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View Full Version : Agent "Zero" Takes Less Than Max Contract Offer to Remain w/Wizards



NuffSaid
07-04-2008, 10:43 AM
From ESPN.com (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3473164)

Thursday, July 3, 2008
Reports: Arenas agrees to six-year, $111M contract to help Wizards' future





<HR width="100%" noShade SIZE=1>Associated Press


WASHINGTON -- Gilbert Arenas (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3540) is accepting less money from the Washington Wizards (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=was), invoking an attitude far, far removed from the world of his working-class fans.

"What can I do for my family with $127 million that I can't do with $111 million?" he told The Washington Post.

The unpredictable three-time All-Star point guard, in vintage Agent Zero fashion, told the Post and the Washington Times on Thursday that he has agreed to re-sign for $111 million over six years, considerably less than the maximum deal he said the Wizards offered him when the free agency period began on Tuesday.

Arenas negotiated the deal from China, where is traveling as part of promotional tour for a shoe company, and did so without an agent.

"I'm basically giving back $16 million," Arenas told the Washington Times.

"This is in line with what I've been saying the whole time. You see players take max deals and they financially bind their teams. I don't wanna be one of those players and three years down the road your team is strapped and can't do anything about it."

Arenas became a free agent after opting out of the final year of his six-year, $65 million contract at the end of last season. He initially said he was opting out to receive a max contract, but he later indicated he would be flexible in negotiations.

<INLINE1>
Arenas also said that he would not re-sign unless the team retained two-time All-Star forward Antawn Jamison (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3247). The Wizards lived up to that part of the bargain Monday by giving Jamison a four-year, $50 million deal.

Arenas has proven to be one of the most dynamic players in the NBA when healthy, but a major knee and an overzealous rehabilitation sidelined him for most of the last season. He had a first surgery on the knee in April 2007, tried to come back too soon and had a second operation in November. He missed 66 games before returning late in the season, but he had to shut himself down again during the first-round playoff series against Cleveland.

Arenas has vowed to be more cautious about his rehab this time, and the state of his knee didn't appear to devalue his worth in talks with the Wizards.

The Wizards cannot comment on talks with Arenas or announce the deal until a league-mandated moratorium expires next week.

Arenas has averaged 22.8 points, 5.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds in his seven-season NBA career. He was known as much for his tantrums as for on-court play when he came to Washington from Golden State in 2003, but he began to display more maturity as he developed into a take-over-the-game player with a knack for hitting buzzer-beating shots. Although he still has his many quirks -- yelling "Hibachi!" after making a big shot is just one of many -- he has helped the Wizards became a playoff regular.

Arenas' deal means the Wizards will have room to sign other players -- including free agent guard Roger Mason (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3628) -- and still remain under the league's luxury tax.

"It's a relief," Arenas told the Washington Times. "It was a burden at the same time. Your whole city is depending on you, wondering if you're going to make the right decision. I'm a franchise player and sometimes franchise players need to make franchise decisions."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, I ask was that nobility talking (text in bold) or was Agent Zero simply trying to make himself out to be the hero here? And if his words were genuine, who exact was he referring to? Remember, he and JO are close friends. AND of all the top players reported to have large player options in contracts headed into the '08/09 season, JO's the only one (I recall anyway) who hasn't opted out of his contract for the sake of "his team". Kinda makes Gilbert look like a saint, huh?

Things that make you go, "Hmmmmm?".

ajbry
07-04-2008, 10:51 AM
Gil is a pretty genuine dude, I don't doubt for a second that he took less money for the right reasons. Props to him for still getting a sh*tload of money and yet allowing his team to pursue other pieces to make the team better in the long run and not be handicapped by his salary.

$111,000,000 isn't too shabby either. I'd take it.

Hicks
07-04-2008, 10:56 AM
You need to include the link to the article. Thanks.

Rajah Brown
07-04-2008, 10:56 AM
So, $2.6 mil per year is gonna make that big a deal when it comes
to aquiring additional pieces to get them over the hump ? In today's
NBA ? Right. Uh huh. Sure it will.

