Tag:extensions
Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:26 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 1:44 pm
 

Nuggets extend Gallinari to 4-years, $42 mil deal

Gallinari has expanded his game and the Nuggets have inked him to a four-year extension (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver and Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports the Denver Nuggets have signed forward Danilo Gallinari to a 4-year contract extension

Gallinari, 23, was the crown jewel of a trade package the Nuggets acquired from the New York Knicks for All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony at the 2011 trade deadline. A long, smooth forward, Gallinari was the No. 6 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

This season, he's averaging 17.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 34.2 minutes per game, all career-highs.  

The reported terms are more than reasonable. Gallinari is a solid second-tier player from his class, a clear cut below the max performers (Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love) but certainly no slouch.  He's currently ranked No. 35 in the league in player efficiency and he poses a match-up problem for opponents on most nights given his perimeter skills as a 6-foot-10 forward. The $10.5 million annual salary puts him in line with the likes of Andrea Bargnani.

Gallinari is a native of Italy, where he was a standout as a teenager for Olimpia Milano. His first season and a half with the Knicks was spent primarily as an outside shooter. But as the Denver Postreported this week, that's changed dramatically this year as a "New Gallo" has emerged. 
The Nuggets’ coaching staff has put the ball in Gallinari’s hands more than ever. In fact, Gallinari has not been this big a part of the overall look of any offense since before he came to America. He is shifted most often between the power forward and small forward slots. The biggest difference between the two in the Nuggets’ scheme is that the power forward has more screening responsibilities and plays in the pick-and-roll a bit more than the small forward.

Other than that, Gallinari said, “it’s pretty much similar – running and try to score fast.”

Karl admitted the coaching staff was “a little leery” of making the decision to experiment with moving Gallinari around from position to position.

“Moving him around and using him in different ways, it sounds good on paper,” Karl said. “But sometimes it messes with a player.”
via Danilo Gallinari’s responsibility shift sparking his breakout season | Nuggets Ink — Denver Nuggets news — The Denver Post.

Amazingly, as Gallo has taken on more of a ball-handling role in the pick and roll and other sets, his turnover percentage has actually dropped. His assists per game and per minute have nearly doubled. All this and he hasn't' really locked down his 3-pointer yet. There's nothing broken with his shooting form, his shot's just not falling, down to 31 percent from 37 percent last season. When that comes in, Gallo's all-around offense is going to be a nightmare for opponents. With the Nuggets' superb team passing in place, Gallo won't have to bear the brundt of being the sole producer offensively, and his salary leaves room for the team to continue to build around him. 

In short, that Melo trade continues to work out just about as well as can be imagined for Denver.
Posted on: April 14, 2011 4:04 pm
 

Grizzlies close to deal with Randolph?

Grizzlies talking to Zach Randolph's representatives to finish extension before playoffs begin. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The Memphis Grizzlies return to the playoffs this weekend for the first time since 2006.  It's the first moment of genuine excitement for the team and city since the rebuilding process began after the trade of Pau Gasol. But something does come after the playoffs and the Grizzlies have a great number of things to work out with regards to their future roster. Chief among those concerns is Zach Randolph who needs a new contract. But it would appear the Grizzlies are trying to settle that concern before the playoffs even begin. The Memphis Commercial-Appeal reports today that Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley strolled on into FedEx Forum with Randolph as Randolph's representatives worked out an extension with management. 
When asked if that was a sure sign that his contract extension was all but a done deal, Randolph smiled and said: "They're saying its close."

Raymond Brothers is Randolph's agent and he's been locked in nonstop negotiations with Griz general manager Chris Wallace for the past week. After poking around a little bit today, I'm told that the issues left on the table are so minor that a deal could be finalized and announced as soon as today.
via Griz deal with Z-Bo could be done today - The Memphis Edge.

