There are currently 10 point guards in the NBA this season that are making $10 million this season. According to reports, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio wants to be part of that selective group soon.
In Grantland’s Zach Lowe’s piece “The Question of Kevin Love”, he sneaked in a small and subtle blurb about the sense that Rubio is looking to get paid soon.
Rubio is among the most divisive players in the league now, in part because of the sense that his agent, Dan Fegan, is going to demand an eight-figure extension that Rubio does not yet deserve.
But the latter part of that sentence really is conclusive, no? “He does not yet deserve”.
I mean, technically, no, his numbers are not on par with what the top-10 point guards in the league are making, but if you ask in a general poll if Rubio is considered one of the best 10 point guards in the league, what would be the consensus?
The majority would probably rule that Rubio is one of the top point guards in the league– which is odd. Technically, based on numbers, he isn’t one of the top-10 best point guards in the league, but by word of mouth he is.
With that said, here are the numbers. Listed below are the top-10 point guards ranked by their salary for the 2013-14 season. Also listed is their general points/assists statistics.
1. Chris Paul — 18.9 pts, 10.9 apg — $21,468,696
2. Deron Williams — 14.8 pts, 6.3 apg — $19,754,465
3. Derrick Rose — N/A — $18,862,876
4. Russell Westbrook — 21.2 pts, 7.0 apg — $15,719,062
5. Tony Parker — 17.0 pts, 6.0 apg — $12,500,000
6. Ty Lawson — 17.8 pts, 8.8 apg — $12,000,000
7. Tyreke Evans — 14.0 pts, 4.9 apg — $11,000,001
8. Stephen Curry — 23.6 pts, 8.5 apg — $11,000,000
9. Rajon Rondo — 11.3 pts, 9.4 apg — $10,998,200
10. Jrue Holiday — 14.3 pts, 7.9 apg — $10,250,001
32. Ricky Rubio — 9.1 pts, 8.5 apg — $3,836,364
So how do we pay our players in the NBA (in which all contracts are guaranteed)? Do we give them their due diligence after they’ve proven they deserve and eight-figure deal, even though most are being paid after their prime (see Kobe Bryant), or would you rather your team pay on potential, and hopefully you pay him as he progresses?
That’s basically what all NBA front office’s have to ask themselves. Most of them would rather wait on the huge extensions until the players have proven their worth — which is expected in the eyes of businessmen. However, what if things were done the other way. What if we paid based on potential — at least extension-wise?
Honestly, does anyone really doubt that the 23-year-old Rubio isn’t going to be a really good, if not great, point guard in this league? He’s shown he has the ability to be great. Yes, he has a few things that he needs to work on, but who doesn’t these days?
Still, I just get the sense that if the Wolves and Rubio get to a standoff on this issue, what would you like the outcome to be? Because if the Wolves don’t pay him what he wants, I’m sure there’s a handful of other owners that are willing to roll the dice on a 23-year-old Rubio than what the Wolves did with a, now, 28-year-old Nikola Peković (not to take anything away from Pek).
I’m not saying Rubio deserves the $10 million per year extension, but I’m also not saying that he doesn’t.
**All salary figures courtesy of Spotrac.com