Worst free agent signing in Atlanta Hawks history — Jon Koncak
6 years, $13.1 million
Teams value positive locker room players, those guys who lift up their teammates and are low maintenance. That was a great description for Jon Koncak, a former SMU Mustang who the Atlanta Hawks selected with the No. 5 overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft.
Koncak was a role player for the Hawks, never more than a part-time starter over his first four seasons in the league and on the team. Yet, Atlanta liked having him around and thought he could be a piece of the puzzle in pursuing a run at contention. When the Detroit Pistons threatened to sign him in free agency, the Hawks responded with a six-year, $13.1 million contract.
For fans of the modern NBA, that seems like chump change. Many role players make that in one season, and superstar players three times that in a season. Yet at the time, it was a wild contract to give to a role player; in that NBA salary environment he was being paid like an elite player.
Koncak immediately was making more than Magic Johnson or Larry Bird, the two stars who ruled the 1980s. Koncak never averaged more than 4.2 points per game in any season over the life of the contract. Fans of both the Hawks and the league derided him for being so overpaid. The numbers seem small, but he was one of the biggest overpays in league history.