The key will be not just how much they give Randolph, but how many years. Randolph turns 30 this summer and while his game doesn't rely on athleticism so it's likely he may sustain production longer than a leaper, there's still going to be a dip. The team needs to structure a contract that rewards the work Randolph has put in both on and off the floor for Memphis, but also allows for their future growth. Too strong of an offer and they'll limit themselves. But apparently they have a set already agreed to. Getting it done before the playoffs is either a brilliant tactical move and good karma, or counting chickens before they hatch. 
 

Posted on: March 10, 2011 7:08 pm
 

Memphis has a Zach Randolph situation

Zach Randolph wants his money. Is Memphis in a position to provide him his next contract, and more importantly, should they?
Posted by Matt Moore

It's not like Memphis didn't see this coming. When they gave Rudy Gay a max deal worth $80 million, then followed it up four months later with a $40 million deal for Mike Conley (which looks like a steal right now compared to the garbage assessment I gave it), they knew they were going to be setting themselves up to not get back the core. The starting five from last season of Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol was something management and ownership had both asserted needed to be kept together. They continually spoke to keeping that core together to let it develop. But for that to happen, with a combination of talented young players on the rise and veterans looking for substantial investments, people were going to have to take paycuts. Two of the five took about as much as they were going to get on the open market. Something's got to give. 

Mayo is gone, even if he's not gone. That fact is a combination of decisions from both Mayo and the Grizzlies. Mayo struggled to take over more ball-handling duties over the summer, then wilted under criticism from his coach resulting in a prolonged shooting slump, then go into a fight with teammate Tony Allen on the team plane, during which he was KO'd, then was busted for a performance enhancing drug due to a supplement he claims was in a gas stations refreshment. Mayo's had his hand in this. But the Grizzlies committed a cardinal sin of management, be it a corporate office, a movie rental store (when those existed), or a basketball team. They set Mayo up for failure. They pushed him to be something he's not, a point guard, and when he struggled in a handful of games in Summer League, publicly criticized him for it. They gave Conley the money when he had contributed less to the team than Mayo at that point, moved him to the bench (even if they did need bench scoring, they knew the effect it would have on his confidence), and continuously told him they weren't moving him, then shopped him on the trade market. The final straw was the failed deal with the Pacers that nearly moved him at the deadline. That's not a situation that can be repaired. Be it this summer or worst-case scenario in restricted free agency in the summer of 2012, Mayo's gone. 

Which leaves Gasol and Randolph. One is going to have as many suitors as he can shake his beard at, the other has not been quiet about making it clear he wants his final payday. Alan Hahn of Newday reported Thursday on both Gasol and Randolph's free agency situations. Specifically, just about every New York media outlet has spun that the Knicks are intent on landing Gasol to be their center of the future, which they badly need. Gasol, true to the form he's held throughout the conversations about his upcoming restricted free agency, said he's not concerned with it, not worried about it. He's said the same to every outlet, but there's one differential. Gasol went to high school in Memphis. He's been there off and on for close to a decade. Whatever problems his brother had with management probably do affect his thinking, but this is also restricted free agency. If the Grizzlies are willing to match, which there is every indication they are, Gasol won't make it hard on them, or buck at the idea of staying in Memphis through another contract. Odds are very strong that Gasol will be in Memphis for the future. 

Randolph, on the other hand, is a stickier situation. From Newsday
Former Knick Zach Randolph will also be looking for a new contract this offseason as an unrestricted free agent and he sounded annoyed that the Grizzlies decided not to sign him to an extension. "I thought it shouldve been done," he said. "But its a business, nothing personal. Ive just got to come out and do my job every day and let everything else take care of itself."
via Gasol would fit in nicely with Knicks- Newsday.

Randolph's been pretty annoyed this entire time he hasn't gotten the extension. Randolph turns 30 this summer, and this is likely his last really lucrative NBA contract. He's got something good in Memphis, and wants to be rewarded for it. But Randolph has learned that this is a business (having been traded multiple times, largely on account of his off-court behavior and leadership issues, both of which have vanished in Memphis), and will pursue whatever angle he can to get the best deal he can. 

