NBA Roundtable

Shawn Marion’s Next Contract

In Free Agency on June 30, 2009 at 12:47 pm


How much is the five year MLE worth?

I don’t think the MLE gets decided until the cap is finalized, which is July 7th, but it figures to be worth around $5.5 million so we’ll use that as our ball park figure.

Year One: $5.5 million

Year Two: $5.94 million

Year Three: $6.15 million

Year Four: $6.93 million

Year Five: $7.48 million

Total: $32 million

Therefore, Marion will earn a contract worth $32 million over five years.

Raptors Extension

The figure of $21 million over three years has been mentioned frequently

Okay, so let’s say Marion gets his $21 million over three years.

That’s $11 million less in guaranteed money than what he’d be getting from the MLE. Marion would need to earn close to the MLE on his next contract just to break even.

Marion will also be 34 years old when he becomes a free agent. Also remember that his game, and his stats, have been in the decline for the last couple of years and that is game is based on his athleticism. We’re looking at a fairly large risk here.

And for what? The joy of playing for a worse team? One with very little hope of even winning a playoff series during his next contract? Instead of suiting up for a contender and getting the opportunity to play for a Championship. He’s taking $11 million less for this honour? That sound right to anyone else?


I don’t think folks are paying enough attention to how quickly an MLE contract increases each year, and how valuable that contract can become over a five year period. Financially, it’s a great offer for Marion and he’ll be able to accept it while playing for a much better team than Toronto.

I think it will take a longer contract from Toronto than three years in order to get Marion to stay. Say a five year $37-40 million contract (maybe more!).

Or, a larger contract at three years, say $26-28 million over three years.

  1. Does the MLE automatically go up – or can it potentially fluctuate with BRI?

  2. Hey Tom,

    I wasn’t sure about the answer to your question, so I looked it up … This is how they compute the MLE (MLE = average salary)

    The league computes the average salary by taking the total salaries paid during the previous season, dividing by 13.2 times the number of teams (other than expansion teams in their first two seasons) and then adding eight percent.

    Therefore, the MLE fluctuates up and down based on where the previous season’s salaries ended up at.

    That figure is released along with the cap information … which should happen sometime in the next week (July 7th?).

    The MLE was worth $5.585 million last year. At the start of the season it was hoped it would rise to nearly $6 million, but the figures I’ve seen over the past few months have been $5.5 million which is why I used it here for the Shawn Marion example.

    I’ll update this post once the league releases the exact MLE figure.

  3. Michael Grange is reporting a four year $32-34 million offer for Shawn Marion

    First things first: the latest word is that the three-year, $21-million deal that has been speculated as the Raptors’ offer for Shawn Marion might be a bit light, I’m hearing. Think four years and north of $32-million; maybe as much as $34-million.

    That’s basically the same money as the MLE (expected to be slightly higher than my above example, at $33.5 million total), except over four years instead of five, leaving one year to earn more.

    Marion would be 35 years old when this contract extension expires. How much does a 35 year old Marion earn? A minimum contract? The LLE? So we’re talking a $1-2 million difference?

    It’s a good offer but not a great offer. I wonder if Marion thinks it’s good enough to pass up the opportunity to play for a contender.

    ESPN offers an update

    Sources told that the Raptors are offering a four-year deal in the $36 million range, but Marion is said to be seeking a five-year deal in the $50 million range, similar to what Turkoglu is likely to receive from the Trail Blazers.

    There is growing belief around the league that the Raptors and Marion will ultimately reach an agreement given the long history between Raptors president Bryan Colangelo and Marion — Colangelo drafted Marion in Phoenix in 1999 — and the limited number of options for both sides.

    One source close to the process cautioned to ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard that closing the gap “could take a while.”

    The $50 million number is what I expected Marion’s agent to look for. Similar to the money earned by Corey Maggette, who was in a comparable situation last season before signing with Golden State.

    A five year deal at $40 million looks a good place for both sides to settle on.

  4. Dave,

    Better re-visit this one, too … in the light of recent developments.

    [imagine what the hoops world would be like today … if there was no internet communications 😉 ]

  5. Shawn Marion is out in the cold now.

    The only way he can earn a contract above the MLE is if one of the team’s with cap space decides to sign him. Considering his age and offensive limitations, there appears to be only one team who would be willing to consider him and that is the Portland Trailblazers and it looks incredibly doubtful that they’ll have any interest in him.

    In other words, Shawn Marion is signing a five year MLE deal sometime in the near future.

    Boston, Cleveland, San Antonio, and Orlando should be alerted. Marion could be a nice piece to their puzzle for that price.

    Scratch That

    Shawn Marion should sign a one year MLE deal. Then enter next season’s free agent bonanza, there’s enough good teams with cap space that summer for Marion to have a legitimate chance at earning a larger contract.

    And if worst comes to worst, he signs a five year MLE deal next summer.

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