Somehow I think that Mother Theresa's spot atop 'Altruism Mountain'
is safe.

juadam09
07-04-2008, 10:58 AM
I think you may be looking into that quote a little to much. I do not think it was a shot a JO, just GIl showing that he was doing the right thing for his team.

Was he doing this for show? Maybe. But the team offered him the max then said its up to you to take less but we think it would help the team out in the long run. A pretty smart way to run negotiations and props to Gilbert for helping his team out.


A players agent said the Wizards are clearly attempting to put the burden on Arenas to make a decision.

"They're making it clear that, 'Hey, we love you, we want you here, we didn't lowball you, we made a big offer,' but at the same time, they're putting the onus on him to think about the direction of the franchise," said the agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did want to be quoted speaking about a player who is not his client. "It's an interesting strategy and makes sense when you think about how he is. This way, he can still get way more from them than he can get anywhere else and he can say to the fans, 'Hey, I took less to help the team.' "


Then again, 111M isn't all that shabby.



Gilbert Arenas is accepting less money from the Washington Wizards, invoking an attitude far, far removed from the world of his working-class fans.

"What can I do for my family with $127 million that I can't do with $111 million?" he told The Washington Post.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/01/AR2008070103222.html

NuffSaid
07-04-2008, 11:00 AM
You need to include the link to the article. Thanks.
Done. Thanks for the reminder.

One thing's for sure, Gilbert doesn't have to worry about not being able to feed his family. :)

Hicks
07-04-2008, 11:15 AM
Thanks, NuffSaid.

I'm not impressed with this "now my team has less than half of the MLE to spend each year!" stuff he's saying.

rexnom
07-04-2008, 11:43 AM
Yeah, he's not really saving the Wiz tons of money. I think Brand and (to some extent) Baron Davis can be credited with some altruism. Gil could have taken 12 mil/year or something. That would have put the Wiz in a much better position. And with endorsements Gil gets, 12mil/year would not have been terrible.

Mourning
07-04-2008, 12:01 PM
It's something atleast. There's enough other guys milking out their teams or teams interested in them to the last penny.

I think 12mln p/y is very unrealistic. I think 16.5mln is prob. what he should have taken if he wanted to really help his team out much. That would have been saving the Wizards about 4.6+mln p/y. Combine that with half to fully the amount they would have otherwise spend on the midlevel and they could definitely get a player that matters.

Still either way you cut it, and I'm not a fan of him, it's not something you see happenning too often, so I can respect him for that. 111mln is huge, but giving up on 16mln is still pretty big even if what you have left is still crazy money :).

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

Arcadian
07-04-2008, 12:06 PM
I'm sure the Wizards told him what would be a helpful pay cut and what wouldn't. They must have thought that they would be able to do certain things with what they are saving and I imagine to convince Gilbert to do it, they told him what those things were.

rexnom
07-04-2008, 12:32 PM
It's something atleast. There's enough other guys milking out their teams or teams interested in them to the last penny.

I think 12mln p/y is very unrealistic. I think 16.5mln is prob. what he should have taken if he wanted to really help his team out much. That would have been saving the Wizards about 4.6+mln p/y. Combine that with half to fully the amount they would have otherwise spend on the midlevel and they could definitely get a player that matters.

Still either way you cut it, and I'm not a fan of him, it's not something you see happenning too often, so I can respect him for that. 111mln is huge, but giving up on 16mln is still pretty big even if what you have left is still crazy money :).

Regards,

Mourning :cool:
But, I mean, it's not like he opted out so that they could get him some significant help a la Brand. He opted out for himself and got a pay raise. Now, I love Gil as much as the next guy (he was in my avatar for a year for chrissakes) but let's not make this out to be some act of god. It's kind of refreshing, but astounding it is not.

Shade
07-04-2008, 12:34 PM
So, $2.6 mil per year is gonna make that big a deal when it comes
to aquiring additional pieces to get them over the hump ? In today's
NBA ? Right. Uh huh. Sure it will.

Somehow I think that Mother Theresa's spot atop 'Altruism Mountain'
is safe.

It's a very nice gesture. He's basically giving back one year on the contract, which is a lot. But I do agree that I'm not sure how much an extra $2.6 mil each year is going to help the Wizards to make big moves.

