» Blog Archive » Stephen Jackson: Captain For Life
  • Nov
    17

    By Geoff Lepper
    48minutes.net

    My take hasn’t changed from what I wrote several weeks ago on the subject of Stephen Jackson’s extension with the Warriors, which after weeks in the works was finally signed Monday.

    In terms of pure production, Jackson deserves to be the highest-paid player on this team (or perhaps second-highest, if Monta Ellis had kept himself healthy). It’s almost an insult that he’s slated to pull down the fifth-highest salary this season behind Ellis, Al Harrington, Andris Biedrins and Corey Maggette.

    But by extending Jackson now, the Warriors are tossing aside their previously iron-clad rules of dealing with a player only when the team has used up all of its possible leverage. I’ll be fascinated to hear the explanation for this exception, if any is forthcoming on the matter.

    One interesting note: Jackson told me a couple weeks back that he wasn’t asking for the max, but the reported numbers — three years for $28 million — don’t reflect any money left on the table. The most the Warriors are allowed to give Jackson under the Collective Bargaining Agreement is $27.8 million — $8.45 million in 2010-11, $9.26 million in 2011-12 and $10.06 million in 2012-13.

    Outside of the reasoning for why the Warriors would break with their own philosophy, here’s the biggest question: How will the signing impact the Warriors in the summer of 2010, when a whole raft of top-notch free agents is scheduled to flood the market?

    There is no real hope that a player with the stature of LeBron James will be willing to come to Oakland when the lights of New York are beckoning to him. But having maneuverability in that timeframe — when teams will potentially be looking to offload players in order to make a run at UFAs such as Paul Pierce, Jason Richardson, Josh Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Tayshaun Prince, Yao Ming, Kobe Bryant, Michael Redd, Amare Stoudemire, Tony Parker, Chris Bosh or Caron Butler — would afford a franchise the opportunity to recast its core, if that was deemed necessary.

    With Jackson in the fold, the Warriors are set to spend $51.5 million in 2010-11 for an eight-man core of Jackson, Ellis, Biedrins, Maggette, Kelenna Azubuike, Ronny Turiaf, Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph.

    Based on the trend line of the last few years, my guesstimate of the 2010-11 cap number would be roughly $64 million. (That’s assuming the league’s revenue total continues to ramp up, which is probably on the optimistic side of things, given the economy’s disastrous free fall).

    That sounds like a fair amount of room, but it’s really not. To start with, it doesn’t include several other possible expenditures, such as C.J. Watson (RFA in ’09), Anthony Morrow (RFA ’10), Marco Belinelli (potential team option for ’10-’11), Biedrins’ incentives, and a No. 1 pick from the ’09 draft (unless it goes to the Nets as payment for Marcus Williams).

    Even if the Warriors cut all those extraneous guys loose and just went with their eight-man core, they still would need to spend probably $5 million filling out the remainder of the roster, leaving themselves $7.5 million, tops, under the cap.

    Without Jackson, that figure would be $16 million or so.

    Plenty of things can change between Nov. 17, 2008 and July 1, 2010. The Warriors could remake themselves in the meantime through a trade similar to the eight-player blockbuster that first brought Jackson to the Bay Area.

    But if they keep this core together for another 19 months, signing Jackson now will probably preclude the Warriors from making a big splash later.

    NOTES: Jackson got poked in the left eye during the Clippers game on Saturday, but reported no damage. It’s the second time he’s been hit there this season; he also took a shot in the open practice three weeks ago.

    “This eye’s been having a bad season so far,” Jackson said. “But as long as I can see out of it, I’m happy about it.”

    So, you’re not going to go for a James Worthy goggle look?

    “No goggles, no,” Jackson said, shaking his head to punctuate his point. “No-no-no-no. Never that, never that. No. I’m not going to be like Rip Hamilton, where my nose was broken eight years ago and I still wear a mask. I’m not going to do that. The only way I’ll wear a patch is if my eye’s closed and the doctors say (it’s necessary). I’m not going to no nothing. I’d rather stay with Captain Jack than Pirate Jack.”

