7. Jerryd Bayless
Next up on the list is Jerryd Bayless. Bayless was drafted into the NBA in the 2008 draft by the Indiana Pacers with the 11th overall pick and traded to the Portland Trailblazers. Before this, he only spent one year in college at the University of Arizona where he was the team’s leading scorer averaging just under 20 points per game and shooting 46% from the field and 41% from three-point range.
Bayless was projected to be a quality NBA basketball player, however 8 years in, by the time the Philadelphia 76ers signed him, he was a journeyman having played for 6 teams in his relatively short tenure in the league. He was a bench player at every stop along the way and averaged more than 11 points per game in only one season.
In the summer of 2016, the Philadelphia 76ers signed Bayless to a 3-year contract worth $27 million. The per annum value on this contract was 3x anything Bayless had been paid in the league during his first 8 seasons and it was honestly a shock. The Sixers seemed to be bidding against the Sixers on this one for paying him that kind of money.
In Bayless’ first season in Philly, he played a total of three games due to a wrist injury. He essentially made $3 million for each game he played that year. The following season, Bayless was utterly disappointing. He averaged 7.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game and only played in 39 games as he was replaced in the rotation by other bench wings.
As a note, I saw Bayless at a smoothie shop in Philly during this season and it took a lot in me to not ask him why his production was down. Before the 2018-2019 season, the Sixers ended up trading Bayless to the Minnesota Timberwolves where he would play his final season in the NBA. Bayless free-agent signing was a mistake and comes in at number 7 on the franchise’s worst list.