S-Jax extension is Imminent

(10-21) 22:12 PDT OAKLAND -- By the time the Warriors open the regular season a week from today, Stephen Jackson hopes to have a new contract in hand.

Jackson said Tuesday that extension talks with Warriors President Robert Rowell were progressing smoothly and believes it's a matter of when - not if - the two sides reach an agreement.

The Warriors' captain, who is signed through next season, is seeking the maximum allowed under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, which limits the number of years and annual pay raises that can be added to an existing deal.

If Jackson signs an extension this season, the most he can receive is three years at $28 million. If he waits until next season, he can add four years at $39 million.

Jackson is scheduled to make $7.14 million this season and $7.65 million next season to round out the six-year, $39 million contract his former agent, Dan Fegan, negotiated in 2005.

After splitting with Fegan about a year ago, Jackson is handling his own talks this time.

"All I have to do is be myself," said Jackson, who has been consulting with the players' association. "I've always been a guy who says what's on my mind and how I feel. And I've been told no before."

In this case, Jackson is being told that an extension is on its way, and though it's unclear how many additional years the Warriors are actually willing to commit, bumping his salary doesn't appear to be an issue.

Jackson, arguably the Warriors' most important player, ranks fifth on the pay scale behind Monta Ellis, Corey Maggette, Al Harrington and Andris Biedrins.

Even if Jackson receives the maximum 10.5 percent annual pay raise beginning in 2010, when his extension would take effect, he still would make less than Ellis and Maggette in year-by-year comparisons, and possibly even Biedrins, depending on whether the Latvian center reaches his contract bonuses.

Still, a hefty extension would vault Jackson into their salary neighborhood and put the 30-year-old in a position to retire as a Warrior. It's something Jackson says is his first choice, given how the team helped transform his reputation from hothead to franchise leader since he arrived from Indiana in 2007.

And he says his desire to stay in Oakland won't change even if the front office does. Rowell has put off contract talks with vice president Chris Mullin and coach Don Nelson - both of whom are in the last year of their deals - and Mullin has been conspicuously absent in Jackson's negotiations.

"Stephen Jackson has embraced this organization more than any player has since Mr. (Chris) Cohan has owned this team," Rowell said two weeks ago. "And he's the best player we have. And we'd like to see him around. And we'll leave it at that."

As if on cue, Jackson had a game-high 28 points, four rebounds, three assists and even moonlighted as the Warriors' point guard in Tuesday's 126-106 win over Lithuanian club Lietuvos Rytas at Oracle Arena.

He spent almost a full quarter in the first half as the lone ballhandler on the floor, playing alongside Marco Belinelli and/or Kelenna Azubuike in the backcourt. Jackson's stint at point guard - an idea Nelson has been mulling for weeks - was highlighted by an assist to Brandan Wright in transition.

Briefly: The Warriors have until Oct. 31 to pick up their third-year options on Wright, Belinelli and Marcus Williams, who did not play Tuesday. ... Nelson named Harrington as his third team captain, joining Jackson and Biedrins. ... The Warriors won't play again until next Wednesday's season opener. The team will hold its annual open practice at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Oracle Arena. Admission and parking are free.



I'm not liking this if the contract is going to be expensive.  And we should pick up options on Wright and Marco. Williams, I'm not too sure about.

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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