And that's where things get bothersome for the Grizzlies. How do you put the right price on Randolph? He's going to be 30. He doesn't have a history of winning. His defense is not great. (He's not a sieve or anything, but put him up against a long athletic guy who's as relentless as he is and he gets overmatched, quickly, and his weakside rotation leaves a lot to be desired.) He succeeds mostly by being savvier, more gifted, and working harder than the other guy. But isn't that who you want on your team? The leadership mentioned earlier could not have been better in Memphis. Randolph is the first guy to help Gasol up, and Randolph told me over Christmas that he just loves playing next to the big Spaniard, despite what should be a culture gap. He's the first to applaud a teammate, first to stand up for him in a tussle, first to help Darrel Arthur learn what he needs to be doing. And all of that is before you factor he was the Grizzlies first All-Star since Pau Gasol, he leads the team in scoring, is a double-double machine, and is arguably their best overall player. How do you not reward a player for doing everything you've asked of him and more? 

The trick is going to be for the two sides to find a compromise. If Randolph's looking for the standard deal with considerable increases as the contract progresses, the Grizzlies will balk. Randolph at 34 isn't going to be nearly the same player he is now. Front-loading the contract is the best-case scenario, but relies more on Randolph's ability to manage his money. The real issue in all this is the CBA. The Grizzlies are probably looking to see how the new cap situation shakes out before evaluating how much fair market value is for Randolph in the new universe being created in the boardrooms. Would it have been right for the Grizzlies to cave and give Randolph is fair share this season? Sure. But that's not how you build for the future. You do it carefully, and shrewdly, and emotions aren't part of the process. 

Just ask Danny Ainge. 

So the Grizzlies try to push for the playoffs, a must with the kind of improvements they've made, and hope for the best. If they fall short (check their schedule for the rest of the month, it's a gauntlet wrapped in barbed wire on fire), ownership could hit the roof and pull the plug on everything but what they've committed to. Which also might spell the end of professional basketball in Memphis. 

As is the case seemingly everywhere this season, there's a lot going on in Memphis on and off the court. 
Posted on: March 1, 2011 10:46 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 11:14 am
 

Perkins agrees to extension with Thunder

Kendrick Perkins agrees to four-year extension with Oklahoma City Thunder
Posted by Matt Moore

Well, that didn't take long. Less than a week after being traded to Oklahoma City from the Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins will be a Thunder for the foreseeable future. The Thunder announced Tuesday they have reach an agreement on a multi-year extension with Perkins. Terms of the deal were not released in the official announcement, and haven't been leaked yet. When they are, we'll let you know. (Update: Yahoo! reports it's a 4-year, $34.8 million extension. Which is, you know, a lot.)

Multiple reports earlier this year suggested Perkins rejected a 4-year, $22 million max-extension with the Celtics. Why he would turn down that extension and sign this one will be the subject of considerable debate. The answer lies in the long-term planning of the Thunder. The Thunder have managed to keep themselves under the cap despite a considerable roster and a contending team. That room under the cap is what gave them the flexibility to renegotiate Perkins' contract, to allow for what is likely a greater extension. From ShamSports.com a few days ago:

By simultaneously acquiring cap space with the underpaid Kenny Perk, OKC can now do a Baltche with him. OKC can use their cap space to renegotiate Perkins's current $4,640,208 salary up to as much $6,696,720. From there, they can concurrently offer a new four year extension totalling a a maximum of $33,818,436, or any number below that that they feel happier with.

Add in the extra negotiated salary, and that's over $35 million for four years that OKC can theoretically offer him, as-near-as-is $9 million per. In contrast, Boston could only offer circa $6 million per. It's a significant difference.

If Perkins thinks he can get that much on the open market, he's wrong. He's not even worth that much, especially with his current injury concerns. Yet if OKC anticipates his return to full health, and wants to tie in the defensive centrepiece that they have thus far lacked during the entire Kevin Durant era without running the risk of him hitting the open market, they can do so right now.

But they'll also have to do so right now.

Because there's a problem.

They only have until March 1st to do it.