    Contact: geofflepper@48minutes.net

29 Responses to “Stephen Jackson: Captain For Life”

  1. The situation now is alot different than it was on June 30th before Baron opted out. The penny pinching was necessary back then. We were expected to be right up against luxury tax this year with Baron at $17.8M and Monta/Biedrins locked up. I don’t even think we could have matched Azubuike’s offer without going into the Luxury Tax had Baron not opted out. But once Baron did opt out we had flexibility to do some things. We threw huge $100M offers at Brand and Arenas. We settled for Maggette $48M, we gave Turiaf $17M, and now Jackson $28M.

  2. Did the W’s offer Arenas 100mil contract? Wow, incredibly stupid if they did.

  3. Not to mention that Jack’s trade value will drop precipitously with age and the raise in his annual salary.

    This is the Warriors shooting themselves in the foot.

    There is no reason to extend him TWO YEARS ahead of time, if at all (I’d argue never).

  4. I dont think any big time free agent would have wanted to come to the Dubs anyway without Jax. Capt. Jack has earned enough respect and fear around the league. Big time free agents want to be around respected, feared and seasoned veterans. I dont think you could say that for any other present warrior. Biedrins is already averaging a double double and getting more rebounds than any1 in the league including D Howard and hes still not getting enough respect from the refs. Besides, putting everything on the line for 2010 is too much of a risk. Lets stick with the core that we already have.

  5. I also disagree with resigning Jackson without letting the market set his price. Who else wants him? He uses bad judgment at the end of games OR is too tired to finish. Pay is based on demand, not his role or skill level on a young team.

    I don’t agree that the Ws should pinch pennies to make a run for many of those awesome free agents in 2010. I saw the Bulls try that under Jerry Krause and it doesn’t work. Of them I can only see one wanting to move here: Yao Ming.

    Best strategy is to not over pay for guys like Jackson and accumulate young talent and modest cap space.

    Try to package that budding talent, and draft picks for a star player who wants out of a losing situation.

    We were moving in that direction until the Jackson signing.

    It’s like signing Antwan Jamison all over again.

  6. Flash forward….one year

    What if Monta comes back and is one of the Top 15 NBA players we think he is?

    To go along with one of the Top 3 big men in the game, he is a Top 20 NBA player. (Andris)

    Anthony Randolph will start to push the limits of his 6th man role as his defense refines, and he hits 15-18 footers with more consistency.

    Wright will be in the all important 3rd year for an NBA player, those flashes he shows in the 08-09 season will start to become consistent.

    Corey Maggette will continue to score 20pts a game and nothing else.

    But behind it all is a veteran who is the glue guy, Stephen Jackson. Good sign, for a team full of 19 year olds, there is no better veteran for those guys to learn from.

    Good job Rowell.

  7. For a guy remembered for his part in the Indy/Detroit fiasco, he has been nothing but surprising in both his play and attitude.

    Does he deserve it? Yes, because he plays as hard as anyone and in regards to defense, he is pretty damn good.

    I think people are putting too much into what he is doing now: playing out of position and shooting way too much because he can’t trust anyone else to be aggressive enough.

    The public has a short memory, but honestly, I agree that no big name free agents would be coming here. Sure, we probably need flexibility to sign other lower tier players. Yet I think that some of our players will be traded two years from now.

    So it may not be as bad as it seems.

  8. Not renewing StackJack now doesn’t mean he isn’t around.

    It means GSW pay him a fair, competitive wage set by the FA market.

    At his current salary, he’s not being paid to glue a team, he’s paid to lead and dominate. I doubt he can.

  9. A contract shouldn’t be renegoiated just because other guys on the same team make more money. It should be renegoiated when it’s over. And Jackson is worth more as an expiring contract than a player. So I guess you could say I disagree with the extension.

