8 Worst free agent signings in Philadelphia 76ers history

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2. Matt Geiger

Matt Geiger comes in at number 2 on this list for the Sixers. Geiger was not a top prospect coming out of college where he had two pit stops at Auburn and Georgia Tech. Following his senior season, the big man was selected with the 42nd pick in the 2nd round of the 1992 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat.

Geiger stayed in Miami for three seasons and mostly played the role of a backup center where his best season was his last there averaging 8.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in 23 minutes. The next stop in Charlotte is where Geiger played his best basketball. He started half of his games in Buzz City and averaged over 11 points and 6. 5 rebounds per game in two out of the three seasons. Again these are not eye-popping numbers, but for a backup big man, Geiger did his job.

Why Geiger lands on this unfortunate list though is because the Philadelphia 76ers decided to pay him a staggering amount of money during his free agency after the 1997-98 NBA season. In Miami and Charlotte, Geiger never made more than $1.6 million per annum. That is probably spot on in terms of his worth and production on the basketball court.

The Sixers signed Geiger to a 6-year, $51 million contract! I cannot imagine that other NBA teams were knocking down his door looking to pay him $8 million per year based on his prior six years in the league. Maybe I am wrong, but the Sixers seemed to bid against themselves here, a common theme on this list, and this contract would prove to be one of the worst in franchise history.

In his first season in Philadelphia Geiger started about 80% of the games for the team and averaged a career-high 13.5 points playing 31 minutes per game. This was Geiger’s best year with the Sixers and they probably felt pretty good about the signing. The next season, however, Geiger fell out of the starting lineup and his points fell to 9.7 per game in 10 fewer minutes per game.

By the third year of his contract, Geiger had been hit by the injury bug and only appeared in about half the games that season. In his fourth year in Philadelphia, he was only able to get on the floor for four games total and ended up retiring due to knee injuries. As I said before, it is tough to judge player contracts fairly when injuries are involved, but they are a part of the game and hindsight is 20/20. Even without the injuries, the Matt Geiger contract would likely be on this list.