Is LaMarcus Aldridge worth $65 million?


According to Yahoo! Sports, the total value of the contract is $65 million to $70 million, with some hard-to-reach bonuses.

This summer, I pegged his value at $13-$14 million per season, and he signed for an average of $13 M plus potential bonuses.

So is he worth it?

Bill Simmons has this to say about the deal:

It continues to floor me that anyone would overpay someone who isn’t a franchise player during these rocky economic times. Like Portland this week — the Trail Blazers inked LaMarcus Aldridge to a five-year, $65 million extension, a deal that might have made sense in the 2006 market, but not right now. I like LaMarcus Aldridge. He’s solid. In this climate, he should not make more than $8 million or $9 million a year. The cap might drop $6 million next season for all we know. Also, inking anyone to an extension that early means you can’t trade him for two solid years. You’re basically marrying the guy. Which means Portland married a power forward who doesn’t play inside and grabs seven to eight rebounds a game. With nobody else bidding for him, no real urgency to do a deal for another year and no idea whether declining revenue will keep wrecking the cap. This makes sense … how? And you thought the NBA was getting smarter.

Simmons often does this — he second guesses a signing and then lists all the perceived faults of the player. Let’s not forget that Aldridge averages 18.1 points on 48% shooting, which creates lots of driving lanes for Brandon Roy. The Blazers don’t want a power forward that hangs out in the lane. They already have a couple of centers that do this. Portland wants to surround Roy with shooters so that he can get to the rim with ease.

The Blazers probably overspent a little, but they have the peace of mind that they have their second best player locked up for the next five years. There was no way to convince him that he is only worth “$8 million or $9 million” without letting him hit free agency. (He’s worth more than that, for the record.) By the time he’s convinced, there’s so much ill will between the two sides that a deal never gets done.

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NBA News & Rumors: Tyrus, Al’s Achilles, LaMarcus’s extension and Stephen Jackson keeping it cool

Tyrus Thomas not happy about coming off the bench. “I don’t think it should even be questionable from what I contributed to this team last season and what I did throughout camp, but like I said, he [Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro] is the guy that makes the decisions.” Del Negro gave the start to rookie Taj Gibson, who has started much of the preseason and has played pretty well, averaging 12.3 points and 5.9 rebounds. Del Negro said not to read too much into it, so keep Thomas on your list of breakout candidates.

Al Jefferson is out indefinitely with Achilles tendinitis. Coupled with Kevin Love’s hand surgery and the T-Wolves’ front line is not off to a very good start. Jefferson has been going in the second round of fantasy drafts, but expect him to fall into the fourth or fifth depending on what kind of news comes out of Minnesota. It’s starting to look like Big Al is injury-prone.

LaMarcus Aldridge pledges to get an extension signed by Oct. 31.
Aldridge’s camp seems to think he’s a max contract player, but the Blazers don’t agree and aren’t willing to do a deal just to get him signed. It’s going to be interesting to see what he eventually signs for. I pegged his value at $13-$14 million per season, but with the projected drop in next year’s salary cap, I wouldn’t be surprised if he signed a deal that averaged a bit less.

Stephen Jackson plans to keep his cool tonight against Kobe.
“I’m going to be me, but I guarantee I won’t feed into the nonsense. If it came down to a real fight, I know what would happen. I’m just going to leave that alone, go out and play basketball and try to help my team win.”

NBA News & Rumors: Lee, Aldridge, Ellis and the “sit down” rule

David Lee wooed by Blazers, but was worried about playing time. Portland offered $28 million over four years, but Lee didn’t think there were enough minutes to be had with LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden already on the front line. It looks as if Lee left $21 million in guaranteed money on the table to stay with the Knicks and play out the season. This is a big risk, but it may pay off next summer.

Blazers, Aldridge still talking extension. While it’s good to hear that negotiations aren’t at a standstill, it’s still worrisome that a deal has not yet been finalized. Aldridge is not a no-brainer max-contract guy, so right now, the Blazers are trying to convince his agent that Aldridge is not worth the max. This can be a tough pill to swallow, expecially with all those teams sitting on loads of cap space next summer. If Aldridge becomes a restricted free agent in 2010 and gets a max deal in the form of an offer sheet, then the Blazers will probably match. But it’s their job to get him for what they think he’s worth, and right now the franchise has the leverage.

Monta Ellis warming up to Stephen Curry.
Ellis was worried that Curry was just a shooter, but he’s shown the ability to create (specifically the nine assists he had in the Warriors’ first preseason game). I’m not sure why Ellis is so concerned with the team’s front office decisions, as he should be focused on having a bounce-back year after a fairly disastrous 2008-09 season. Curry and Ellis may face some matchup problems on the defensive end, but they have the potential to create as many problems for their opponents on the other end of the court.

LeBron not a fan of the “sit down” rule. I don’t blame him. He doesn’t want to see the emotion sucked out of the game, and that’s what this rule does. The league doesn’t want its players to block the view of the fans that pay thousands and thousands of dollars for premier seats, but there has to be a compromise here. Why not have a rule where the players can stand up to cheer a play but have to sit down within some set amount of time?

NBA Rumors: Monta, T-Mac, LaMarcus and more

Monta Ellis is still unhappy with the Warriors. Jonathan Abrams (via Twitter): “Monta Ellis may ask out of the #Warriors too soon, via some1 in his camp. Still bitterness on both sides from the mo-ped fiasco.” I don’t know why Ellis is angry at anyone but himself when it comes to his moped accident. The team invests a ton of money in a guy and he’s out riding around on a moped. Unbelievable.

T-Mac doesn’t have anything to prove to anyone…but himself. Tracy McGrady: “I don’t have to prove to nobody that I still got it.” If NBA contracts weren’t guaranteed, McGrady would have been cut long ago. Even though he’s just 30 years old, T-Mac has missed 109 games over the last four seasons, or 33% of the Rockets’ games. He’s in a contract year, so he’s highly motivated to prove that he’s healthy and ready to contribute. With Yao Ming out for the season, T-Mac’s return may be the most compelling story coming out of Houston.

LaMarcus Aldridge isn’t happy about the lack of a long-term deal. This is a little perplexing. Unless Aldridge’s camp thinks that he’s a max player, I don’t see why it would be difficult to come to a number. I pegged his value at $13-$14 million per season and that seems reasonable for a guy with his skill set.

Stephen Jackson doesn’t think the Warriors are getting better. Jackson: “It feels like we’re not getting better.” Jackson said in late August that he was “looking to leave” the Warriors, and Don Nelson said that the team would move him if the right deal came along.

Andre Miller doesn’t seem too happy in Portland.
It might be the fact that Steve Blake is still the Blazers’ starting point guard, or it might be the tedious media events he was required to attend, but this is a situation to watch.

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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