    Jackson is NOT a good shooter, not a good ball handler, and loves to stand around and complain to refs when he doesn’t get a phantom foul call, while the rest of the team heads towards the other end of the court. A max contract for “intangibles” and defense is bizarre. If the Warriors were WINNING consistently because of Jackson, I might have a different attitude.

    Wake me when they start winning consistently because of Jackson.

  10. Bruce Bowen will have made under $16 million for the last 6 years of his career when he completes this year and next, both of which pay him $4 million. Rowell signed Jackson to be his Ginobili and bid against himself before finding out what everyone already knows: Jackson will never live up to this contract.

    By way of vulgar paralel, Latrell Sprewell had 3 years and $24 million remaining on his contract when he choked PJ Carlessimo in the wake of Nelson’s last team ditch (the next one’s on its way).

    Jackson won’t choke anyone. I hope.
    He’ll just suck for those last two years, $20 million. Buyout, Foyle territory of suckage by then.

    Bad move from all business perspectives beyond the immediately gratifying/face-saving/panic button-manning. Team just lost credibility. Did not gain it.

    There will indeed be much better available value to be had Summer ‘10 than Jackson will represent. Calculation fail.

    Good job Rowell.

  11. Another vulgar parallel:

    Jackson’s contract looks an awful lot like Dunleavy’s did on the eve of big hope for a young core. That lasted. Incidentally, I’d take Dunleavy’s next five years over Jackson’s and not think twice about it.

    But I wouldn’t have extended Dunleavy to that fat deal then. And I wouldn’t have given Jackson his. He’s done.

  12. For whoever said “free agents won’t come here anyways” . . . recall that cap space is not solely useful for signing free agents.

    Cap space, if managed properly, permits you to make trades you otherwise couldn’t. While under the cap salaries do not need to match, making any deal less complicated.

    Moreover, every year some team out there wants to shed contracts - either overpaid veterans or simply crappy players. Taking a useless contract can be used to extract useful parts (picks, prospects); sometimes you can get a player that can still play a little for free just because the other team is desparate (i.e. Kurt Thomas to the Sonics, Camby to the Clips).

    No reason to blow that cap space on Jack from ages 33-36 when he’s falling apart.

  13. This is another micro-managed move by a rudderless franchise grasping at anything they think will keep the attendance levels up. We had him for 2 years, could have used him as a valuable trade chip, but now we are married to a very good player who’s skills will continue to diminish until he retires a Warrior at age 35. Don’t get me wrong, I love Capt. Jack, but the pre-mature extension is a huge red flag (one of many) signaling that the Warriors don’t operate with vision, foresight, and with the goal of building a true contender in mind. They are all about keeping the casual fan’s interest.

    Who was going to pay a 32 year old Jackson $28M/3 years? Only the Warriors.

  14. Geoff,
    FWIW, we also have team options on Brandan (3.4M) and Anthony (2M) in 2010. Hopefully, they will be keepers, but they could be jettisoned if not progressing, or as a sacrifice if we need to clear more cap. Kelenna has an ETO that year, and could opt out, or he will be a 3.4M expiring. Also, not sure what you meant by a 1st rounder in 09 going for MW, but the trade stipulates that the earliest NJ can get a pick is 2011.

    However, I’m not convinced that the Warriors feel the need to get far enough below cap to make a run at a max contract player. They’ve worked hard to set a roster where all the expected starters were in the 7-11M range. Depending on the actual size of the feeding frenzy, there may be a top player left out that we could get, or some solid vets at bargain rates.

    We’ll also have a large number of maturing players with a wide variety of price tags on them for trading. Even though the goal of getting below cap is to be able to acquire pieces without trades, they’ll still happen. Player movement will cause roster redundancies and vacancies leading to trades. Some FA contracts will be turned into sign-and-trades.

