NBA / Jul 29, 2010 / 3:35 pm

Pay The Man: 10 Players Who Deserve Contract Extensions

Jeff Green (photo. David Deal)

Fresh off his first NBA All-Star season, Zach Randolph wants a contract extension. He has one year left on his deal with Memphis at $17.3 million. He’s also a suspected drug trafficker without a great track record as a teammate and has a penchant for piling up stats on lousy teams. So basically, the Grizzlies will probably give him five years for about $75 million.

All jokes aside, Z-Bo’s value may be higher now than it ever will be again, so he’s looking to cash in before the predicted lockout in 2011.

Jamal Crawford, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, is also pining for a re-up with his Atlanta Hawks for a few more years. Watch for a lot of this during this season:

Player X: “I’d like an extension … I’m playing well and there’s too much unknown next summer…”

NBA Team: “Why should we hand out an extension now? Let’s wait so we can (probably) save money…”

While it’s too complicated to try and guess how much each team and player will take the potential lockout into consideration, let’s break down 10 guys who should be in line for a lucrative extension before next season. Each of these guys either has an expiring contract next summer, has a player-option on their current deal, or is in position to become a restricted free agent:

Arron Afflalo (Nuggets) — The former UCLA star proved himself last year in his first extended time as a starter. Affalo is a perfect fit on Denver next to some of their bigger names; he hits open shots and defends Kobe Bryant as well as anyone.

Carmelo Anthony (Nuggets) — Do I even need to say why? Imagine what will happen to this team if ‘Melo bolts.

Corey Brewer (T’wolves) — Brewer had a surprising third season. After his first two years had him pegged as a bust, he ended last year at 13 points per game and 1.4 steals a game while starting all 82 games. Similar to Afflalo, Brewer is a perfect role player. If they don’t lock him up for the next four or five years on a new contract, someone else probably will.

Aaron Brooks (Rockets) — Houston showed a lot of faith in the young point guard when they traded away then-starter Rafer Alston to let Brooks run the show. He rewarded them this past season by averaging just under 20 points and over five assists per game. With the return (hopefully) of Yao Ming, Brooks’ profile will rise once again. If healthy, the Rockets look like a definite playoff team. The former Oregon Duck stands as their best shot-creator and needs to be locked up.

Glen Davis (Celtics) — Ironically, Kendrick Perkins will also be looking for an extension. But coming off his major knee injury, Boston will want to see whether their center is healthy first. That makes sub Big Baby even more valuable. Davis has proved over the last two years (2009 playoffs and at times in the 2010 Finals) that he can be a great seventh man on a championship contender. For that, the Celtics should be looking to keep him around for at least a few more years.

Jeff Green (Thunder) — Green gives Oklahoma City so much versatility with his ability to play at the four. And while he will never be more than a third banana on a title-contending team, the Thunder must keep him around. Not only do his teammates love him, but also Green does all of the little things to complement Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. GM Sam Presti is too smart to not figure this out.

Al Horford (Hawks) — One of the better young big men in the League, Horford has been playing out of position his entire career in the pivot but still puts up All-Star numbers. The market for young, unselfish and athletic power players is small, so Horford could be looking at a big pay increase sometime soon. Hopefully, the Hawks position themselves to keep the 24-year-old on the team.

Nene (Nuggets) — Similar to Horford’s situation, Denver relies on their bigs to use their athleticism and toughness. With an already thin frontcourt and Kenyon Martin’s contract coming off the team’s payroll, and his future up in the air, Nene should be their cornerstone inside. One way of showing Melo you care is to give Nene an extension after coming off his two best seasons.

Marcus Thornton (Hornets) — The Hornets’ guard had a surprising first year by averaging 14.5 points a game. Besides Chris Paul, Thornton is the team’s best offensive creator. He is one of the best bargains in the League right now and is definitely playing with a chip on his shoulder. Who knows how he will play once he finally gets that big payday, but the Hornets can’t let someone else come in and offer him more.

David West (Hornets) — The only way CP sticks around is if both West and Thornton are around long-term. West has the offensive skills to play off of Paul and hopefully realizes what the duo has together. He isn’t making a lot of money and is turning 30 soon, but New Orleans should try to bring him back for another three or four years. If they lose either one of these guys, their decline will continue and CP will probably be out.

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  • http://www.opposingviews.com Alex G.
  • Stunnaboy09

    None of these guys getting shit cept Melo for the reason you just said, why pay them now when you can with the new CBA?

    Green to me is the most interesting. To me a more traditional 4 who could provide low post offense and board better would be nice, but Green fits in with the team well and is a baller in his own right. A legit 3rd option he deserves like 8-10 mil a year.

  • jysn

    the thunder have 2 resign green if they wanna keep the team as a contender

  • Manu14

    And what about TONY PARKER????
    A 28 years old, 3 times champ, Finals MVP entering the last year of his contract?

