Why do the Warriors have to work out an extension now?
I love Stephen Jackson, but it doesn't make any sense to put the franchise in a position to commit several million per season on an aging vet that has a history of questionable off AND on-court issues and has yet to be tested mentally and emotionally on what could be a long, rough season. How will Jackson handle the pressures of being THE MAN? How will Jackson handle the losing? Will he revert back to his problem days as a Pacer or the 'loose canon' of the Jazz/Warriors Playoffs of 2007?
Jackson has been a model citizen recently, but is that enough to commit your future cap space and flexibility when it is not necessary? Why not see how Jackson holds up one more year and then make a decision. If he complains about not getting paid and gives less than 100%, we'll know he wasn't sincere in his actions and words when it came down to turning over a new leaf and wanting to repay the Warriors for reviving his career. If he acts like a leader is supposed to act - do what he's told of by Nelson, mentor the young players, be a cheerleader, be an ambassador for the Warriors, and stay out of trouble - then an extension is well deserved.
For all we know, Jackson could be conning Robert Rowell into committing early. Is 1 year of good behavior worth throwing away the sizable cap space in the Summer of 2010 - an offseason that is supposed to have the greatest number of quality free agents in the history of the NBA? Extending Jackson would put all of the better free agents out of the Warrior's reach (see entry: MAX DEAL OPTIONS IN 2010.)
There's been talk about a 3 year extension with maximum raises based on his current contract. If this is the case, then the Warriors would be dishing out roughly $8.2M, $8.7M, and $9.2M until the summer of 2013 when Jackson is 36 years old. Surely there are better ways to spend $26.1M over 3 years (Janny Hu has max of $28M over 3). Jackson has been a great teammate, well-respected, and a player that I would love to keep because of his leadership skills and coaching potential after his playing years are done, but $26.1M over 3 years is way too much to pay for a player that is not elite and is well past his prime.
Reasons why Robert Rowell may be doing this:
- Thinks fans would hate to lose Jackson after losing Baron Davis and possibly having to live with a damaged Monta Ellis for 6 years.
- Jackson is an articulate, intelligent, outspoken, charismatic individual with leadership qualities that could benefit the Warriors now and after he retires.
- Thinks his style of play and skill-set will allow Jackson to play at a high level for the next +5 years.
- Thinks Jackson is the Warriors best player.
- Thinks that Jackson will cause trouble if he does not get an extension NOW.
- He gives the Warriors 'street cred'.
- He's our best perimeter defender.
- Jackson has point-forward skills.
- He is underpaid in comparison to what other less valuable Warriors are making.
- Not necessary since he is under contract for two more seasons.
- Needs to continue to prove that he has truly transformed his personality for the good.
- He'll be 35 years old by the end of the his contract.
- Majority of cap space is gone.
- Young players will be stuck behind Jackson and if they surpass him in the depth chart, he will be an overpaid bench player.
- We have Maggette at SF, Jackson's natural position.
- It's not the end of the world if we end up losing Jackson.
- He's not an efficient scorer and does not rebound or distribute the ball enough to be worth what he may be in line to receive as an extension.
- In all likelihood, his skills will decline and we'll see more and more bouts of streaky shooting as he gets older.
We've witnessed first hand how bad contracts can weigh down a franchise. I hope the Warriors don't rush into a deal that they will end up regretting.
Scouting report: Jackson is one of the league's better defenders, which you'd never believe while watching him run up and down the court without bending his knees even one degree but is nonetheless true. He's big for a wing, moves fairly well and plays with intensity; moreover, his ability to match against power forwards in a pinch helped make a lot of the Warriors' small-ball lineups functional.
Offensively, his weapon of choice is a high-arcing 3-pointer -- he's great at pull-up 3s on the break in particular -- but he also can finish at the basket when he attacks off the dribble. He's not lightning quick by any means, but he's a fairly elusive dribbler -- though with a high bounce that he sometimes loses control over -- and can get to the basket, plus he sees the court fairly well.2008-09 outlook: You don't exactly think of Jackson as "reliable", but in terms of a full season it's pretty easy to know what to expect. He's never had a major injury and his past six seasons have been all carbon copies of one another, plus the Warriors figure to play him in pretty much the same role he had a year go. His numbers might take a slight dip now that he's 30, and the risk of missing games due to suspension is ever-present with him, but bank on over 2,500 minutes with solid defense and a PER around 15.
Stephen Jackson Community Feature
Stephen Jackson '07-'08 Highlight Reel
Stephen Jackson's upcoming contract extension with Warriors is about more than basketball - by Matt Steinmetz, Golden State Warriors Examiner
With more talk of contract extension, Stephen Jackson putting Warriors in tough spot - by Matt Steinmetz, Golden State Warriors Examiner
Jackson working on a new contract - Janny Hu, Chronicle Staff Writer