexibility, but it also means paying Robinson over $17 million this upcoming season. This number puts him at 12th among all NBA centers, above players like Robert Williams III, Brook Lopez, Jusuf Nurkic, Jonas Valanciunas, Jakob Poeltl and just below Myles Turner and Jarrett Allen. According to ProFitX, Robinson’s projected fair-market value for the upcoming season is just $10 million.
His age (24), athleticism and rim-protecting ability made him worth an extension. Robinson’s 53.6 opponent field-goal percentage at the rim ranked 11th among players who contested 200 shots or more last season, so he has defensive-anchor potential, especially with his fouling far more in check now.
That being said, there’s been little growth from Robinson on the offensive end in his four years, which should be especially concerning for a Knicks team that ranked just 23rd (109.7 rating) on that side of the ball last season.
Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale named Robinson’s deal the worst contract of the 2022 free-agency period, writing: “Asking him to make decisions with the ball or do almost anything at all more than three feet away from the basket amounts to self-sabotage. His average shot distance since entering the NBA is 1.3 feet.”
New York needs to see some real offensive development from Mitchell for this contract to end up being a good value, although we’ve seen no evidence that this will actually happen.
For a player whose swing rating has ranked in the 28th and 36th percentiles the past two years (after finishing in the 91st during his sophomore season), this was a gross overpay.

The Details: Minnesota Timberwolves acquire Gobert in exchange for Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, 2023 first-round pick, 2025 first-round pick, 2027 first-round pick, 2029 first-round pick (top-5 protected) and 2026 first-round pick swap.
Let’s start out by saying that Gobert is one of the best defensive players in NBA history, should still be in his prime at age 30 and will inevitably make the Timberwolves a better team.
That being said, this is a silly amount of draft capital to give up for a player who doesn’t push Minnesota into championship contender status.
The Wolves cannot trade a first-round pick for almost a decade (2031) and will have to wait until 2024 to even agree to part with it. Jaden McDaniels and rookie Wendell Moore Jr. represent the team’s only realistically movable pieces to chase upgrades with, assuming Anthony Edwards is untouchable in any trade talks.
Minnesota now possesses the two highest-paid centers in the NBA with Gobert ($38.2 million) and Karl-Anthony Towns ($33.8 million), a frontcourt that will only become far more expensive in three years.
Gobert and Towns will enter the 2025-26 season making over $100 million by themselves, and that’s before factoring in a presumed max extension for Edwards.
If this team is winning championships, then no one should care. For now, however, this is a core that’s reached the playoffs just once together, losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. The West is still loaded, and even with Gobert, the Wolves still seem a tier or two below the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers and Grizzlies, with the New Orleans Pelicans knocking on the door of contender status as well.
Giving up four first-round picks (especially three that are completely unprotected) is something you do to chase a No. 1 option, like a current Kevin Durant or Paul George in 2019. Not a defensive specialist and rebounder with little offensive game of his own.
If the Wolves win even one title, then this trade will have been worth it. For now, however, Minnesota looks like just another really good team in a loaded conference, one that is stuck with the current roster for better or worse.

The Details: Detroit Pistons sign Bagley to a three-year, $37 million deal.
Leverage is often what gets NBA players paid. As in, teams feel they have to offer a player a certain amount for fear another franchise will steal them away at a similar contract.
So, who else was giving Bagley nearly $40 million?
It only cost the Pistons Josh Jackson, Trey Lyles and two future second-round picks to bring Bagley in at the trade deadline last season, and while his raw numbers looked fine (14.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.4 blocks in 27.2 minutes), the 2018 No. 2 overall pick registered a minus-8.8 swing rating (12th percentile) in 18 games with Detroit.
Bagley seemed destined to sign a one-year, prove-it deal with the Pistons or another team, as his career to this point has been full of injuries and overall disappointment.
Detroit chose to extend a qualifying offer, and despite no teams actually signing Bagley to an offer sheet, gave him a hefty three-year deal to return.
With a froncourt consisting of Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Kelly Olynyk, Nerlens Noel and new lottery pick Jalen Duren, it’s unclear where Bagley fits in this rotation.
His lack of a three-point shot (29.1 percent for his career) seems to suggest Bagley would be better at center, but allowing opponents to shoot a whopping 65.0 percent at the rim last season should have the Pistons keeping him at power forward.
Detroit didn’t even give themselves an out with a team option at the end, as every season is fully guaranteed at $12.5 million.
Again, why?
Who were the Pistons bidding against for Bagley?
Playing on the qualifying offer, signing a one-year deal at a lower rate or at least putting some non-guaranteed money or a team option on the end of the contract all would have been better options than this.
Detroit has had a great offseason, but this was a huge mistake.

The Details: Wizards sign Beal to a five-year, $251 million deal that includes a player option, no-trade clause and 15 percent trade bonus.
There were plenty of max contracts handed out in the 2022 free-agency period. Some more deserving than others.
A few players are already worth their max deals (Nikola Jokic, Ja Morant), while some project to be worth theirs as they age into them (Zion Williamson, Darius Garland).
Then there are veterans like Beal who possess All-Star talent but aren’t quite at the level of someone like Jokic, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant or Giannis Antetokounmpo, all of whom have signed their own maxes in recent years.
The Wizards probably didn’t have any other option but to offer Beal a max to get him to stay, but what about all the extras?
The 29-year-old shooting guard was given a no-trade clause, something only nine other players in the history of the NBA had ever secured up to that point. All (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, David Robinson and John Stockton) are either in the Hall of Fame or will be one day, whereas Beal didn’t even make the East All-Star team last season.
The Wizards will have to get Beal’s approval on any potential deal, although he’s still free to request a trade if he chooses.
Speaking of a potential trade, moving him now on a contract that averages over $50 million per year will be far more difficult than one in the $20 million-to-$30 million range, which was Beal’s salary range the last six years. Where he would have previously fetched one of the largest returns of draft picks and young players of any star in the league, Beal will be far less attractive as he enters his 30s next summer and makes significantly more money.
Keeping Beal helps sell tickets and continues to give a face to the franchise, but this is a play-in-caliber team in the East that sits a long way off from title contention. The Wizards shouldn’t be faulted for keeping him, but giving all the extra bonuses for a player who is never going to be a No. 1 option on a title team isn’t going to age well.
The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.
The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.




Arabic Arabic Bulgarian Bulgarian Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English French French German German Hindi Hindi Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Korean Korean Portuguese Portuguese Russian Russian Spanish Spanish