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Report: Al Jefferson wants $15 million salary, will wait for Dwight Howard to sign

Jul 3, 2013, 10:48 PM EDT

Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson signed a five-year, $65 million extension that paid him $15 million last season in the final year of the deal. Whenever teams offers a player so much money, there’s always a risk he rests on his laurels.

Jefferson didn’t do that.

Since getting that extension, he’s worked hard to develop his offensive game. He’s added post moves, increased his range, become a better passer and cut down on his turnovers.

Jefferson, still just 28, can go to teams as a free agent and credibly tell them he will continue to hone his craft during the course of his next contract. That should increase his value.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

Most NBA contracts are set up so salary rises annually, but even if Jefferson wants the smallest-possible four-year contract starting at $15 million – $53.25 million with the Jazz, $55.95 million with anyone else – that’s still much more money than he’s likely to get.

That’s because, despite his best efforts on the other end, Jefferson is an unimpressive defender. He’s too short to effectively guard most centers and too slow to effectively guard most power forwards.

When Jefferson was on the court last season, the Jazz defended like the NBA’s 28th-best defense. When he was on the bench, they defended like the league’s third-best defense.

NBA teams – Bobcats potentially notwithstanding – have gotten smarter about valuing two-way players, and Jefferson is a purely offensive player.

Jefferson, through no fault of his own, was overpaid once. Just because he did all he could to justify that contract doesn’t mean he’ll be overpaid again.

  1. 00maltliquor - Jul 3, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Al Jefferson is probably the most unappreciated big in the game. But 15 mill (a year, I assume) is just way too much for him, for my taste personally. However, Tiago Splitter is walking around garnering 9 mill a year soooo…….

    • bucrightoff - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      It is too much, but he has the talent you cannot teach, size, which now comes at a ridiculous premium in the NBA.

  2. halfbaht - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Danny Ainge, pick up the goddamn phone!

  3. 4thquartermagic - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    Your rationale on why Jefferson won’t be overpaid is sound.
    You support your argument with facts and solid judgement.

    However this is the NBA where big men are ALWAYS overpaid.

    He’ll get 15 mil a year from somebody. 5 teams will miss out on Dwight and Jefferson’s agents phone will ring.

  4. rohlo - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    he knows houston if they miss out on howard will want him too! thus causing a bidding war..there has been talk of him in houston too! smart man..thats why i laugh at some of these guys signing so soon..let the market set itself..howard should be the first domino..

  5. bellerophon30 - Jul 4, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    Who would you rather have for $13-15 million a year, Josh Smith or Al Jefferson? That’s the question a lot of teams missing out on Dwight will be asking themselves. Including Houston. Sorry, especially Houston.

  6. jcmeyer10 - Jul 4, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Well, they always tell you to start high in negotiations so the 10 million he gets will feel like a steal to the team paying him.

  7. nbascreed - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Dan what centers does he have to guard? Seriously. There are 3 centers of any offensive import in the league right now. 3, if that. Give me a break. It’s not like he’s Steve Nash guarding lightning quick 1s night after night.

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