NBA Roundtable

2012 Contract Extensions

In Free Agency on November 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Here are the players given extensions prior to the October 31st deadline

  • James Harden – $78.6 million over 5 years
  • Ty Lawson – $48 million over 4 years
  • Steph Curry – $44 million over 4 years
  • Jrue Holiday – $41 million over 4 years
  • DeMar DeRozan – $40 million over 4 years
  • Taj Gibson – $38 million over 4 years


James Harden

A top 5 shooting guard (elite starter) and top 25 player (All-Star caliber player) in the league overall. A very good scorer and playmaker. Exceptionally efficient. A good defender/rebounder.

When you consider that two of the others are in their mid-thirties (Kobe, Manu) and the other two are over 30 (Wade, Joe Johnson), and that, Harden is only 23 years old and by far the best young shooting guard in the league … his value is clear.

Fully deserving of a maximum contract.

Ty Lawson

Ty Lawson is a slightly above average starting PG. A good scorer who scores with high efficiency. A good floor general and playmaker. A dodgy defender/rebounder. The third or fourth best player on a title caliber team.

I’d price Ty Lawson at around $8-9 million so I think he is seriously overpaid at $12 million. Bad contract.

Steph Curry

A big health risk. Already suffered another ankle injury this season after suffering something like eight separate ankle injuries since joining the NBA three years ago. A recurring injury.

When healthy, Steph Curry is a top ten point guard in the league. A very effective and explosive shooter/scorer who is a legitimate 20ppg threat. A capable playmaker / floor general but still lacks some confidence in directing his team. Once he gains more self-belief, Curry should be a very strong passer also. Capable of being an average defender/rebounder but has some ways to go to reach there.

Worth well more than the money paid to him if he can stay healthy. Possibly, probably even, worth a max contract in that scenario. However, if Curry continues to suffer (ankle) injuries, this deal could be burdensome for the Warriors. So a high risk high reward signing.

Personally, I would’ve waited until next summer before deciding on whether or not to retain Steph Curry at that price. Still, a worthy risk to take. No complaints.

Jrue Holiday

I had Jrue Holdiay rated as the 10th best PG in the league last season. Still only scratching the surface of his potential.

An elite defender, a well rounded and quality shot-creator and jump-shooter plus a capable floor leader at the PG position. A very good starting PG.

Well worth $10 million per annum. They didn’t even really pay a premium for potential of which there are vast amounts. Very good contract.

DeMar DeRozan

Very poor defensive player. Lousy rebounder who fails to create extra possessions for his team. Very limited ball-handler. Very limited passer. One of the worst players in the league who is playing major minutes at making non-scoring contributions (DeRozan’s non-scoring contributions are a large negative for the Raptors and are not off-set by his scoring which makes him a net negative). A solid scoring threat (16-18ppg, solid efficiency) but so far nothing special. Has shown very little improvement since entering the league three years ago.

DeRozan still has good potential in large part due to his excellent physical attributes which allow him to make numerous plays (offensively, defensively and when rebounding) that other two guards are not able to make … but his inability to turn that potential into performance makes this deal a non-starter. Too expensive.

Taj Gibson

One of the best defensive power forwards in the NBA. Probably the 2nd or 3rd best defender in the league at his position last season behind Serge Ibaka and maybe Josh Smith. Varejao would jump ahead of all of them if moved back to his natural position. Still, clearly a top 5 defensive PF.

Excellent defensive range. Has the quickness and mobility to be a high level defender in transition, in various pick and roll coverages, on defensive rotations and on switches against smaller (quicker) perimeter players. Also has the size and length to give his team an aggressive shot-blocking threat around the basket. A little vulnerable strength wise in the post but capable enough.

In addition to being a high level defensive player, Taj Gibson is also a very strong rebounder and overall possession creator. Offensively, however, Gibson remains quite limited. Not much of a passer. His jump-shot is just about serviceable but certainly below average. Not a shot-creator. Very good finisher around the basket due to his physical tools. Overall, clearly a starting quality PF. A top 20 power forward.

Still, for almost $10 million a year, you want someone who is a clear above average starter. Not convinced Taj Gibson is. More of a $7-8 million type player. So Chicago effectively paid $2-3 million for potential which is about par for the course but when you consider that Gibson was an older rookie who played the full four years in college + has already played three years in the NBA … and has shown no real improvement offensively in that time, that looks to be a bad premium (potential) to pay.

So a slight overpay that could hurt Chicago in future years. Bad contract.

Still, a very effective role player who’ll be a quality contributor for years to come so Bulls fans shouldn’t get too worried by this.

Quick Recap

Okay, a quick recap

  • James Harden – $78.6 million over 5 years (very good contract, properly paid)
  • Ty Lawson – $48 million over 4 years (bad contract, overpaid)
  • Steph Curry – $44 million over 4 years (high risk, high reward – worthy risk to take, good deal)
  • Jrue Holiday – $41 million over 4 years (very good contract, properly paid, underpaid if you include potential)
  • DeMar DeRozan – $40 million over 4 years (badly overpaid)
  • Taj Gibson – $38 million over 4 years (overpaid, bad deal)

So three good deals and three bad deals.

  1. Harden totally deserves his deal…… not sold on Curry, that ankle of his…. ugh…….

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