Rajah Brown
07-04-2008, 12:40 PM
He probably split the difference with them. Which is better than
nothing. I've got nothing against Arenas. I actually like him alot.
He's a unique character and an interesting young guy.

The NBA is a funny business. The Wiz probably know full well that
they're never gonna win an NBA Title with A-Z leading them making
almost $20mil per year. And speaking off the record, they'd probably
say so. But if you aren't gonna win it anyway, you might as well fill
the seats, rake in the $$$ and keep the average fan happy.

Shade
07-04-2008, 12:43 PM
He probably split the difference with them. Which is better than
nothing. I've got nothing against Arenas. I actually like him alot.
He's a unique character and an interesting young guy.

The NBA is a funny business. The Wiz probably know full well that
they're never gonna win an NBA Title with A-Z leading them making
almost $20mil per year. And speaking off the record, they'd probably
say so. But if you aren't gonna win it anyway, you might as well fill
the seats, rake in the $$$ and keep the average fan happy.

And that's really what it all comes down to.

For many owners, winning a title is secondary to putting butts in the seats. The Wizards would not give Gil that kind of money unless they were sure that his presence on the team would bring in enough fans spending money to exceed Gil's contract. If he never wins a title, but the Wizards make money, they still win. If he wins a title, that's just the icing on the cake.

JayRedd
07-04-2008, 01:24 PM
Now there's a man with integrity.

And some of you are absurd.

rexnom
07-04-2008, 01:26 PM
Now there's a man with integrity.

And some of you are absurd.
Oh come on.

JayRedd
07-04-2008, 01:35 PM
I'm not saying he's a saint for leaving a couple of million on the table.

I'm saying that six months ago, he said he was opting out for financial reasons. He said he wanted to stay with the Wizards. He said he would stay if they re-signed Antawn.

Everybody questioned whether or not "he was just talk."

Then he did everything he said he would do.

That is integrity.

BlueNGold
07-04-2008, 01:47 PM
That really makes me wonder how much Lebron is worth. He's easily worth 50% more than Arenas...like 165M for 6 years?

CableKC
07-04-2008, 02:16 PM
I'm wondering if there are any incentives that are included in the contract so that he has the opportunity to earn a little bit extra.

Does incentive based bonuses ( like winning MVP or getting to the Finals ) count towards the cap?

Maybe giving incentive based bonuses could be a way to skirt the Salary cap issue while giving Arenas a way to earn back that extra $$$. I can see the Wizards including some simple incentive ( like playing more then 60 games a year for 2 straight seasons or getting the team to the Playoffs ) to make the $$$ up for him.

Dece
07-04-2008, 05:56 PM
I don't see how anyone can criticize him for leaving "only" 2.6M a year on the table. Could he have left more? Sure, but I don't see anyone else doing even that much. Give the dude credit for what he did, not chastise what he didn't.

juadam09
07-04-2008, 06:17 PM
I'm wondering if there are any incentives that are included in the contract so that he has the opportunity to earn a little bit extra.

Does incentive based bonuses ( like winning MVP or getting to the Finals ) count towards the cap?

Maybe giving incentive based bonuses could be a way to skirt the Salary cap issue while giving Arenas a way to earn back that extra $$$. I can see the Wizards including some simple incentive ( like playing more then 60 games a year for 2 straight seasons or getting the team to the Playoffs ) to make the $$$ up for him.

I am not 100 % certain but I believe that it does count against the salary cap to keep tams from doing just that.


I don't see how anyone can criticize him for leaving "only" 2.6M a year on the table. Could he have left more? Sure, but I don't see anyone else doing even that much. Give the dude credit for what he did, not chastise what he didn't.

