It's official: Jason Maxiell isn't interested in Detroit's three-year, $15 million offer. From A. Sherrod Blakely:
Jason Maxiell's agent confirmed that his client will not sign a contract extension with the Detroit Pistons by the Oct. 31 deadline. That means the 6-foot-7 forward will become a restricted free agent next summer.
"(The team has) expressed that he is a major contributor to their success," Maxiell's agent, Richard Katz, said in a telephone interview on Friday. "What we differ about on, is what that is worth."
[...] "He loves it in Detroit, and is very comfortable," Katz said. "We'll just have to see how all this plays out."
[...] Maxiell refuses to let all the contract talk be a distraction.
"I'm not really thinking about (contracts)," he said. "I'm just going to play this thing out, and go from there."
Who's Maxiell's competition next summer? Here's a list of some potential big men free agents, more or less ordered by whom I think will receive the most interest around the league:
Carlos Boozer (player option)
Shawn Marion (unrestricted)
Lamar Odom (unrestricted)
Rasheed Wallace (unrestricted)
Mehmet Okur (early-termination option)
David Lee (restricted)
Charlie Villanueva (restricted)
Al Harrington (player option)
Anderson Varejao (player option)
Drew Gooden (unrestricted)
Hakim Warrick (restricted)
Chris Wilcox (unrestricted)
Leon Powe (restricted)
Etan Thomas (player option)
Kwame Brown (player option)
Glen Davis (restricted)
Zaza Pachulia (unrestricted)
Joe Smith (unrestricted)
Sean May (restricted)
Where does Maxiell rank? Well, he definitely doesn't crack that first tier of All-Stars, but with a strong season, he could position himself near the top of the second group. (Don't get too hung up on the order of players -- I was more concerned about tiers than whether a guy belongs two spots higher.)
I think Detroit's offer is fair, and considering Max has never proven himself as a full-time starter, I don't think there's much risk in another team throwing the full mid-level at him. That said, there's nothing wrong holding out for another guaranteed year or two.
Regardless of whether Maxiell agreed to an extension now or later, his salary for this season is set in stone so it's not like he's leaving money on the table, he's just taking the risk that he stays healthy.