NBA free agency: 30 worst free agent signings in NBA history

Gilbert Arenas, Nick Young, Washington Wizards. (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Gilbert Arenas, Nick Young, Washington Wizards. (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Vin Baker, Seattle SuperSonics
Vin Baker, Seattle SuperSonics. (Brian Bahr /Allsport) /

Worst free agency signings in NBA history: 12. Vin Baker, Seattle SuperSonics

Vin Baker was the face of the then-Seattle SuperSonics at one point during his career. He was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to the SuperSonics after the 1996-97 NBA season in a blockbuster three-team deal that sent Shawn Kemp to Milwaukee.

Baker made his fourth straight NBA All-Star appearance during the 1997-98 NBA season with Seattle. The NBA lockout during the 1998-99 campaign derailed his career a bit, as he showed up to training camp overweight and out of shape. He appeared in 34 games, averaging 13.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

It didn’t stop the Seattle front office from signing him to a seven-year max deal worth $87 million when he entered restricted free agency territory during the 1999 NBA offseason. Baker returned to form during the 1999-00 NBA season, putting up 16.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game across 79 appearances.

His production dropped in 2000-01, when he averaged 12.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest through 76 appearances, 27 of them being starts. Injuries woes and health issues kept him to just 55 games during the 2001-02 NBA season. By then, the SuperSonics front office had seen enough.

Baker was traded to the Boston Celtics during the 2002 NBA offseason. The Celtics released him after 89 games, marking the sign of the end of his career from there. He appeared with two more teams before retiring after the 2005-06 NBA season.