Permalink of this article[From Stephen B. Snyde...]
Today was the NBA's deadline for contract extensions and left me scratching my head. Maybe certain teams are caught in circumstances they can't get out of, but Al Jefferson
for 5 years at $65 million? When was the last time Jefferson came into town and blew up your local team, with highlights left and right and the news channels saying your boys couldn't stop Al Jefferson?
How about Jameer Nelson
for 5 years at $32.5 million? That's a $6 million man right there! When was the last time you got tickets to the arena to go see Jameer Nelson?
Or how about "swingman" Sasha Pavlovic
for 3 years at $12 million? What's up with this "swingman" notation? It's supposed to be "shooting guard" or "small forward", no? But yeah, no one can ever really call Pavlovic a shooting guard without laughing. The thought of him being a forward doesn't seem right, either. "Swingman" is like the guy who catches the ball and shoots after the ball is swung. How hard is that? Are you telling me there are no decent swingmen in the DL (haha, that's NBDL
, not our "DL" of course! -- ???)?
This time of year also tells you which franchises got their heads screwed on right. Chris Mullin
let Patrick O'Bryant
become an unrestricted free agent. John Paxson
told Ben Gordon
and Luol Deng
, take this non-exorbitant $50 million offer for 5 years or leave it (Gordon and Deng left them). The Bobcats and 76ers couldn't come to terms with Emeka Okafor
and Andre Iguodala
, respectively, so they'll let their inevitable non-playoff seasons pan out before pulling any panic triggers. In the business mode of buying low and selling high, what could be better than restricted
free agents? Take Delonte West
and Robert Swift
of the Sonics. Neither was handed an extension and will therefore become restricted. That means other teams, unless they are bluffing, will set the market prices -- perhaps a more fair process -- on these guys at the end of the season.
Back to the questionable roster commitments, I'm wondering if some of these teams are pressured into signing fat extensions for these non-household or otherwise expendable guys.
You know what can counter that pressure? A little discussion forum riot, that's what. Turn something that used to be a nuisance into a weapon.
So if I'm an NBA owner, I elevate my team's blog or discussion forum and have a specific area where fans can go and gripe about roster moves and which players are worth what. Make a joke out of it, haha this haha that.
But all the while, you'll get the online trolls who love to spread negativity with their venom comments write stuff about these marginal guys. The more, the better. Remember, you the owner have got to elevate this online slandering into entertainment.
Then you take this little tidbit of info into your meeting with the player's agent and blow it out of proportion. "Sasha for $12 million? You mean I gotta keep getting these hate comments on our website for 3 more years? Are you kidding me? No way, man. 1 year at $4 million. If his popularity rises over the season, okay, we'll revisit next summer."
And there you have it. NBA Owners Manual page 11, paragraph 6: When under pressure to sign a marginal player, use the court of public opinion, especially if consolidated on the Internet in a common area of online interest and high content value, to help negotiate your contract with said marginal player.
Paragraph 7 would say something like: Focus your time and energy (and hence, MONEY!) on the players that matter. It's a long season. Focus on your leaders -- your blockbusters -- and you can have followers for a dime a dozen. Three words: The Big Three.