NBA Roundtable

2009 Rookie Class’ Contract Extensions

In General NBA on February 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Here is a quick recap of the contracts signed

Okay, so let’s have a quick review

Russell Westbrook

Excellent signing. Locked him down on a maximum length deal and he is worth a max contract at his present level already. Given his age and potential to improve, this is an excellent contract.

Kevin Love

Odd contract in that Minnesota refused to offer Love a five year deal and Love’s representatives responded by getting an early termination option in the deal after Love’s third season of this contract.

If Minnesota fail to make considerable progress over the next 2-3 years, they could easily be saying goodbye to Love that summer. Their ownership and front office still have a lot to prove in terms of building a high level basketball team. This is a very real concern and not giving Love that extra year may come back to bite them on the ass.

In terms of money, Love is a max contract player. No problem with the finances.

Danilo Gallinari

My first reaction was that this contract was a little high but, the more I think about it, the more I like it. This will be a good deal.

I rate Gallo at around $8 million per annum and this deal will pay him closer to $10.5 million. Given his play early this season, his potential to improve and his health; Gallinari should be able to earn that contract comfortably.

I have been very pleased with Gallinari’s continued improvement physically. Each year he seems to get stronger, quicker and more agile following his return from that back injury he suffered in his rookie season. He looks like has has fully recovered from that and is showing more explosiveness than ever before. Great sign.

There is still some concern about Gallo’s performance in the playoffs last season and the proportion of those big scoring nights that are coming against weak opposition (poor teams, poor defensive squads, inadequate defensive matchups) but given his skill-level and mental makeup, you gotta feel good betting on Gallo to come good in these areas in the future.

Kosta Koufos

Not worth it. Koufos hasn’t shown enough to command that type of money. They overpaid him. The third year on this contract is a team option. So it’s likely only a two year $6 million deal.

Needs to improve his defense to become a solid backup center and be worth that contract.

No Extensions

  • Eric Gordon — no extension, appearantly they were apart by about $5 million. I forget the exact figures but I think Gordon was asking for four years $55 million and the Hornets were offering $50 million. Something like that. I was surprised to hear Gordon was considering anything less than a maximum contract … which he will surely command as a free agent next summer.
  • Brook Lopez — the Nets wanted to keep their cap flexibility in an effort to help their trade package in pursuit of Dwight Howard. I think that was a bad call. Locking Lopez up on an affordable long term deal would have made him more attractive as a trade asset, not less. Given his dodgy play last season and injury early this season, Lopez’ value is at it’s lowest point. Great time to get him locked down. And if there is no trade, then you have a talented center on a good deal. Win-win.
  • Michael Beasley + OJ Mayo — there didn’t appear to be any interest in getting these guys new deals.
  • Brandon Rush + George Hill — both players and teams had interest in re-signing these guys but nothing got done. Expect to see them return to their clubs next season.
  • Robin Lopez — no interest in a contract extension due to a lack of playing time. Expect Lopez to try and leave the Suns this summer.
  • Ryan Anderson — Magic refused to give him a contract due to the on-going Dwight Howard situation. Sounds pretty stupid to me given the contracts they handed out this off-season to Glen Davis and Jason Richardson. If they wanted to retain cap flexibility, they should have started back then. Doing so now gains nothing.
  • Roy Hibbert and JaVale McGee — nothing that made sense for these guys this early in the process. Expect them to sit tight and command large contracts next summer. Most likely becoming overpaid in the process.
  • Nicolas Batum — the Blazers were reluctant to pay him big dollars due to their upcoming financial commitment to Gerald Wallace. Batum is available for the right price (and that is lower than ever) both as a trade asset and as a free agent this summer. His time in Portland looks to be coming to an end.
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