So they'd better impress him quickly.
via ShamSports.com: Tax Payers, Trade Kickers, And Other Deadline Day Bookkeeping.

If OKC did not dramatically alter the terms of his deal in order to give him more money in the extension, then the issue with the Celtics likely came down to one of guaranteed money. If the Celtics wanted to keep his fourth year in a team option or as unguaranteed, for example, Perkins may have decided to test the open market instead to get that kind of stability. Oklahoma City's medical staff signed off on the trade of Perkins to OKC so they must not be concerned about his issues in his knees, even after missing eight months with an ACL tear and subsequent surgery. 

The Thunder have their man, and they just locked him up long-term. With Russell Westbrook soon to be extended and eventually Serge Ibaka as well, the Thunder have a core in place to contend. Now we'll have to see if they struck on time and on target. They look every bit the contender many thought they would be, though.
Posted on: December 11, 2010 6:10 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2010 6:51 pm
 

We've heard this Melo song before with LeBron

Melo following familiar path.
Posted by Matt Moore


Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that Carmelo Anthony has said he will "think about" signing the extension from the Denver Nuggets that has been on the table for months.

Hmm. Superstar tells team he was drafted by in the final year of his contract that he'll consider signing an extension with them that would keep him in that city, avoiding crushing the hearts of millions and avoiding forcing that team to go through a devastating rebuilding process while he jets for a bigger city with what he feels are better teammates. Where on earth could we have seen that before?
The summer of 2010 is indeed shaping up to be a wild one on the NBA free-agent scene.But there's a chance LeBron James may just skip the party.

James said Saturday that he is going to consider signing an extension with the Cavaliers this summer, well before he can become an unrestricted free agent."You play out this season of course; I will consider it," James said Saturday before the Cavs practiced at the Pepsi Center.

"The direction we are headed is everything I expected and more."
via LeBron James tells The PD's Brian Windhorst he'll consider signing extension with Cavs this summer | cleveland.com .

So...awkward.

It's something for Nuggets fans to note as this situation plays out. In these situations it's not what players say, it's what they dont' say. And what Melo isn't saying is that he will re-sign, or that he's going to re-sign, or even that he plans to re-sign. Just that he's thinking about it. Right now I'm thinking about walking outside in 15-degree temperatures. Doesn't mean I'm going to do it.

We've told you before how this thing seems to be following a familiar pattern . And it continues.

(HT: Demetri Inembolidis on Twitter )
Posted on: December 1, 2010 2:51 am
 

The Mike Conley apology post

Matt Moore does some self-criticism in light of Mike Conley's emergence as a legit point guard following the Grizzlies' win over the Lakers Tuesday night.
Posted by Matt Moore


I.... overreacted .

This is a tricky subject, but starting off with that makes it sound like I'm trying to get around the subject. I'm not. I will be telling you, in pain-staking, crow-eating, I-screwed-up fashion why and how I was wrong in my outright evisceration of Mike Conley, at least through the first month of the season. But I also can't approach this as simply a "Mike Conley has made the leap and everything I said was wrong" instance. I wasn't, about some things. This also isn't meant to be an outright capitulation of my opinion. But unlike a lot of sportswriters, who are justified in their approach, I don't believe it hurts me to admit when I'm wrong. My job is to try and entertain you and occasionally give you some level of insight into the league. To say that I'm never wrong is to buy into a culture which abhors the idea that we all have more to learn about the game, or that these players we watch and nitpick over can't surprise us. And they can. Mike Conley has.

Here's what I got right, still, at this point.

The 5-year, $40 million extension to Mike Conley was foolhardy, penny wise and pound foolish. In committing the money to Conley before he had played more than five games, the Grizzlies denied themselves the opportunity to see what the market would bear out for Conley in restricted free agency this summer. They bid against themselves and still managed to lose. They still likely overpaid in the  long run considering his importance in the long-term success of the team. Furthermost, it's still hard to see, despite assurances from Heisley himself to some of his favorite media outlets, how he's going to justify spending the money necessary to keep the core of this team together, the same core which took down the Lakers in impressive fashion Tuesday night despite a near-loss.

