So, we all know Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrin's contracts kinda suck. Together, we're paying them 20 million next season to be backups on a (very good) starter's wage. There's a lot of excitement around the 2014 Free Agent class, and with good reason. But if we want to dip our beaks in the pool of talent it has to offer, we need to lock up our own cornerstone players set to expire. And so the question: how much is keeping Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut gonna cost us?
I'm interested in getting differing opinions, but here's my thoughts:
Healthy Bogut (70+ games played): I think if Bogut stays healthy, he could easily charge us 18 plus million a year (if not a maximum contract). This is a league where teams give Brook Lopez a max contract. If you're not convinced take a look at the poison pill year on Asik's contract. Now, Bogut is not injury prone, but rather very unlucky with his high impact injuries. If he can convince the league the voodoo spell is lifted, he'll be looked at as an untarnished center with premier defense in his physical prime. Also, consider the landscape of the league: the center is the weakest it's perhaps ever been. If there's a good center who can rebound and play defense, with a sprinkling of offense, he's already Brook Lopez and Omer Asik put together (minus some offensive output).
Medium-Healthy Bogut (50--69 games played): If Bogut puts out another disappointing season in terms of the all-important Games Played, his value will take a hit. I think we could resign him to 10--14 million, but again, LOOK AT ASIK'S CONTRACT. Some team may be so desperate and offer him a max contract, and he'd slip away. One thing that gives me hope that he wont break bank is potential: he is not likely to get much better than he already is given his age. Overall you'll notice I'm pretty optimistic, but hey aren't we all?
Low-Health Bogut (25--49 games played): From here on out you'll have to also ask yourself another question: why would we want to keep him? It's a depressing thought, kinda dampers to ol' GSW off-season optimism, but if Bogut's body really starts to decompose, his best on-court performances (and his biggest paydays) may be behind him. If he fails to stay healthy, probably missing time from another freak accident, he'll go from being a receiver of offers to a seeker of a spot on a roster. Sure, somebody's bound to offer him something (injury-prone Greg Oden won't last long on the market before someone picks him up on a gamble), but I doubt it will be Joe Lacob and co. I estimate around a 10 million dollar short term offer, and I'm not really sure why I've convinced myself that this next season is the year that will ultimately define Bogut's destiny, but there you have it. A medium-level gamble with high rewards will be the contract offer, but I'm not sure he'll stick around with the Warriors (the potential money could be better used on a sturdier player on the market).
Worst-Case-Scenario Bogut (0--24 games player): Pretty much the above, except that offer goes down to 5--9 million dollars. If he misses this much time, it'll be a pretty serious, probably permanently inhibiting injury, a la a torn ACL, that freak pectoral thing that got Kwame Brown and Al Horford last year, etc. That injury will lower his value on the open market. We may keep him around, if only because he'll be a decent value pickup.
Healthy Curry (75+ games played): I give Curry's 'healthy' status five more games because I have higher hopes that he'll actually reach this benchmark. It's a scary thought, the damage Curry healthy could wreck. No, not what damage he could do on court, rather the giant dent in Lacob's wallet he'll leave. Make no mistake, a fully healthy Curry is a premier shooter and he will only get better. Uh-oh. Talented, young, and he has lot's of potential for improvement? That's a trifecta for a massive contract. The fact that he's a Restricted FA only means Lacob will look to wrap him up before some other team will saunter along and offer him a max contract. 16+ million a year, more if he produces like it's a contract year (he will).
Medium-Healthy Curry (60--74 games played): Persisting ankle issues really muddy the waters as to how different GM's will react. Some will see it as a player who will only give you 50--60 games a year healthy, while others will see it as a gamble, and their prices for his services will fluctuate accordingly. At most I see a 9--14 million dollar contract, based on pure potential. The Warriors will probably match within reason, but four seasons in you'll have to start wondering if Curry will ever stay on the court consistently.
Medium-Low-Health Curry (50--59 games played): A whole new category established just for this scenario. Somewhere around 30 games missed in year 4 for Curry, and most GM's will subscribe to the school of thought that Curry just wont give you 70+ games a season. It's still enough games played to showcase what unique talents he gives you when on the court, but how much would you be willing to pay for someone to sit out 3/8s of the schedule? 7--12 million a year. Warriors match, as long as it's not poison pilled or stretched out into 2017 or later.
Low-Health Curry (30--49 games played): It's kind of depressing just thinking of it. But it's just as likely to happen as anything else at this point. For him to miss this much action, he'd have to have nagging injuries that ultimately sideline him out of necessity. As in, he's running his frickin' ankles into the ground playing the sport of basketball. If it's a contract year, no small ankle issues is gonna stop anyone from cashing in to the highest amount of dinero possible. I'm ruling out stupid random injuries from Curry's segment, by the way. Small things like flu and family emergencies are factored in, but not like Curry getting his leg shot or something majorly effecting G.P. Anyway, GSW will let this bird fly if this scenario happens. Maybe he'll follow Brandon Roy's footsteps and take a year off, coming back to a new team in 2015. 5--9 million a year on pure potential, but short-termed and team option for last year(s).
Worst-Case-Scenario Curry (0--29 games played): Wow. Same as above but injuries pile sooner rather than later. GSW will not match any offers. >5 million a year.
Comment on your thoughts, estimates.