Summer of Bling: 5 Players Who Will Get Paid

The summer market of 2015 is a seller’s dream. Because there aren’t enough wealthy teams to go around, contracts will be inflated as bidders leverage against one another to grab players. The athletes and their agents will find lucrative deals despite the fact that most of the players are complimentary. That benefits the market. When superstars are available salaries of the middle class are suppressed; they can’t compare to their more talented peers. But this year, none of the max players are superstars. All indications point to players being overpaid.

Paul Millsap: The key component to a team that won 60 games, Millsap is an undersized power forward who can make perimeter shots and stretch the defense as well as play in the paint. He is a ferocious rebounder with great leadership intangibles. He has a quiet sort of game- you look up and Millsap has 16 points and 11 rebounds. This year he averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds but it is his 3 assists that make him so valuable. He has good vision when he’s in the paint and can dish it to the perimeter. He makes his free throws but he was shaky, at times, in the playoffs.

What he has earned: $14 million

What he may get: $17 million

Ed Davis: In a brilliant move, Ed Davis took a minimum deal to play for an insipid Los Angeles Lakers team that had very little going for it except they are the Lakers and are on television more than the Kardashians. Thus, it didn’t take much for Davis to thrive. He was great in the locker room and with the media and showcased a glimpse of his potential. He’s a better offensive rebounder than defensive rebounder and his scoring ability isn’t much to write home about but he finishes around the rim and plays hard on every single play; he doesn’t quit. 8 points and 8 rebounds in 23 minutes is valued for teams looking for front court help off of their bench. He can’t make a mid-range shot to save his life and knows it. None of his shots are forced or out of his range though which points to discipline. In 2014-15 he had a career high in field goal percentage, 60%.

What he has earned: $6.5 million

What he may get: $8 million

Tristan Thompson: Two summers ago, Thompson’s biggest off-season challenge was changing shooting hands, going from left to right. Last summer, his presence on the Cavaliers was validated by LeBron James when James specifically mentioned Thompson in his coming home letter in Sports Illustrated. During the regular season, Thompson had a career high in field goal percentage. A starter who suddenly came off the bench, Thompson took the demotion well, never sulking or second guessing. But, his worth came in the playoffs, 11 rebounds, 36 minutes, filling in for Kevin Love. He was the difference maker in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals and Finals. But he is an awful free throw shooter and a surprisingly decent mid-range shooter.

What he has earned: $9 million

What he may get: $14 million

Dwayne Wade: The way people talk about Wade you’d think he was garbage but Wade had a very good year in 2014-15. Ask any executive if they’d take this from their shooting guard: 21 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists in 31 minutes. Wade’s three point shooting is atrocious but he puts pressure on the defense because he can still get into the lane and make plays. The question with Wade is his knees. Unaware of this sensational career to come, he had his meniscus removed his last year in college. His knee continually presents him with problems, often needing to be drained, denying him lift and flexibility, and often, at the worst possible time. But Wade, the champion is still Wade the superstar. That’s what will get him paid this off-season.

What he has earned: $14 million

What he may get: $18 million

DeAndre Jordan: It doesn’t matter what the question is, the answer is 15 rebounds a game. 2 blocks a game. The man in the middle for the Los Angeles Clippers, DeAndre Jordan makes the Clippers defense go. He changes shots, blocks shot, alters what teams want to do on the offensive end. Frankly, Doc Rivers changed Jordan’s career and made him believe that what was possible had everything to do with what Jordan could do defensively. It was the Bill Russell speech. An average offensive player without much of a repertoire, Jordan has great hands, is a target for Chris Paul, is best friends with Blake Griffin, but is a disastrous free throw shooter and a dynamic dunker. He plays with an infectious energy and does what every player is asked to do: make an impact on the game, put his imprint on the court when he is out there. He shot 71% last season, mostly off of dunks and put backs.

What he has earned: $14 million

What he may get: $19 million



photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons