SH Blog: Serge Ibaka’s contract could be worth over $51 million, Stephen Curry thinks Warriors should sign him now

The Oklahoma City Thunder recently locked Serge Ibaka into a lucrative long-term contract and may or may not look to do the same with James Harden in the near future. Also, Stephen Curry believes the smart thing for the Warriors to do is to lock him up for a “reasonable amount” while they still can. See how the contract situations are playing out for some of the remaining key players that still have yet to sign a new deal, along with Wednesday’s updated news below:

  • Serge Ibaka’s new contract could be worth over $51 million, according to John Rohde of The Oklahoman: “Multiple sources have confirmed Serge Ibaka’s four-year extension with the Thunder could total $51.5 million with incentives. Ibaka’s base salary is $49 million for the deal that begins in the 2013-14 season, with an additional $2.5 million in potential bonuses for achievements believed to include NBA Defensive Player of the Year and remaining a member of the league’s All-Defensive first team.”
  • Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated looked at a bunch of different scenarios for a possible James Harden trade: “As for Harden, Houston could get far enough under the cap to offer several types of packages — one built around Kevin Martin’s expiring deal and a couple of picks, including Toronto’s likely lottery pick; or another built around those same picks, plus some combination of young wing players (Jeremy Lamb, Chandler Parsons, etc). (Note: Any deal involving Martin would require the Thunder to send out about $2.5 million in salary on top of Harden). Milwaukee could offer picks, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and an intriguing young player like Tobias Harris or Doron Lamb. The Cavs, also set to be pretty far under the cap, could come in with offers centering around picks and either Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters or Anderson Varejao. The Hawks could offer Lou Williams, on an affordable three-year deal, plus multiple first-round picks. The Bobcats and Wizards could build offers around future picks and recent lottery selections; Charlotte has one net extra first-rounder thanks to deals with Portland (Gerald Wallace) and Detroit (Corey Maggette/Ben Gordon).”
  • Kevin Durant discussed the situations of Serge Ibaka and James Harden, from Marc Stein of ESPN: ” Q: To know that Serge [Ibaka] just re-signed, how reassuring is that? A: It’s a really big deal. I’m happy for him, first of all, him and his family. He worked so hard to get that [extension] and I’m just excited that he’s signed on for four more years and really believes in us. He easily could have said no, waited for next summer, played well this year and got more [money]. But he sacrificed for us and we appreciate him for that. He’s the ultimate team player. Q: But you know us in the media. We’re always going to talk about what happens next and that means James Harden’s deal. How involved will you get in trying to make sure that James stays? A: I want James to be here with us, of course. He’s one of my closest friends. Hopefully it works out, that’s all I can say. I haven’t asked [Thunder GM] Sam [Presti] about anything and I haven’t asked James about anything. I’m just going to let that take care of itself, be the best teammate I can be and hopefully by the time camp starts we have him locked up.”
  • Stephen Curry thinks it would be in the Warriors best interest to lock him up now, from Scott Howard Cooper of “It’s a crossroads for the player as well. If Curry considers the October offer too low and has another problematic season, the money will shrink. If he takes the security and the deal by Halloween and then flourishes in an offense loaded with scorers capable of putting defenses in scramble mode, he will have sold himself short. “You’re playing chess with it,” Curry said. “If they were to take that approach to wait and I’ve had a great season, hopefully it would spark some interest across the league for the future and the price would drive up. If I were the Warriors, I’d offer a reasonable amount and sign me up now.”
  • Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area openly wondered what is a “reasonable amount” to keep Curry long term: “The reality is, as much as an extension for Curry doesn’t make sense … it does make sense in some ways, if you follow. Curry could ensure himself some financial stability and protection by taking a sure thing right now. And the Warriors could get Curry for much cheaper now than they could at the end of a healthy 2012-13. Question is: What is a “reasonable” amount For Curry? That’s the most important question. Assuming you’re looking at a four-year deal, what do you offer him? Is four years, $32 million a reasonable offer for Curry under the circumstances? How about four years, $28 million? Too low, you say … how about four years in the $36 million to $40 million range?”
