Year: 2001
Contract: 6 years, $100 million

The New York Knicks are back amongst the Eastern elite this year, but many are wondering:  What took them so long? Well, this is one big reason why. Allan Houston had one of the biggest shots in Knick history with his Game 5 buzzer beater that upset the top seeded Heat and led New York on a road to the 1999 NBA Finals. Houston was able to leverage that popularity come contract time, but no one saw this coming. Of course no one saw the knee injuries that ended his career coming either. The Knicks got just two productive years out of Allan before his breakdown and eventual retirement in 2005, but he remained with the team in spirit. And on the salary cap: Even though he didn't play a game in '06 or '07, he was still the league's second highest paid player. Things got so bad that the NBA created a new regulation designed to alleviate pressure from the luxury tax that everyone knew was specifically for the Knicks. It even got a nickname, "The Allan Houston Rule."