Agreed. Is he a saint? No. But 2 m is 2 m not matter how you cut it. And there are not very many players who would do what he did

Robertmto
07-04-2008, 08:03 PM
He took off the 2.6 mil because the Wizards have their LLE this year and he didn't want to have to go over the luxury tax to have to use it. So he basically paid for it out of his pocket

NuffSaid
07-04-2008, 08:18 PM
I'll give him credit where credit is due. He is taking a substantial pay cut (-$16m off GS' $127m offer), but I still say his comments were more "PC" than genuine. Nonetheless, I agree...not many high profile players would do what he did - take a pay cut to remain loyal to his team. To name a few who took the money and literally ran:

Timberwolves, KG - 1996, 6-yr $126M; 2003, 5-yr $100M - both w/T-Wolves; 2007, 3-yr contract $60 ext. in trade to Boston

Pacers, JO - 2003, 7-yr, $120M; owed $44M thru 2010

Miami, Shaq - 2003, 6-yr, $100M

I've done my research and unless I've missed something only KG, JO, Shaq and now Agent Zero have ever signed multi-million dollar contracts with their respective teams in excess of $100M. Only TMac ($93M w/Magic, 2000), Kobe ($71M), Marbury (1999, 6-yr, $71M w/Nets) AI (1999, 6-yrs, $70M; 2003, 6-yrs, $76M but eventually traded to Nuggets in 2006) and Melo ($65M) have come close to that kind of money, but based on the numbers by the "Big 3", it's obvious Arenas had to be talking about alteast one of those three because none of them - include the "Lower 5" - ever took a reduced offer for the sake of their team.

Again, I give Arenas credit, but...

Shade
07-04-2008, 08:29 PM
Timberwolves, KG :trophy:

Pacers, JO

Miami, Shaq :trophy: :trophy: :trophy: :trophy:

One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong...

Anthem
07-04-2008, 09:13 PM
I've done my research and unless I've missed something only KG, JO, Shaq and now Agent Zero have ever signed multi-million dollar contracts with their respective teams in excess of $100M.
Duncan? Allan Houston? Rashard Lewis? Kidd? Dirk?

Your 100mil total requirement is flawed, though, because there used to be 7-year contracts and now there are only 6-year contracts.

Kuq_e_Zi91
07-04-2008, 10:10 PM
Arenas Agrees to Stay With WizardsAll-Star Takes Less-Expensive Deal to Help Team Sign Other Players
By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 4, 2008; Page E01

On several occasions, Gilbert Arenas has said he would be willing to take less money from the Washington Wizards if it would help owner Abe Pollin and team president Ernie Grunfeld assemble the necessary pieces to win an NBA championship.

Yesterday, according to Arenas, the three-time all-star agreed to a six-year, $111 million contract with the Wizards, two days after the team offered him a six-year deal worth between $125 million and $127 million, the maximum allowable for a player with seven years of NBA service under the league's collective bargaining agreement.

The Wizards made the maximum offer with a caveat: If Arenas, who opted out of the final year of his deal last month to become an unrestricted free agent, took the offer, it would be more difficult for the team to surround him and all-star forwards Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler with the kind of talent required to win the franchise's first title since 1978.

"I looked at like this: There is nothing I can do for my family with $127 million that I can't do with $111 million," said Arenas, who is traveling in Asia and Europe for two weeks as part of a promotional tour for a shoe company. "I mean, college is expensive but it ain't that dang expensive. Now, we have room to add a piece. There is a window of opportunity for us. Adding key pieces leads to championships and that's what we all want."

Arenas can't officially sign a contract until Wednesday, when the league's one-week moratorium on free agent signings concludes. Contract specifics still must be ironed out after the league releases salary cap and luxury tax figures for the upcoming season next week.

Had he signed for the maximum, Arenas would have owned the second-largest contract signed by a player since 1999. Kobe Bryant signed a deal worth $136.4 million with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004.

Arenas said he mulled over the situation during the long flight to China on Tuesday and ultimately decided that taking less money was worth it.

Because of the moratorium, Grunfeld is not allowed to comment on the negotiations, but a team source familiar with the situation confirmed that Arenas has agreed to the deal while adding that some details still need to be worked out.

Arenas said he believes that the first year of his new contract will pay him about $14.5 million. That would allow the Wizards the opportunity to sign a free agent and still remain underneath the luxury tax threshold, which is likely to be about $71 million.

Depending on the exact figures of Arenas's contract, the Wizards should have most of their mid-level exception (expected to be about $5.8 million or $5.9 million) to add a player. The team will also have its biannual exception (roughly $1.9 million). The team could attempt to re-sign shooting guard Roger Mason Jr., who is coming off a career season and has drawn interest from several teams, or it could go after one of several free agents.