  • Mike Brown discussed the possibility of incorporating the Princeton offense for the Lakers now that Eddie Jordan is on board, from Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN LA: “So if you take away the individual players and their strengths and all that and just look at the purity of different offenses and how to defend them on a night in, night out basis, I always felt that the stuff [Jordan] did in Washington was difficult to defend. It was difficult to come up with a game plan because of the spacing and ball movement and stuff like that. It’s a stress-free offense because of the counters that are built in and so on and so forth. So I started looking into that at the beginning of the summer a little bit and talked with a couple of guys that have done it on the collegiate level and on the professional level, and then I brought Eddie in for a while. “I spent about a week or so with him, talking about it. So there’s a good chance we’re going to go down that road to incorporate some of that, or a lot of that, into what we did last year.”
  • Chauncey Billups explained how he is not afraid of any team and that he aims to be ready for the regular season, from Vince Ellis of Detroit Free Press: “They are trying to stack the deck over there, but I tell you what – I’m very pleased with my team and what we’ve been able to do and I will just say this – don’t nobody scare me, man,” said the former Piston with a chuckle. Billups, who was Finals MVP when leading the Pistons to the 2004 NBA title, spoke briefly with the Free Press over the phone Saturday afternoon and said his rehab is “going well.”… “I think it’s going to be close, but I’m shooting to be ready for the regular season, to be honest with you,” Billups said. “But obviously you don’t just jump out there in the regular season with no practices, I would never do that. “But honestly, I’m not in a rush at all. If I’m ready, I’m ready, but I’m just grinding and whenever my body tells me it’s time to get back out there, that’s when you will see me.”
  • Vinny Del Negro believes Chris Paul will return from thumb surgery sometime during training camp, according to Broderick Turner of Los Angeles Times: “Any fears Clippers fans might have about All-Star point guard Chris Paul having surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb should be put to rest, according to Coach Vinny Del Negro. He wanted to reassure fans that Paul “will be all right” and will “resume all basketball activities” after being sidelined for about eight weeks. It’s possible that Paul could be back sometime during training camp, which starts Oct. 1. “I don’t want to put an exact date on it,” Del Negro said. “When he’s ready to play, he’ll play. But I expect him back sometime during training camp. I don’t know when, but the most important thing is to get ready for the start of the season.”
  • Louis Williams talked about his preference on offense and how he learned things from Allen Iverson and Andre Miller, from Michael Cunningham of Atlanta Journal Constitution: “I was off the ball [in Philadelphia], I would prefer to be off the ball, and I think both of those guys [Teague and Harris] are on the ball,” Williams said. “So I don’t think it will be an issue as much as people think it is. Once we open up camp I’m sure Coach [Larry] Drew will do a good job in figuring out where everyone is going to go.”… “More attacking than catch-and-shoot,” Williams said. “Actually catch-and-shoot is one of the things I’ve been able to work on this whole summer. Coming down in transition and catching the ball and shooting, instead of catching and trying to create so much off the dribble.”… Williams said he patterned his game after former Sixers teammate Allen Iverson. “The whole time you are in the game be aggressive and don’t take plays off,” Williams said. “I think that’s one of the things I learned from A.I. Watching him, he didn’t take plays off. He always took contact, initiated it and he didn’t shy away from it being a small guard.” Williams also attributes his foul magnetism to a nifty ball fake: “I got that from Andre Miller. He’s got one of the best pump fakes in the world.”
One thing mentioned in Cavs notes: Watch out for Kelenna Azubuike. Chris Grant says he's moving well, knee improving. Could be contributor.
Sam Amico
  • Mark Cuban has been on fire with the media over the last couple of days. Today, we have the explanation on why his biggest regret is letting go of a psych doctor named Don Kalkstein, from Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas: “Letting Don Kalkstein, our psych doctor go,” Cuban said Tuesday during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Ben & Skin Show. Co-host Jeff “Skin” Wade, an admitted unabashed Mavs fan, instantly responded by saying, “C’mon, really?” “Seriously,” Cuban said. “I think if I hadn’t done that we win a championship with Avery (Johnson).” It was Johnson, who holds a psychology degree from Southern University, who no longer wanted Kalkstein around. Cuban listened to the young head coach he promoted in 2005 and made it so. Kalkstein then joined the Boston Red Sox and wears a 2007 World Series ring. He rejoined the Mavs as director of sport psychology after Johnson was fired in 2008 and Rick Carlisle was hired.”


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