Doing so would require likely overspending on Zach Randolph, which is a much more justifiable over-expense than Mike Conley was back in the first week of November. It means finding a reasonable value for Marc Gasol, who is arguably the most important and second best overall player on the team behind Rudy Gay. And then it means still finding enough left to invest in O.J. Mayo, who despite his struggles, still has the capacity to light up teams for 35 on any given night, and whose clutch play down the stretch against the Lakers, particularly in his defense of Kobe Bryant's pull-up to tie (which forced a jump-pass to Ron Artest which was blocked) was an example of the performance he can give. Re-signing all those players seems unlikely, especially with a second overall pick used on Hasheem Thabeet and another first rounder taken on now-starter Xavier Henry.

I can't say that the money invested in Conley was wise at the time, or in the context of building towards the future in Memphis, no matter how relatively painless the extension may be to swallow . It was yet another example of Michael Heisley's misguided leadership and meddling in the affairs of a relatively shrewd talent evaluator in Chris Wallace.

And that about sums up what I got right. Wrong? I'm going to FJM myself now, if you don't mind (which I'm sure is nicer than some of the other things Grizzlies fans want me to do myself).

In the long history of terrible moves by the Memphis Grizzlies, mark my words, this one will reign supreme.

Worse than drafting Hasheem Thabeet .

Okay, stop, right there. Two sentences in, just stop. This was not nearly as bad as drafting Hasheem Thabeet. Know how I know? Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, Darren Collison. Thanks.

Mike Conley is the worst starting point guard in the NBA. That's including Derek Fisher , who is at this point both a defensive signpost and a superior point guard.

Given the improvements Conley's made to his game (which we'll get to, don't worry), it would be ludicrous to assess him as the 30th worst point guard in the NBA. He's not a top 10. He is solidly in the 18-12 range, depending on the night and the matchup. He's still obliterated by the elite point guards in the NBA, but blaming him for that would be like blaming a cow moose for not outrunning a gazelle from the cheetah. It still has a better chance than the heifer grazing blissfully. Also, if you wanted evidence of Conley's superiority over Fisher, look no further than Tuesday's matchup where it wasn't just the numbers Conley put together (28 points, 3 assists), it was the vast array of ways he destroyed Fisher's "defense."

Conley's biggest problems involve things which are extremely hard to identify in the box score. His turnover margin is acceptable, if not stellar. He was 24th in the league last year in assist rate among point guards who played 25 minutes or more. That's not good, at all, but it's not horrific.
Okay, so he's only up to 23rd (going into Tuesday night's games). Considering his usage is at a career high, we can live with that.
Every point guard in the National Basketball Association is able to probe the defense. It involves stepping inside the arc, towards defenders, and maintaining your dribble to see how the defense reacts to penetration. It allows the point guard to evaluate spacing and set up the correct set of decisions. Mike Conley cannot. He will routinely turn his back to a post maneuver, just to avoid losing the ball. This is because he has tremendous difficulty in splitting defenders.
Yeah, all this is gone. While I know Conley read the piece I wrote about him, he no doubt didn't care or adjust his game based on my analysis. Players don't do that, because a. what do we know? And b. you can drive yourself nuts doing that. That said, it sure seems like he's almost deliberately showing off this ability with every game. His probe-dribble has become deadly, with a hesitation just inside the arc forcing defenders to close before bursting through and to the rim. It's gone from a massive struggle for him to a significant advantage against slow or inexperienced guards.
He struggles in the pick and roll according to Synergy Sports, averaging just a .79 PPP in the pick and roll and shooting 44% which is a great Field Goal %, but not in pick and roll.
He's raised his Points Per Possession to .812, shooting 46%. It's not worlds better, but it's an improvement from "bad." Likewise, his spot-up shooting has become brilliant with an adjusted field goal percentage (factoring 3-pointers) of 53%.

