Thursday, July 17, 2008
Updated: July 18, 4:37 PM ET
Report: Jazz, Williams agree to four-year, $70M extension
ESPN.com news services
The Utah Jazz doled out big-money contracts to land free agents Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur in the summer of 2004. Four years later, the Jazz are ready to give star point guard Deron Williams his big payday, too.
Williams' agent, Bob McClaren, told The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday that Williams has agreed to a contract extension. The team has scheduled a news conference for 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday to announce the deal.
According to league sources, Williams agreed to a three-year extension with a player option for the fourth year. The deal will pay Williams the maximum allowed by the NBA's collective bargaining agreement and the earliest he can become a free agent would be the summer of 2012.
Williams' extension is similar to the one New Orleans point guard Chris Paul agreed to just 10 days ago. Lance Young, Paul's agent, said Paul agreed to a three-year extension with a player's option for a fourth year. The total value of Paul's deal is $68 million.
Although the exact value of Williams' extension won't be determined until the NBA sets its salary cap next July, the Tribune reports Williams will earn approximately $50 million for the first three years of the deal and as much as $70 million if he exercises the option.
"I know everybody has worked very, very hard toward reaching an agreement," McClaren said. "It'll be fun to talk about it tomorrow."
In recent years, the three-year deal with a player option for the fourth has become a popular choice among some of the league's elite players. Paul, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade all went with the three-year plan, with James and Wade signing their deals in the summer of 2006.
Williams, the third overall pick in the 2005 draft, has steadily increased his output each year and averaged a career-high 18.8 ppg and 10.5 apg last season, finishing third in the league in assists. He also was named to the All-NBA second team and became the third player in NBA history to have 1,500-plus points, 800-plus assists and shoot .500 or better in a single season.
The newspaper reports the Jazz hoped Williams would sign a five-year extension, the maximum allowable, but he may have shied away from such a deal due to the Jazz's future.
Next summer, Boozer, Okur and swingman Kyle Korver are all able to opt out of their contracts and become free agents. The Jazz are also unsure of coach Jerry Sloan's desire to continue coaching beyond this season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.