    IMO, he is with Melo the best FA of next summer if the spurs don’t (can’t?) extend him…

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    While it may be a good idea is some case (Melo) nobody “deserves” a contract extension. You signed a contract and you must fulfill that contract before you deserve anything.

    One of the two things I hate about the NFL is when a player sits out or refuses to play because they want a contract extension or want to restructure their contract (The other thing I hate is the rookie pay scale). It wouldn’t fly if owners came to unproductive players and asked to shorten their existing contracts or restructure them to take pay cuts so I’m surprised that this is such a common occurence.

    I fear the NBA is moving in that direction with the recent power that some players are displaying. Players will refuse to play when they think they should get a contract extension. It will only end up hurting the League and alienating the fans.

  • Manu14

    To Alex: What was that “unflattering” story about?

  • Stunnaboy09

    It showed LeBron in a light that wasn’t “HE’S THE GREATEST” but more of a he’s a big kid. Only thing I can think of.

  • karizmatic

    I wouldn’t extend Jeff Green, in fact I’d be looking for ways to trade him…yeah his teammates love him and all but I don’t think they really go anywhere with him in there as a starter. I think he’s a great 6th man for a championship team but the role they have him in right now won’t work in my opinion, and if they were to give him an extension right now it’s likely they would overpay him…best to trade him and get some bench help for him or unlikely but possible a bigger more productive power forward.

    But that’s not me, I think Jeff Green is a good kid, but I just don’t view him as that important in the scheme of things.

  • jysn

    somebody else posted it yesterday i think.. it really doesnt matter seeing as thats a regular nite n vegas… and this dudes a millionaire so of course he gon have a lil more fun then most of us.. ppl jus wanna have somethin 2 talk about

  • Stunnaboy09

    http://foodcourtlunch.com/?p=2861

    Forget the Vegas article, this is the funniest LeBron shit I’ve seen all day. A LeBron diss by Jay-Z

  • Manu14

    Thks Stunnaboy09 ! No particular “scoop”?

    ps: I’d like to have your opinion guys about Tony Parker, I think he is way underated for whatever reasons…
    Don’t you think he “deserves” an extension after all he’s done for the spurs?
    The guy was drafted 28TH, so wasn’t paid much for 4years, and then signed an “underpaid” contract for an elite PG to keep the big3 together…
    He can be a steal next summer “a la” Steve Nash when he left the Mavs for the Suns…

    What do you think?

  • Stunnaboy09

    @Manu14

    TP is the perfect PG for San Antonio with Duncan, only problem is G-Hill made the leap to soon. Also last year due to injuries Parker also went backwards. So now you got Hill, who is playing close to starting PG level basketball. The Spurs are in a tricky situation, but if they give RJ all that money I see them resigning Parker for around 2 years 23-25 million, That way both he and Duncan expire and they can see whether they want to continue with Parker or move along with Hill.

  • dagwaller

    @ 11

    Plenty of TP lovers/haters on this site, but for what it’s worth…

    TP, heading into this past season, was a tier below Melo in terms of stardom. However, the Spurs showed that he wasn’t necessary this year to a successful program. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, Parker lost a step, whether it’s because of injury or a natural slowing down.

    Next, due to the emergence of George Hill as a talented coach’s favorite, TP won’t get the minutes needed to showcase himself to free agent suitors.

    Finally, there are more good, very good, excellent, and great point guards in the league than ever before. 10 years ago was the era of the Power Forward, and now it’s that of the Point Guard. Steve Nash, CP3, Rondo, Rose, D Will, Jameer Nelson, Russell Westbrook…the list goes on. Even the young guns are respectable, starting with Darren Collison, John Wall.

    He’d better play the game correctly this season, on and off court, if he expects to get paid like the top 5 point guard he was a couple of seasons ago.

  • Manu14

    LOL at Hill becoming the next spurs PG…
    I don’t know why everybody keep saying this as an obvious thing, but HIL IS NOT A POINT GUARD!!!
    He can help (when Manu’s playmaking is next to him), but can’t pass the ball decently and makes TP’s playmaking looks like Magic’s!!!
    Whene he started for TP (when Tony was injured), he didn’t averaged more than 4 or 5 ast/game!!, during the PO, he averaged less than 2 ast/game (starting at PG and playing more than 30 min each games!!)
    Hill is a great guard, but whoever thinks he can take the PG job (at the spurs or ANYWHERE), is just crazy, or haven’t seen him play much.
    I guess the spurs are too boring, so nobody whatch them and keep using clichés about them.

    Bck to Tony, last year was an injured plagued year, but put this year aside, he was better in EACH of the nine seasons he’s been in the league!
    He is a reliable 50% shooter, good passer (not the greatest I’ll admit) and has played in more than 130 PO games!!!
    A 28 years old veteran with such a resumé is valuable thing, don’t you think?

  • LakeShow84

    LMAO StunnaBoy

    That shit was clean though hahahaha

    Give that a clean beat and it would be Clevelands anthem..

