Is Jordan Poole the most overpaid player in the NBA?

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Jordan Poole is the 50th-highest-paid player in the NBA. He is nowhere close to being the 50th-best player, however. With a $27 million salary this year and a total guaranteed amount of $123 million for four years, Poole's contract is an albatross. Considering he has been deeply disappointing all season, being one of the most damaging players in the league, is Poole's deal the worst contract in the league?

There are a few candidates for this honor. Among players who make more than Poole, there are plenty of overpaid ones.

Ex-Wizard Beal is on the shortlist of candidates for the worst contract

Former Wizard Bradley Beal makes $46.7 million this season, and over $50 million annually each of the next three seasons. Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves will similarly make over $50 million annually on average for the next three seasons. Zach Lavine makes $40 million this season and a total of $129 million guaranteed for three seasons.

Every single one of these deals is extremely player-friendly. They are nowhere close to being worth that contract. However, Beal, Lavine, and Towns are still productive, starter-caliber players, who have been All-Stars before, and could get there again in the right circumstances if they are healthy.

Other candidates for the title of most overpaid player in the NBA are CJ McCollum, Ben Simmons, Deandre Ayton, Chris Paul, and Jerami Grant.

McCollum has $100 million guaranteed in his three-year deal. Simmons has only two seasons left in his contract, including this year, but he is due $37 million and $40 million respectively. Ayton is due $102 million in guaranteed salary over the next three seasons, including this. Paul will make $30 million each for this season and next. Grant has four years, and $123.5 million left on his deal, a contract very similar to Jordan Poole's.

Again, all of these players are clearly overpaid, albeit on different scales. Every single one of these players has been better than Poole when available to play. Paul, Grant, and McCollum are still productive players contributing to their team's successes to various degrees.

Ayton, Simmons, and Poole might be the three most overpaid players

Ayton, on the other hand, has been similarly disappointing. In a larger role with the Portland Trail Blazers, his effort level, production, and efficiency all took a hit. He can be characterized as the big man version of Jordan Poole.

Ben Simmons has disappointed in a different way. When he played, he was better than he had been in the last three seasons. However, he is struggling to stay healthy, as he only appeared in six games, and has been out for over a month.

Simmons, Ayton, and Poole are arguably in a league of their own for being overpaid. Simmons doesn't play but at least his contract is up after next season. Ayton has been better than Poole but he also makes more money than him.

There is an argument to be made for any one of them to be considered the worst contract in the league. Poole, with his combination of awful on-court performance and the contract going out for three more years after this, might have the best case. And that is very bad news for the Washington Wizards.

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