Conley surrenders a .96 PPP in Isolation, giving up free throws over 16% of the time. In pick and roll, a .82. It's not horrific. It's just miserably average-to-subpar. This at the most important position on the floor. Bear in mind that Conley plays in a high-octane, weapon-loaded offense that allows him to get out in transition and get easy buckets. Yet he turned the ball over in transition 16.7% of the time.

Okay, so not everything's improved. He's still turning the ball over 16.2% of the time in transition and is now surrendering a .95 PPP in the pick and roll. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Advanced stats don't look much better. Conley has never posted a +15 PER, the benchmark of an average player in the league.
Conley entered the night with a 15.70 PER . And that's after a mini-slump. And it's likely to rise after a high-efficiency, high-usage night against LA.


But none of these things can encapsulate the real improvements in Conley. He's made the jump to being a legit starting point guard who you can rely on to set the offense, make the right decision, and execute the play. He's no longer overwhelmed with pressure. On the Grizzlies' last possession, he navigated the Marc Gasol pick, and swung short to drive. His move was to lob the pass to Marc Gasol. Pau Gasol raised his boat-oar arms and snatched it away. Upon first watch, it looked like your run-of-the-mill Conley turnover. But his decision was sharp, it was correct, the move precise, the pass on target. Pau Gasol just made a great defensive play. Considering the disaster the Lakers ran in their final possession, it looks like a dream.

Mike Conley is not an elite point guard, but he's also not paid like one . But for a player who was decimated by fans and media, and most especially by me, after his extension, he's made good on it. He's become a starting-caliber point guard, and has been a huge part of why the Grizzlies find themselves... well, 8-10. The bench is still terrible. But point guard is no longer a position of need, at least right now, for the Memphis Grizzlies.  This can surely change as the months stretch on to become a season, but it's in our best interest for me to tell you, that provided he does not regress:

I was wrong about Mike Conley.
Posted on: November 24, 2010 12:22 am
 

Nick Collison got his dough in a weird way

Posted by Matt Moore
You want the long version or the short version on this one?

Okay, short version: Nick Collison got a 4-year,  $11 million extension that is exceptionally cap-friendly and easy to move in case the Thunder have to do something radical like pursue a player that can make a shot in the post. He got a big signing bonus due to a nice CBA clause which may never exist again. Good times for him.

Long version: The Thunder used a CBA clause that says that a team under the cap may allot its remaining cap space towards a signing bonus for an extension of a player, meaning Collison will wind up making $13.3 million this season, prior to a lockout which means he can buy a lot of T.V. dinners to get him through the drought.

It's a no-lose situation for the Thunder. Collison gets the same amount of money he would anyway, and gets it sooner, while the Thunder get to keep a reasonable number on the future cap implications of a player they believe in a lot. It works out for the best in alll ways. Even if the Thunder suffer an injury and have to sign an emergency replacement they'll have the veteran exception available. Meanwhile, their roster is pretty set and doesn't need much tweaking, and tweaking isn't how they got here. They got here through patience, hard work and deal's like Collison's that help the team and he player.
Posted on: November 2, 2010 12:16 am
 

Jared Dudley signs 5-year, $22 million extension

Suns forward signs 5-year, $22.5 million extension.Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the agent for Jared Dudley confirms the Suns star will get the payday he's been hoping for. Berger reports that Dudley tonight signed a 5-year, $22.5 million extension. Dudley had been hopeful, but pessimistic of getting the extension. The Suns forward averaged 13.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per 40 minutes last season, which is nothing to write home about, but was a huge part of the Suns' bench mob which helped them to the Western Conference Finals.

Defense is where Dudley makes his money, and last year, according to Synergy Sports, he held opponents to 36% shooting in the post with a 20% turnover rate (!) and 40% in isolation. That's good work. 5-years and $22.5 million isn't bad for a do-it-all forward, but you have to wonder if the Suns will regret the length of that contract in a few years when Steve Nash is gone. But hey, maybe the CBA will wipe it out anyway.

Dudley, on his part, is pretty excited.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com