Coming into the season, Stephen Jackson had an ideal contract from his employer's perspective: not only was it affordable (he's making just $7.1 million), it also conveniently expired just in time for the summer of 2010. Jackson made some noise this summer about wanting an extension, but at the end of the day he had no leverage.
Why should the Warriors jeopardize their future cap space by giving a 30-year-old (former) head case an extension? General manager Chris Mullin knew it'd be a mistake ... which is why Jackson went behind Mullin's back to negotiate with team president Robert Rowell.
Today, the Warriors announced that Jackson received his extension, and as Janny Hu of the San Francisco Chronicle points out, the team's press release notably features quotes from Rowell without a single mention of Mullin. (Heck, for all we know, Mullin may have learned about the extension from that very press release.) The team didn't officially reveal the terms of the extension, but it's believed to be for three years and $28 million, keeping him under contract through 2013 while granting him the highest annual raise allowed under NBA rules. He'll be 35 years old in the final year of his contract.
I don't necessarily have a problem with the Warriors ignoring the summer of 2010 (there will be plenty of superstars hitting free agency, but not enough to satisfy all 18 teams currently slated to have enough room under the cap to make a maximum contract offer) but giving a guy a deal with two years left on his contract is just bad policy. What's to stop the next guy in Jackson's shoes from expecting the same?
And just who is making the decisions in the front office? Will agents even bother to negotiate in good faith with Mullin anymore? If Mullins draws a line in the sand during negotiations, there's no reason to take him seriously knowing Rowell has the final authority.
Congrats on getting paid, S-Jax; it's just too bad you just locked yourself into what might be the most dysfunctional franchise in the league.
Stephen Jackson Gets Extended, Chris Mullin Gets Emasculated originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on Mon, 17 Nov 2008 19:55:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.