When Carl Landry signed to return to the Sacramento Kings in July 2013, it was the first big move of the new regime. Yet despite Kings fans bathing in the afterglow of the Kings being saved, the move was questioned. Landry had been a questionable fit next to DeMarcus Cousins in his first tenure with the Kings, but Landry had just completed the best year of his career as a key contributor off the bench for the Golden State Warriors. Whatever questions we had at the time couldn't have prepared us for just how bad the deal would look in just two years, but it's important to review the deal fairly.
Landry's second tour with the Kings has been marred by a multitude of injuries, but nobody was questioning Landry's ability to stay healthy when he was signed. Landry is known for being tough. The guy got shot in the leg in 2009 and barely missed time with the Houston Rockets. And even last season, plagued by multiple injuries, Landry played in 70 games for the Kings. 70! The season before, Landry played 81 games for the Warriors. He's a tough guy who works hard. Saying the Kings overpaid an injury prone player is rewriting history.
The Landry signing didn't make sense when it happened for other reasons. It locked in a player who was, ideally, a good third big off the bench. He was signed for $6.5 million per year for four years, a contract that would take him through age 33. Landry plays a style that doesn't rely on athleticism, but the issue many folks saw was simply that the Kings were committing cap space to a player who could be past his usefulness by the end of the deal, and that was assuming good health.
One of the other major criticisms was that Landry was joining a logjam in the front court. At the time the Kings had Jason Thompson, Chuck Hayes, and Patrick Patterson all playing power forward. The situation is much different now, with Patterson and Hayes traded to the Toronto Raptors just a few months later.
All of this is to say that the signing was a mistake for reasons beyond Landry's current injury woes. The injuries have simply made the signing much worse in hindsight. We can say it was a bad signing, but it's unfair to say that the organization should have seen these injury issues coming.