Possible targets include small forward James Posey, who was a valuable role player on the Boston Celtics' NBA championship team, and guard-forward Matt Barnes, who has been a valuable player -- particularly as a defender -- for the Golden State Warriors.

But even if Arenas's decision doesn't make a major impact on the roster next season, it should pay off later when his cap figure grows along with that of Jamison, who signed a four-year, $50 million extension Monday.

Butler's contract expires at the end of the 2010-11 season.

"The main thing is that I didn't want to just take the big contract and then be sitting there in the same position [Kevin Garnett] was in when he was with Minnesota, making all that money but the team couldn't put any pieces around him to win a championship. I talked to him about that, and I didn't want that to happen here.

"This way, I'm still getting paid a lot of money and we can make the moves we need to make. I want to win a championship here in D.C. I want to have a parade that goes right past the White House. Me and Barack Obama. How cool would that be? I really think that with the players we already have and with a couple of moves, we can do it."

The decision capped a strange round of negotiations. Typically, teams offer a low figure and the athlete and their agent ask for more and the sides negotiate to a number. Not with Arenas, who represented himself.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Wizards feared that a low-ball offer might cause the notoriously unpredictable Arenas to take a lesser offer elsewhere. Those fears nearly were realized when the Warriors jumped out and offered nearly $100 million over five years.

Instead, according to Arenas, the Wizards immediately offered the maximum, and in doing so put him in the position of weighing a choice between taking the maximum and possibly strangling the team's salary cap situation, or taking less and creating flexibility to get better.

Arenas also said he was influenced by a phone conversation he had with Pollin before the player's trip to China.

"It just gave me reassurance," said Arenas, who accepted a six-year, $65 million deal from Pollin in 2003. "He told me: 'When I picked you up five years ago, you're my guy and I meant that. You're the face of the Wizards. When you're out of the country walking down the street, I know that I have a fine young man representing me, this organization and the city of Washington to the fullest.'

"That really got me thinking. I mean, this man has given me over $170 million so what's $16 million now? If he's put that much belief in me without hesitating, why should I hesitate on what I need to do?"


He was talking about KG. I like what he did. They need to spend that money on someone who wants to step in front of somebody. Posey would be a nice fit.

NuffSaid
07-04-2008, 10:55 PM
Kobe Bryant signed a deal worth $136.4 million with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004.
I knew Kobe was part of the $100M Contract Club! I just couldn't find anything online to confirm it. And I knew Arenas was talking about someone from among those ranks. You don't make a comment like, "You see players take max deals and they financially bind their teams. I don't wanna be one of those players and three years down the road your team is strapped and can't do anything about it," without such words being directed at somebody.


Duncan? Allan Houston? Rashard Lewis? Kidd? Dirk?

Your 100mil total requirement is flawed, though, because there used to be 7-year contracts and now there are only 6-year contracts.
Okay, but the point remains there have been only a small handful of players in the NBA who have ever signed contracts worth $100M+ no matter the length and have strapped their team by NOT renegotiation the terms for the benefit of the team and not themselves. To that, I give Gilbert Arenas credit no matter what drove him to do it.

Our own franchise player (or shall I say soon to be former franchise player) spoke of loyalty and wanting TPTB to surround him with players who would compete for a championship, but when the chips were down instead of opting out and letting TPTB negotiate a new contract w/him that could have freed up cash to spend on the type of players he wanted instead he accepted the option which was to his advantage. Fortunately, TPTB were able to parlay that option into a worthwhile trade that will benefit the team hopefully for both the near and long-term.

On a personal note: I never wanted to admit to seeing JO's selfishness not even when he signed his current contract way back then, but seeing what Gilbert has done...showing truly loyalty to his team's owner and the team as a whole even if the result was a mere $2.6M a year...

Finally, a prima donna sets aside his own self indulgence for a nobler cause. I can get behind that. :D Way to go, Gilbert Arenas!

