Monday , Sep , 29 , 2008 J.N.

Young Money: Class of 2004 and other signings of 2008


Young Money:  Class of 2004 and other signings of 2008
“I hope he considers taking a pay cut for the home team.”

I hear this sometimes when a player is up for negotiations. I do not know why we say this when in reality no player will do such a thing. Ask Kevin Garnett, Luol Deng, Brian Cardinal, and much more. There’s no team loyalty (and there’s nothing wrong unless you’re a fan of the team). It’s not difficult to comprehend that there’s only loyalty to himself above all else. If you’re an offended fan, that’s great. I just don’t get why you should be mad. Is it jealousy? Perhaps because they do get paid mad money for playing a game that we wish we were that gifted in. I’m not mad at them for getting theirs. I wish I was in their position. Go get yours, young man. 

If you were in the same situation, please admit it; you’d take the best offer. I know I would so that’s where I stand. I’m pro-player, anti-management. These players work hard in the training room busting their ass and they finally get to see their huge payday. Be thoughtful; this is probably their last big huge deal before they hit the magical age of 30 where their production starts to wane. Even with that said, they’re still open to criticism.

Don’t get mad. What’s the cliché that all players, GMs, and owners eventually say?

 “It’s just business.”

Translation for player: There is no loyalty. Get as much as you can especially when the American economy is collapsing before our eyes.

Translation for management: Don’t be loyal to any player. Get him as cheap as you can.

The good players in the class of 2004 has been locked up to fresh deals. Is their game worth it or are they overpaid? The numbers are courtesy of DraftExpress.com and ShamSports.com “The World’s Ugliest NBA Basketball Website” where choosing Sam Cassell as the face is too easy.

Ben Gordon: Rumored to take one year offer of $6.4 million. If not, the reported 6 years/$59 million deal is still there. Currently as of this writing, they’re still negotiating.

Is his play worth it? Yes. He’s the only thing resembling a first option 4th quarter closer for Chicago within the past 4 seasons despite being tagged sixth man. He’s not a true first option though but he is one of the best shooters in the league and can hang with the best in the clutch. If he gets a Monta-like deal then yes, he’s overpaid.

Emeka Okafor
: 6 years/$72 million guaranteed. Is his play worth it? Yes. He had a bad year last season. I should know because he was on my fantasy squad. Something was bothering Mek all year. He probably hated the coach because he was being misused. He’s a big body who can play center and does the dirty work hustling on defense. He can also handle his own on the offensive end. Overpaid? Just a bit, but like I said he’s a quality center. That’s a rarity.

Andre Iguodala: 6 years/$80 million guaranteed. Player option on 6th year. Is his play worth it? No. I can see All Star in his future though because this man does it all. A 6/$72 million deal would have been better. Overpaid? Yes.

Luol Deng: 6 years/about $72 million guaranteed. Is his play worth it? No. 6 years/$65 million deal is a better gauge to what he brings. He doesn’t rise to the occasion in the 4th, terrible handles, and very suspect in isolation. He also battled through an ailing back and Achilles. If he can average 23 ppg, 7 rebs, 5 asts while starting 80 games then yes, he’s worth it. That’s yet to be seen though. MJ is the biggest single one year deal but Deng is Jerry Reinsdorf’s first big multi-year contract. Yep, not Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen.

Josh Smith: 5 years/ $58 million guaranteed. Is his play worth it? Yes! He’s better than Iggy, Luol Deng and Ben Gordon. He’s a stat machine, a supreme shot blocker, and a highlight reel that puts fans in the seats. He has the potential to get a quadruple double game. I consider him a bargain at that price. He makes bonehead decisions, but who doesn’t? Overpaid? NOPE.

Other notable signings of 2008: Gilbert Arenas. Worth it? Nope. Overpaid. Big time. Too many injuries. He didn’t take a hometown discount like it appears he did. He’s still overpaid. Before the injuries, he was the man. I would have ante up, but now? No.

Monta Ellis. Worth it? Nope. I always thought they overpaid even before his Moped injury.

Al Jefferson. Yes I know he signed his deal in the 2007 offseason, but he’s still part of the 2004 draft class. Did he take a hometown discount? Nope. Not really. Worth it? Hell yes. He’s the only thing resembling a franchise big man since KG left.

Elton Brand. Worth it? Depends on the situation. For the Clips, NOPE because they’re not going anywhere. For the 76ers, yes because they probably can get to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Chris Paul. Of course he’s worth every penny.

Deron Williams. See Chris Paul.

Andris Biedrins. Yes. $9 million flat each year is perfect for what he brings.

Corey Maggette. Worth it? Yes. His deal is about right.

Andrew Bogut. Is he worth it? YES. Not many quality centers coming through the pipeline like him. Can play solid D, score, and pass.

RANT: I, as a fan, do get to criticize as much as any fan because we paid for NBA League Pass or the seats to the game. Am I offended with what they make? No, yet many fans are sensitive to the issue. I don’t know why. Is it because they feel that they’re paying them directly with their wallet so they feel entitled to be mad? Why side with management? Last time I checked the fans are not owners of the team. They don’t work for management either. You mad? It’s like how some people get upset with what I write. Why so serious? Deal.

Criticize. You’re welcomed to comment with death threats. Based on potential, is the class of 2004 worth the dough?

[image:flickr.com/photos/twcollins]