NBA Roundtable

Ronnie Brewer’s Contract Extension

In General NBA on October 20, 2009 at 11:26 am

The Desert News reports

“That’s not really in my hands right now,” Brewer said of the call on whether or not he’ll come to agreement on an extension of his rookie contract with the Jazz, which is something that must be decided by the end of the month.

“If it happens it happens,” added Brewer, who apparently wants it to happen — but would become a restricted free agent if no agreement is reached soon. “I mean, I just feel like it’s a great opportunity. I enjoy playing (in Utah). But my focus is on just getting better this year, and helping this team out.”

Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor has vowed to talk this week with Brewer’s agent about a possible extension — up to five new seasons can be added — but he’s unwilling to characterize the likelihood of a deal.

“I can’t say if anything will get done or not, but we’ll have conversations about it,” said O’Connor, who is traveling with the team on a road trip that included two preseason games in Los Angeles over the weekend and another tonight at Portland. “It’s not something that we’re gonna ignore.”

At last check, the sides seemed to be rather far apart on prospective terms.

“It’s tough to tell right now. I try to stay optimistic,” Brewer said. “I think we have a good young core group of guys, so hopefully I can get something rolling. But, if not, I have to play the same way I played last year, make some improvements and hopefully I can stay here.”

Also a few notes on Brewer’s defense + perimeter shooting

One area with ample room for improvement would be his outside shooting.

Brewer struggled so much during last season’s playoffs that Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant didn’t even bother to guard him on the perimeter, making it quite tough for Jazz bigs inside.

Defense

But his defense, according to coach Jerry Sloan, needs to be a bit more conservative.

And …

Yet it’s improved defense on Brewer’s part that seems to concern Jazz coach Jerry Sloan most — and will weigh heavily on whether or not Brewer, who averaged 1.7 steals per game last season, is on the floor late in close regular-season games.

“Ronnie’s got to quit chasing the ball so much on the defensive end,” Sloan said. “He chases the ball a lot looking for steals, and doesn’t play solid basketball all the time.

“A couple of those at the end (Sunday’s) game could have cost us a ballgame when you’re trying to get steals instead of getting back and getting set up defensively.”

Defense + Perimeter Shooting

Ronnie Brewer isn’t a stopper at this point in his career. He’s a good to very good defender who’s currently (or last season) best suited to being the secondary defender on the wing. At that spot he’s a very impressive man-to-man defender and he can wreak havoc in the passing lanes as a help defender.

But for now his one-on-one defense isn’t good enough to be considered a stopper, that’s an area that still needs a lot of improvement. The good news is that Brewer made major strides in this department last season and sounded focused on this area whenever I’ve heard him talk about defense or his individual priorities for developing his game.

As for the shooting, it’s a major drawback when he’s slotted alongside a second wing who’s a below average shooter (Kirilenko) but when he’s alongside a wing who can shoot and a point guard who can shoot (Deron, not Price) then it’s only a minor issue.

Ronnie Brewer’s perimeter shooting is his second most important area for improvement after his defense. If he can get his shot down they’ll be an excellent role player offensively.

Contract

At this point in his career Ronnie Brewer is a good-to-very good role player with the potential to become an elite one (the defense, and/or shooting, and/or improved rebounding). Such a player is very valuable to a team and easily worth MLE type money.

2010/11 Salaries

Utah are going to gain some good wiggle room financially this offseason after Carlos Boozer, Matt Harpring and Kyle Korver’s contracts expire ($24 million combined salaries).

Here are the leftover salaries

  • Andrei Kirilenko – $17.83 million
  • Deron Williams – $14.94 million
  • Memo Okur – $9.95 million
  • Paul Millsap – $7.6 million
  • * Ronnie Brewer ~~ $6 million
  • CJ Miles – $3.7 million
  • Ronnie Price – $1.38 million
  • Eric Maynor – $1.42 million
  • Kosta Koufos – $1.3 million

That’s a total of $58.12 million not including Ronnie Brewer … and a total of $64.12 million when including Ronnie Brewer.

Utah will also own two first round draft picks – their own + NY’s – which could add another $3 million or so onto their bill. That would take them to $61.12 million and up to $67.12 million with Brewer on the books.

That would give them 11 players leaving two roster slots open and likely at least another $1.65 million in charges once they sign veteran role players (squad looking very young on that bench, likely sign veterans). Which would take the Jazz up to $62.77 million without Ronnie, and up to $68.77 million with Ronnie on board.

Notes

  • This is without Utah re-signing Carlos Boozer or Kyle Korver
  • This is without Utah spending any of their MLE
  • With the salary cap expected to fall down to somewhere between $50-54 million next season, the luxury tax will also drop down to $60-65 million.

So Utah will be going over the luxury tax should they re-sign Ronnie Brewer to any contract above $2 million … and it’s hard to see his agent getting anything less than $4-5 million and his agent really should be getting something in the $5.5-7 million range … so the Jazz will be venturing into the luxury tax range again next year if they want to hold onto Ronnie Brewer.

I can’t remember the exact figure when I worked it out earlier this summer but I think I had Utah paying out almost $100 million in salaries this season once the luxury tax + signing on fee where taken into consideration and at the time the luxury tax looked like a one year deal … but it’s looking more like a two year situation (until Kirilenko’s bad contract expires).

Conclusion

#1 – There will be another luxury tax hit in store for the Utah Jazz but it doesn’t look bad enough for Utah to consider letting Ronnie Brewer leave.

Their luxury tax situation is a 24 month situation rather than a 12 month situation. The Jazz will get a lot of relief once Boozer, Harpring and Korver expire but they’ll still likely be above the luxury tax rate next season.

#2 – Ronnie Brewer is a good-to-very good role currently and is still developing at a good rate and has the potential to become an elite role player down the road. Such a player is worth somewhere around the MLE.

If Utah sign him for less (say $20 million over four or five years) they’ll be getting an excellent deal. If Utah signs him for $30-34 million over five years they’ll be getting a good deal. If Utah signs him for $40 million over five years then they’ll be paying a good deal for potential and be taking quite a risk … and so on, so on.

#3 – Utah should re-sign Ronnie Brewer. He’s a good player who will almost definitely be moderately priced relative to his talent. Letting him go would be a mistake.

#4 – I think Utah Jazz GM Kevin O’Connor will have an easier time getting Brewer to sign a lower deal this offseason than next. Waiting out the year will likely raise Brewer’s asking price because he’s likely to show more improvement again this season.

I’d like to see O’Connor try hard to get Brewer signed to a deal now.

Advertisements
  1. The changing economics of the game have thrown normal negotiations for a loop.

    A lot of teams are having trouble deciding what to do.

    If the cap drops, this could be a very bad free agent signing period this summer.

    Gives those players with option years pause for thought.

  2. Hey Brothersteve,

    I don’t think much has changed in terms of free agency and dollars offered/asked for. There’s a little less money floating around but things are still very comparable to where they were a year or two ago.

    The changing economics of the league, at least from the players viewpoint, is overblown … under this CBA.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: