Ben Gordon: Tough Negotiator, or Delusional?
Two players: Man A and Man B. Man A is 25 years old, and the other will soon turn 23. On their four-year careers, both shoot a lot -- more than 15 FGAs per 36 minutes. And both score a lot: Man A scores 21 points per 36, and Man B scores 18. Man A has a substantially higher usage rate, and is a better passer. Both stroke the long-ball well (over 40% last season). Man A is a 6'3 two-guard, Man B is 6'6.
Man A is the better player right now, but it's close. As he's older and hasn't improved the last two seasons, you could make the case Men A and B deserve similar salaries. Well, Man A (Ben Gordon) wants to be the highest-paid Bull. Man B (Denver's J.R. Smith) will probably get a $5 million contract from the Nuggets. Beyond the differences are documented above, the only disparity is in minutes: Gordon has played a ton -- almost twice as many minutes as Smith.
Kelly Dwyer -- a Bulls fan who knows stuff -- doesn't think Chicago will end up caving into Gordon. I think that's a good thing. He's a good player, but he's J.R. Smith good. Not Luol Deng good.