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The NBA's most overpaid $tars

From Patrick Ewing to Rod Strickland, this season's NBA All-Overpaid Team is a high-priced cavalcade of aging stars, falling stars and wannabe stars.

It includes a wide variety of players, from those on the downhill side of their careers to those who reaped bountiful rewards for one brief shining moment of productivity.

It should be noted that rookies are ineligible for this team, because it's only fair to give newcomers a season to prove their lack of return on investment. Injured players, as well — at least those that are truly injured and not just chronic tin men — are excluded.

You'll notice there seems to be a disproportionately high number of centers and power forwards on this team. That should come as no surprise, since NBA teams can't throw money at their big guys fast enough.

At the same time, overpaid small forwards are hard to come by — they don't tend to attract the big bucks like their power counterparts.

CENTER

STARTER:

Patrick Ewing, Sonics — 14.00 million — A shadow of his former self, he can't run, can't jump, shoots 42 percent from the field.

BACKUPS:

Jim McIlvaine, Nets — 5.40 — Has amassed 28 points, 15 blocked shots ALL SEASON! On bright side, has 35 rebounds.

Luc Longley, Knicks — 5.75 — Scoring average has dropped for four straight seasons. Averages 2 points per game.

Matt Geiger, Sixers — 7.52 — Suffered variety of mysterious ailments that have baffled team doctors. Has done zip since leaving Hornets and getting hefty contract.

Ike Austin, Grizzlies — 5.50 — Like Longley, his scoring average has dropped four straight seasons. Can't even get playing time on bad team.

Hakeem Olajuwon, Rockets — 16.00 — There was a time he was worth this much, but now it's a steep price for 11 points a game.

Bryant Reeves, Grizzlies — 10.11 — Hasn't scored in double figures since first week of December.

Erick Dampier, Warriors — 5.61 — Career 41-percent shooter is quintessential low-impact player.

Chris Dudley, Suns — 6.20 — Getting paid roughly $80,000 per point this season.

POWER FORWARD

STARTER:

Shawn Kemp, Blazers — 11.72 — When he isn't eating, ex-superstar has become a jump-shooter.

BACKUPS:

Larry Johnson, Knicks — 11.00 — Classic case of self-fulfilling prophecy: He now plays like grandmama.

Juwan Howard, Mavericks — 16.90 — Better player than most guys on this list, but not worth this kind of money.

Derrick Coleman, Hornets — 8.00 — Team is 30-9 when he hasn't played this season, 8-17 when he has (through Tuesday's games).

Christian Laettner, Wizards — 6.63 — Has skills, but teams can't seem to get rid of him fast enough.

Tom Gugliotta, Suns — 9.36 — Very quietly having by far the worst season of his career.

Vin Baker, Sonics — 10.13 — Former all-star has become a low-impact head case.

Tim Thomas, Bucks — 8.51 — Way too much money for a guy who plays 27.5 minutes per game.

SMALL FORWARD

STARTER:

Scottie Pippen, Blazers — 13.75 — Highest-paid player on underachieving team has to take some heat.

SHOOTING GUARD

STARTER:

Mitch Richmond, Wizards — 10.00 — A mere 35, but he often looks tired and disinterested.

BACKUPS:

Kendall Gill, Nets — 7.00 — Shooting a staggeringly low 33 percent from the field.

Tariq Abdul-Wahad, Nuggets — 4.50 — His signing could contribute to demise of coach Dan Issel.

POINT GUARD

STARTER:

Rod Strickland, Blazers — 10.00 — Destroyed Wizards, now has sights set on Portland.

BACKUPS:

Tim Hardaway, Heat — 12.00 38-percent shooter has had some atrocious field-goal efforts this season.

Damon Stoudamire, Blazers — 11.25 — His uninspired play caused management to give Strickland a shot.