Blazers ink Brandon Roy for five years


Agent Bob Myers confirmed to The Associated Press late Wednesday night that Roy agreed in principle to a contract at the NBA maximum salary. The fifth year is at Roy’s option. Specific numbers won’t be available until the NBA salary cap is set next July. This year a starting max contract would be worth $82 million over the course of five years. However, next year the cap is expected to go down between 5 and 10 percent. That means the value of Roy’s contract will go down, too.

The 25-year-old Roy will earn just under $4 million this season, the final year of his rookie contract. The new deal is likely to net him around $14 million for the 2010-11 season, and he will receive 10.5 percent raises on his base salary each season from 2011-2012 through the end of the deal.

From the start, this looked like it should be an easy deal to negotiate. Brandon Roy is a franchise-type player, so he deserves franchise-type money. And he got it.

His knees are a bit of a concern, but they haven’t slowed him down much in his three-year NBA career. Last season, he averaged 22.6 points, 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds in 78 games. While his overall field goal percentage (48.0%) is outstanding for a shooting guard, I’d like to see him continue to improve his three-point accuracy, which was a decent 37.7% last season. However, it’s tough for franchise players to post efficient shooting stats because they’re asked to take so many shots up against the shot clock.

This is obviously a good signing for the Blazers. Now they can turn their attention to re-signing LaMarcus Aldridge.

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Blazers close to signing Brandon Roy?

Players drafted in 2006 are eligible to sign an extension this summer. A couple of months ago, I tried to estimate what some of the big-name guys would sign for.

Brandon Roy, G, Blazers
Age: 24
PER: 24.08
Comparables: Kobe Bryant ($23.0 M), Dwyane Wade ($15.8 M)

The Blazers hit a home run with Roy. In his third season, he averaged 22.6 points, 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. Moreover, he did it efficiently, shooting a stellar 48% from the field, 38% from long range and 82% from the line. Simply stated, he is one of the league’s best all-around players. I’d be shocked if the Blazers didn’t offer him a max contract, though he may elect to sign a shorter three- or four-year deal (like LeBron and Wade did) to give him more flexibility in the future. (Just to throw a little salt in the wounds, the Bobcats, Bulls, Hawks and Celtics all had a shot at Roy on the night of the draft and passed.)
Value: $14.5 M – $15.5 M per year, depending on the salary cap

Well, count me as mildly shocked. The two sides actually disagreed on the length, but it was the Blazers who reportedly wanted the shorter deal, not Roy. While one would think that the team would want to lock up their superstar for as long as possible, it is a huge investment. Roy does have a history of injury, so if he were to suffer a major setback, it would be a blow to the Blazers’ books.

But as ESPN has reported, the two sides are nearing a deal.

“We’ve had very productive discussions recently and are optimistic we will reach a deal soon,” Roy’s agent, Bob Myers said, according to the newspaper.

According to the report, Roy has been seeking a four-year deal with a player option for the fifth year at a maximum $82 million.

That works out to more than $16 million per year, which is a pretty penny. But a healthy Roy is worth it.

NBA Free Agency Rumors: AI, Odom, Childress and more

– The Clippers are interested in signing Allen Iverson, and if he’s interested in a big market where he can rehab his image, this might be the place. It looks like Miami isn’t willing to offer much money, but if cash is more important than playoff potential, then the Clips are a good fit.

– According to GM Mitch Kupchak, Lamar Odom and the Lakers aren’t on the same page. The team has offered $8 million per season but Odom wants $10 million, and the contract’s length may be an issue too. Dallas, Miami, Phoenix and Portland (if the Jazz match their offer for Paul Millsap) have emerged as possible landing spots for Odom. He doesn’t have much leverage if the Blazers aren’t interested. The other three teams would have to work out a trade and it would take a good player (Josh Howard, Michael Beasley, etc.) to get the Lakers to bite.

– The Jazz have until February to move Carlos Boozer before the luxury tax implications of keeping both Boozer and Paul Millsap kick in. Right now, it looks like the Jazz are planning to match, even if they have to take out a loan to pay Millsap the huge signing bonus that is a part of his deal with the Blazers. If the Jazz do match, it will be interesting to see if the Blazers have a Plan C after missing out on Hedo Turkoglu and Millsap.

– After a brief flirtation with the Bucks and the Bobcats, Josh Childress is heading back to Greece. The Hawks still hold his rights, and his camp was unable to work out a sign-and-trade with Milwaukee or Charlotte, so Childress’s best option was to play for Olympiakos for another season.

– Brandon Roy wants a fifth year option, but the Blazers have only offered four years. It’s not clear what the Blazers are worried about; I’d want to lock him up for as long as possible.

What is the class of 2006 worth?

Around this time last year, I tried to estimate the kind of contracts the big name players from the class of 2004 and 2005 would sign, and here’s how I fared:

All in all, I think I did a pretty good job. Of the 12 players that signed a contract last summer, I correctly predicted the range for seven and was within $1.5 million for the other five. Granted, I underestimated what the Lakers would give Vujacic, but I find him so annoying that I have a tough time objectively determining his worth. (Though it should be noted that he didn’t do anything this season to justify $5.0 million per season.)

This year, I’m going to list the top names from the class of ’06 to try to determine what kind of extension they’ll get if their current teams choose to lock them up this summer instead of letting them hit restricted free agency in 2010. (I’ll tackle the restricted free agents of the class of ’05 in my free agency preview, which will run on 6/29.)

Due to the economy and the unwillingness of most owners to spend, the summer of 2009 promises to be tougher for free agents than years past, so we may see a few players stubbornness get the best of them. One executive predicted a “nuclear winter” of sorts, so at the very least, it will be interesting.

So here are the top players from the class of ’06 and my best estimate of the kind of money they’ll command. I’ll list their age, Player Efficiency Rating (PER), along with a few comparables.

Read the rest of this entry »

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