Clearly, Bob Myers is good at this part. Bargain hunting. Negotiating. Working the angles. You don’t pull off this many favorable deals unless you have a knack for it.
Myers’ latest stunt is locking up Andrew Bogut with an incentive-laced deal. The three-year, $36 million contract extension, which Bogut signed Friday, can get up to $41.4 million. But make no mistake, in a league thirsty for big men, this could turn out to be incredible value.
Andrew Bogut showed in the postseason on one foot he was better than JaVale McGee and Tiago Splitter. If he stays healthy and plays well enough to earn his incentives, the Warriors would still be saving money as Bogut could go for upwards of $16 million a year on the market.
It’s not surprising this is Myers’ strength, being a former agent at all. But this skill of his blings like gold teeth in the context of a franchise infamous for its contract dealings. Warriors fans are used to general managers overpaying for players no one really wants. Myers, on the other hand, seems to have this ability to gauge value then use the angles to knock the price down a tad.
It takes some moxie to assume these risks, to stomach the anxiety of not knowing if certain ankles will disintegrate. If you’re afraid to be wrong, you don’t give up your star for an Andrew Bogut, and Curry is getting ready to open the season for the Bobcats right now.
It takes some analytical skills to gauge the reward and its probability. Digesting the statistical prowess of Kirk Lacob and the eye-test of Travis Schlenk, the instincts of Joe Lacob, and seeing how it all fits in the grand scheme.
It takes some self-assuredness to draw these conclusions outside the sphere of public relations, and some humility to not come across to players as egomaniacal. Being governed by insecurity and public opinion has led to some whoppers from the Warriors’ front office.
On top of that, you’ve got to have a healthy respect for and from players. They don’t take less money unless. They especially don’t take less they feel disrespected, or you’re out to hustle them. These negotiations go nowhere if the Warriors’ initial offer was at $8 or $9 million.
This all played out in the Bogut talks. Myers let Bogut know they wanted to re-sign him after the playoffs, a confession that was music to the ears of a player bordering depression. Even with that vote of confidence, Bogut was examined relentlessly. They negotiated for weeks, hammering out gives and takes.
But this is, clearly, what Myers is good at, waltzing on these fine lines, massaging the nuances. That’s the only way you get Stephen Curry at $11 million a year, which by all counts is a deal worthy of QVC. The only you way you get Jarrett Jack as an add-on in some footnote trade, or land Andre Iguodala for less than what the market was paying — with nothing but little-used reserves and late first-round picks as assets.
Certainly, Myers has some shortcomings as general manager. Try as he might, he hasn’t been able to land the big splash yet (Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, LeBron James). That Pat Riley-esque salesman quality perhaps needs some developing. And, though he’s proven he can usher a team into relevancy, it’s an unknown whether he can build a champion.
And maybe his approach cost him something more important than he knows in Jarrett Jack. No doubt, this Mark Jackson contract situation has a certain level of tension brewing and is worth watching.
But what you don’t have to worry about with Myers is him getting fleeced. No $50 million to Corey Maggette, or $40 million to Adonal Foyle. (Almost $40 million to DeAndre Jordan, but that’s not quite as bad). No $120 million offers to Gilbert Arenas. Such is even more paramount under this new CBA, where one bad contract can confine a team to a division cellar.
What you can expect, as we’ve learned, is for all the angles to be worked by a professional at snuffing out a bargain. So far, that’s been leading to good things for the Warriors.