Nobody can over-value their own worth like congressmen and NBA players.
Meet Tyson Chandler.
He is a defensive and rebounding specialist who has missed 68 games over the last two years. He is scheduled to make $12.6 million next season in the last year of his contract signed back when he was the best defensive center in the game.
However, he is considering opting out and testing the free agent market this summer, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford.
The question becomes: What is Chandler’s value in the marketplace? Ford thinks he could pull about $10 million a year for four or five years, as teams that do not land LeBron and Wade look to spend.
I think that is over-valuing Chandler in this market. He would take a healthy pay cut, I picture something more like $7 million a year. Which maybe you could reconcile if you were assured of four or five years, heading into the next collective bargaining agreement. But I don’t see GMs doing that for a center who has missed so much time due to injury. Two years, maybe with a team option for three? That sounds about right. But teams are going to want to minimize their risk.
There certainly is value in what Chandler brings. Anybody watching the NBA finals can see the value of having a big man who can defend the rim, rebound and just be a force in the paint. When healthy, Chandler can be those things.
And the reports are that he is healthy. And he will be just 28 next year.
But general managers — especially this summer, in this economy — are not going to risk big money on a role player who could be injury prone. Sometimes the bird in the hand is the better bet.
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.