  15. Stephen Jackson is 30 years old!! Damn adding 2-3 years is f’d up.
    8-10 mil per year is below what he is worth. There are many players getting paid way more with less production and leadership. Give the man his due, give the Warriors there due for signing him.
    Forget about 2010, by then we should be a contender.

  16. Petaluman: You’re absolutely right about the pick; I was thinking about the levels of lottery protection and not paying attention to which years.

  17. @roadlust: Do you even follow the team? With a Baron-led team, the Warriros were not winning. Only when the trade for Jackson was made, did the team consistently play above .500 ball. In fact, the team started 0-6 last year with Jackson sitting out. When he came back, the team reached .500 within a week.

  18. Geoff,
    The cap is based on league revenues, which may be on the way down:

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=10646

    Their numbers may be over-stated, as they don’t seem to address the likelihood that attendance may pick up as the season progresses. Still, they can’t recoup the revenue lost when a seat goes empty.

    For the Warriors, 1200 empty seats must translate to at least $40k/game less. We will probably need to remain in the running for a play-off spot as long as possible in order to avoid going into the red this year.

  19. Petaluman dropping science. Cohan posting the reality check. Geoff nails the issue, twice! Bobby stumbles over his hubris negotiating with himself. What happened to letting the market dictate the price? The justification for J-Rich, Baron and the trade exception are now suspect. Dubs management appears rudderless but with Capt Jax on board, the team’s on court leader is set. Let’s see what we look like against an organization with a unified plan, the Portland Trailblazers. If the younglings stockpiled in Oakland have any shot of measuring up to the up and comers from Portland, we may actually have a future. Capt Jax gets his first shot to prove Bobby wrong/right tonight.

  20. There’s some horrible takes here. lol Dunleavy, Jr over Stephen Jackson??? Talk about having some short memories. Jackson is not overpaid, he makes an avg of $8M/year, thats a bargain for a player putting up 23/6/4. Jack will be 34 going into his final year, atworst he’s a valuable expiring contract by then. Will he still be worth his contract when he’s 33? I think so but reading some posts here you’d think he’ll be in a wheel chair or something lol.

  21. [...] 48Minutes.net: "By extending [Stephen] Jackson now, the Warriors are tossing aside their previously iron-clad rules of dealing with a player only when the team has used up all of its possible leverage. I’ll be fascinated to hear the explanation for this exception, if any is forthcoming on the matter. Outside of the reasoning for why the Warriors would break with their own philosophy, here’s the biggest question: How will the signing impact the Warriors in the summer of 2010, when a whole raft of top-notch free agents is scheduled to flood the market? There is no real hope that a player with the stature of LeBron James will be willing to come to Oakland when the lights of New York are beckoning to him. But having maneuverability in that timeframe — when teams will potentially be looking to offload players in order to make a run at UFAs such as Paul Pierce, Jason Richardson, Josh Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Tayshaun Prince, Yao Ming, Kobe Bryant, Michael Redd, Amare Stoudemire, Tony Parker, Chris Bosh or Caron Butler — would afford a franchise the opportunity to recast its core, if that was deemed necessary." [...]

  22. bob = wrong

    Homer tool. Fitz?!

  23. X-Tribune writer Sam Smith (now with Da Bulls org) has a history lesson on saving up cap space for FA.

    The approach ruined the Chicago Bulls. Krause cleared cap space for 2000 to land a guy they always wanted, McGrady. Chicago ended up with Ron Mercer.

    http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/smith_081123.html
    “Look at the teams that have won championships this decade: The Lakers did it from 2000-2002 after getting Shaquille O’Neal as a free agent, the Pistons did it in 2004 after trading for or signing as free agents Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups, the Heat did it after trading for O’Neal and the Celtics did it after trading for Garnett and Allen. Only the San Antonio Spurs won with players they drafted.

    But there’s a cautionary tale in all this and no one knows it better than the Bulls, which is why this thinking was out of fashion until the Celtics pulled it off.”

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