Anthem
07-04-2008, 11:33 PM
Okay, but the point remains there have been only a small handful of players in the NBA who have ever signed contracts worth $100M+ no matter the length
But the length matters a lot if 100mil is an important number for you. $15mil/year for 6 years is 90mil. $15mil for 7 is 105. No worse of a cap hit (impacting ability to sign other FAs) but one gets noted and another doesn't.

I agree that it's rare, and I'm not quibbling with Zero even though I think it's more symbolic than effective. I'm just saying your criteria have problems.

ifoK
07-05-2008, 05:39 PM
I don't see how anyone can criticize him for leaving "only" 2.6M a year on the table. Could he have left more? Sure, but I don't see anyone else doing even that much. Give the dude credit for what he did, not chastise what he didn't.

It's simple - he took less than available for the sake of being able to say he took less than available. It was a calculated move, one that will further increase his image, which will in return result in more endorsement possibilities.

A typical me-first move by the NBA's most self-centered performer.

Spend that $2.6M wisely. Maybe Jamison Brewer or John Edwards is available.

Robertmto
07-05-2008, 05:51 PM
It's simple - he took less than available for the sake of being able to say he took less than available. It was a calculated move, one that will further increase his image, which will in return result in more endorsement possibilities.

A typical me-first move by the NBA's most self-centered performer.

Spend that $2.6M wisely. Maybe Jamison Brewer or John Edwards is available.

this is the best uneducated answer so far.

the 2.6 mill will be used for either the mle, lle, or resigning mason jr, all without going over the luxury tax

NuffSaid
07-05-2008, 07:50 PM
Duncan? Allan Houston? Rashard Lewis? Kidd? Dirk?

Your 100mil total requirement is flawed, though, because there used to be 7-year contracts and now there are only 6-year contracts.

But the length matters a lot if 100mil is an important number for you. $15mil/year for 6 years is 90mil. $15mil for 7 is 105. No worse of a cap hit (impacting ability to sign other FAs) but one gets noted and another doesn't.

I agree that it's rare, and I'm not quibbling with Zero even though I think it's more symbolic than effective. I'm just saying your criteria have problems.
I get your point and I agree, but regardless of the standard length of the contract $100+ million is a helluva lot to pay to one person.

Anthem
07-05-2008, 10:46 PM
I get your point and I agree, but regardless of the standard length of the contract $100+ million is a helluva lot to pay to one person.
No doubt. But if you count multiple contracts that add up to more than 100mil, then there's a lot more guys that have taken that kind of money.

pacerwaala
07-06-2008, 07:31 AM
this is the best uneducated answer so far.

the 2.6 mill will be used for either the mle, lle, or resigning mason jr, all without going over the luxury tax

I agree 100%. People harp on players salaries and how high and out of control they are. (I have never understood that argument either). Here is a guy that left $16 million on the table and some on this board are hell bent on finding fault with it. Look at it for what it is - Arenas left $16 mill on the table. Like the quoted post says, it gives them flexibility in signing Roger Mason, they can structure Gills contract in a way that they can sign some one else in the first 2-3 years of the contract, etc. I am sure, the Wizards capologists will find creative ways.

J.O could have left some money on the table so that we could have kept Brad Miller and won a championship. He did not. Lot of other players also have not left any money on the table which is not wrong by no means. But when somebody does it, they should be given credit for it.

JayRedd
07-06-2008, 09:54 AM
this is the best uneducated answer so far.

the 2.6 mill will be used for either the mle, lle, or resigning mason jr, all without going over the luxury tax

Indeed.

Thus, he likely saved his employer $5.2 million in practical terms for at least the next season or two, as the luxury tax is one dollar on every dollar you are over.

Vince Neil
07-07-2008, 11:52 AM
One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong...

Ouch!

rexnom
07-07-2008, 11:58 AM
I don't see how anyone can criticize him for leaving "only" 2.6M a year on the table. Could he have left more? Sure, but I don't see anyone else doing even that much. Give the dude credit for what he did, not chastise what he didn't.
Yeah, you're right. I think I'm being too harsh on old Gil. He's due for a break anyways.

http://www.plebius.org/uploads/images/2006-09-10/5EgaqQTYIm.gif

duke dynamite
07-07-2008, 07:46 PM
He'll make it all up in endorsements anyway...