Saturday, July 12, 2008

Salary Structure for a 3 Yr Plan?

Michael Heisley has repeatedly said Memphis is on a 3 year building plan. Okay. You can agree or disagree on the merits of that plan in general but if the plan is to build over three years and then use cap space to sign the player(s) to help the team make a run for the top why are we not trying to sign our young players to longer contracts?

Darko was signed for three years so he will be a free agent the year before the deadline. I suppose you could say that this signing was before the current plan went into effect so you give them a break. Then how do you explain the Marc Gasol deal which expires the season after the Grizzlies are to be competitive? Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry's contracts are up that summer as well. Conley and Crittenton will be needing to be resigned or at least offered their qualifying offers that season. Arthur and Mayo will be under team options but one assumes those options will be exercised. No one else currently on the team has a contract for year 4 of the plan and that is supposed to be the year we go from competitive to contending.

Could it be that the exact moment reaches competitiveness is the same moment that they have to spend all their cap money just to keep the core together? Will the Grizzlies be able to re-sign Darko, Gasol, Gay and Conley while also signing a free agent capable of taking the team over the top?

Scary thought. Now I realize that the team doesn't want to commit large sums of money on unproven players like Mark Gasol and Darko Milicic. I realize that the team has no control over rookie contracts as their lengths are negotiated in the CBA. I also understand that the team says they will do everything in their power to keep Rudy Gay (after all they wouldn't trade him for Michael Beasley) and at least one of the point guards (probably one of the 3 point guards will be moved for someone, most likely a PF or backup 2/3 type of player) but if Heisley has faith in Chris Wallace as a talent evaluator shouldn't we be locking up some players before the irrational free agent market starts luring our players away with mega-deals?

Do we want to be in Milwaukee's position where they had to offer Andrew Bogut a mega-contract for his 14 pts and 10 boards a night on a losing team?

It has been said that Memphis will struggle to sign big name free agents. Whether or not that is true hasn't been really put to the test yet since this is the first summer Memphis has had a lot of cap space to wield and most people know by now that Memphis isn't going after anyone this summer.

So does it make a lot of sense to keep everyone's contract so short? What kind of stability is the team building when no one has a contract out longer than 3 years?

BallHype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

I think we are just saving our cap space for next year, when we will have around 25 million (I think). We can sign a big name free agent (Carlos Boozer?) and still lock up Rudy for many years to come. Kyle will also be able to be signed with $25 million in cap space. Also, when Conley and J-Crit are ready for extensions, Marco Jaric's contract will be expired so we will probably be able to lock them up. And hey, maybe Heisley will have sold the team by then and we will have an owner that won't be so cheap that we can't even go over the cap.

GrizzledGrizzFan said...

This has been my contention all along. Cap space is a mirage. The money that's not being spent now will, at best, go towards extending our youth.

MemphisX said...

Well, they have to spend some next season but my guess is we will operate at least $10 million under the cap for the next three offseasons or very close the the league mandated minimum payroll.

Almost everyone is on board...for now.