Players on their rookie deals remain one of the great values to owners — they get players who often can contribute a lot but at a fraction of the salary of a veteran who does the same thing. Those rookie deals remain untouched in the new collective bargaining agreement.
Except for one change — if you are an elite player you can make more in your second deal than your peers. And by “elite” we mean Derrick Rose.
Let us explain. Part of the new labor deal will allow rookies getting their second contract — which starts with their fifth season — to earn the new max of up to 30 percent of the salary cap (up from 25 percent). To qualify for the bump all they need to do is win an MVP award, get voted into the All-Star Game as a starter two times or twice in their first four seasons or get named to any level of the All-NBA teams in those four seasons, Tom Ziller points out at SBN.
The difference is about $3 million more a season.
To the joy of Jerry Reinsdorf, only Rose qualifies right now, Ziller reports.
However, if Russell Westbrook makes an All-NBA team this season he can as well (he will be offered a max extension by the Thunder on Dec. 9 and this super-max possibility will likely be written into the deal — which if he reaches it means he will make more than Kevin Durant). Kevin Love would need to win the MVP to qualify, Ziller says.
So, call this the Derrick Rose rule. But it is fair to pay guys who are franchise cornerstones a little more.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.