May 3, 2013, 8:00 AM EST
Jarrett Jack will hit free agency this summer as the third-place finisher in Sixth Man of the Year voting, a key cog in the Warriors’ upset of the Nuggets and a player in line for a raise.
Jack made $5.4 million this season, arguably the best of his career. At 29, he’s really seemed to turn the corner of understanding the finer points of playing point guard in NBA, and it’s no surprise the Warriors want to keep him. Marcus Thompson of Inside the Warriors:
According to multiple team sources, the Warriors initiated extension talks with guard Jarrett Jack back in January. But Jack shut down such talks before they got rolling, looking to focus on the season and wanting to experience free agency.
Jack will be in demand this summer. He has the talent to start for several teams and, if he remains willing to come off the bench, he can play for any team.
The main question of his free agency: How much will the Warriors pay to keep him?
Harrison Barnes often sits to allow Golden State to play three-guard lineups with Jack, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Barnes is just 20 years old and how much the Warriors believe they can depend on him next season will go a long way in determining their highest offer to Jack.
But Jack has helped Curry, allowing the Warriors’ top player (regardless of what David Lee’s All-Star appearance says) to get more minutes off the ball. Curry is a fine passer, but his elite skill is shooting, and with Jack on the court, Curry shoots more – and as a result Golden State scores more. As important as Barnes is, the Warriors ought to consider, first and foremost, how Jack affects Curry.
It’s actually not too late for Golden State to extend Jack. Larry Coon’s FAQ:
Extensions to contracts that are not rookie scale contracts (i.e., veteran extensions) may be signed up to June 30, the day before the player would have become a free agent.
The Warriors likely won’t distract Jack during the playoffs, but once they’re eliminated, perhaps they’ll take one more crack at extending Jack, even if he sounds ready for free agency.
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