  • dagwaller

    @ 14

    I don’t think that anyone believes Hill to be the answer at PG for the Spurs. It’s way too early to say that.

    However, he will push TP for minutes at the very least, lowering his value.

    You mention the resume of Tony Parker. What a lot of GMs probably see is a lot of mileage that has resulted in an injury shortened season most recently. To answer your original question, these factors, although hypothetical, are leverage AGAINST TP making a big splash in free agency.

    Then again, you might have been able to say similar things about Amar’e, and look at what happened to him…

  • Manu14

    I agrre with you but you can see the cup half empty or half full…
    I mean, ok, Tony has a lot of mileage, but the value of a veteran (who knows how to win) is priceless for any team (contender or not)
    + Hill won’t take any TP’s minutes, because the way he plays the best is NEXT TO Tony!
    Not as a back up PG!!!

    IMO, the main pb TP will face is the next CBA and maybe lock out!

  • Stunnaboy09

    Actually I think Hill plays best next to Manu. That way he can guard the other teams PG and not worry about passing duties. If I’m Popovic I’m using all my resources to train Hill in passing. He’s got everything else a PG needs: selflessness, athleticism, defense, handles and a above average jump shot.

    I honestly still see TP going to NY if they can’t get Chris Paul. I don’t know why but I see SA low-balling him and him just bolting to the Kicks to team with Stoudamire.

  • Joe’s Momma

    Any team who gives an extension to a player who is not a max contract guy is basically shooting themselves in the foot. It is almost a given player will have to concede a little in terms of salary.

    Z-Bo? Gets #s but won’t get you wins. If he gets an extension, that will be the icing on the cake for their terrible summer.

    Jeff Green? Decent player, but like you said, no more than a 3rd option. So how do you guage his value? 7-8 per over 5 sounds good to me, but it aint my money. If they give him 10+, Presti must be losing his stuff.

    Melo got a max deal on the table, but he just has to sign it. He might go the LBJ route and suit up with 3 all stars.

    Afflalo, Brooks, and Brewer: Let the market decide what to pay them. The only guy who is in danger of being priced out is Brooks. He is a good pg, someone might throw major $ at that dude.

    Horford I would say do it, but if you give him 10 mil a year, ATL aint got that to spend.

  • Joe’s Momma

    karizmatic @8 got it right about Jeff Green.

    Jeff Green is good, but he is more of a sf than a legit 4.

    As a sixth man he would be prefect for this team, but as the starting 4 he is almost always going to be overmatched. He doesn’t rebound well enough.

    Pau murdered him in the playoffs. He aint gonna grow 2 inches. And if he puts on 20 lbs, he will lose his quickness advantage.

    If OKC really wants to be apart of the big boys, they need to go after a back to the basket 4 or 5. Maybe Cole Alrich can do it. All their bigs are either shooters, or they can’t score at all.

    It doesn’t make sense to pay a guy a ton of cash when his best position is the same as the best player on the team. That is why PJ Carlisemo played Durant at the 2, so he could play both him and Jeff Green at the same time.

  • K Dizzle

    @ stunnaboy
    lol @
    “Magic, Jordan, Bird, Kobe, Russell
    The all-time alphas with the all-time hustle
    Now here’s my question, and then we’ll get gone
    Does it bother you that list won’t ever say ‘LeBron’?
    Hell, it’d bother me, but then I’m not one to say
    Cuz in hip-hop that list’s got just one name – Jay”

  • Stunnaboy09

    @ K Dizzle

    I don’t why I’m just imagining how amazing that song would be if he actually made it’ “Wade!James!What’s his name!”

    “nd CB4? Fuck does that even stand for?
    I forgot your name seconds after you walked in the door
    And while I’m standing here trying to remember your name
    You can say your goodbyes to your last All-Star game
    You think you’re big time all of a sudden? Turtle, from where I sit
    You’re a C-list baby sucking A-list tit”

    “My name is Mikhail, and I’m here to say
    I mine gold and nickel, which helps me to pay
    For basketball team called New Jersey Nets
    And what Prokhorov want, Prokhorov gets
    So I don’t like to be made to look like a fool
    Wasting my time? It’s not…how you say…cool
    You anger Russian billionaire before? That I surely doubt
    Because you still walking…for now. Prokhorov, out”

  • christian

    david west – the hornets are in ruins, they’re best player wants to leave…and yall think david west needs to an extension…thats crazy…he doesn’t offer anything….one good playoff series isn’t enough

    z-bo – one of the many nba players that fills up the stat sheet just as well as the loss columns

    carmelina – needs to grow up and stop making faces when things don’t go his way

  • fLaVa

    @ Stunnaboy

    that is the best thing i’ve read since the decision lol

  • b

    @christian
    Carmelina???? U gotta be a hater…
    Dude is one the best forwards in the damn game… he is the only one that deserves a max deal…

  • Marissa

    Have to disagree with Nene….too many injuries and lack of toughness.