PDA

View Full Version : Why do teams offer coaches such long deals?



JasonJohnHorn
05-15-2014, 09:11 AM
The recent hirings of Steve Kerr and Stand Van Gundy have seen TWO coaches secure five-year deals. Kerr, for his part, has signed the richest contract ever for a person who has never had a coaching job before and is the third highest paid coach in the league (Pop and Doc make more, as does SVG now, though SVG has two jobs).


Five years seems like a LONG time, especially since both have two of the richest contracts among coaches in the league.

What is doubly odd about this is the fact that only FOUR coaches in the league right now have been with their current team for at least five years. These longs deals are simply bad bets. I realize that in order to get the coaches to sign that they have to offer bigger deals, but given that most coaches these days get fired after two or three seasons, it seems like teams are now wasting a boat load of money on coaches.

The Lakers will be paying for three coaches next year (Brown, D'Antoni and whoever they sign), Brown, if he can get a job next season will be collecting pay cheques from three teams (unless the Lakers contract ran out, which it may have). Maurice Cheeks got fired before his first season was up.

I thought buying players out was bad enough, but teams are getting awful with overpaying coaches and then buying them out.

When Phil Jackson coached the Bulls, he warned the Bulls owner after their first three-peat that the era of the million dollar coach was coming (no NBA coach was making a million back then). Jackson claims the owner scoffed at that idea, but now, there are NO coaches making less than a million, and rookie coaches are getting paid more today than as many a 8 combined coaches in 1991.

This Pistons have gone through six head coaches since 2008! That is one a year. And not they just put money down on having one for 5 straight years?


The answer to my question is obvious. Coaches have no job security in this league and they want long deals before they sign, and the market allows this. Also, teams that have long-term relationships with coaches win more. Of the four coaches in the league that have been with their current team for fives year or more, ALL of them have a conference title under their belt, three of them have at least one championship, and two of them have multiple championships. But considering that the average lifespan of a coach outside of San Antonio is less than two seasons, it seems that five year contracts are a sure way to make sure the team is paying for as many as three coaches at once. It just seems like bad business to me.

Iron24th
05-15-2014, 09:15 AM
To have more time to fire them.

koreancabbage
05-15-2014, 10:27 AM
desperate and one upping the other teams that are offering them 3 year deals.

ManRam
05-15-2014, 10:47 AM
desperate and one upping the other teams that are offering them 3 year deals.

Yeah. Simple answer for these two examples.

GS offered Kerr more years than NYK did, and ultimately that's what swayed him.
Detroit had to bend over backwards to convince SVG to coach there.

Both these coaches had the leverage. Pretty straight-forward.

And in the end, it's "just" money. It's not like any of this counts against the cap or anything. For many owners I'm sure the risk feels worth it. I mean, even LAL who are paying how-many-coaches right now, it's just money from the owners' pockets. Even if you're paying 4 coaches at once, it's not gonna harm the team financially, just the owners' deep pockets.

slashsnake
05-15-2014, 11:08 AM
I think you hit the nail on the head there up above. For a coach it offers more stability. Have a coach with 1 year left with a mediocre season you are more likely to just part ways than with a coach who has 15 million you have to pay out to change your coach.

And it is the bidding war talked about there. Steve Kerr is supposedly worth about 15 million. A 25 million dollar deal is hard to pass up on.

KnicksorBust
05-15-2014, 11:14 AM
Yeah. Simple answer for these two examples.

GS offered Kerr more years than NYK did, and ultimately that's what swayed him.
Detroit had to bend over backwards to convince SVG to coach there.

Both these coaches had the leverage. Pretty straight-forward.

And in the end, it's "just" money. It's not like any of this counts against the cap or anything. For many owners I'm sure the risk feels worth it. I mean, even LAL who are paying how-many-coaches right now, it's just money from the owners' pockets. Even if you're paying 4 coaches at once, it's not gonna harm the team financially, just the owners' deep pockets.

I agree with this. If coaches counted against the cap it would be a completely different negotiation process.

torocan
05-15-2014, 11:20 AM
1 year coaches are lame ducks. 2 years isn't enough time to do anything substantial as you're a lame duck in your 2nd year.

Coaches want the time to not only put their imprint on the team, but don't want a single bad year due to injuries or bad FO moves to cause them to lose their jobs. 4 years + a team option for a 5th year is a fair amount of time to get their job done and assess them. That gives them 3 years before they're a lame duck (4th year and facing a team option).

Also, Coaches want longer contracts as it puts a real disincentive for Teams to screw them. Teams will often willingly eat a year of salary of a head coach. Hardly any are willing to eat 2 or 3 years of paying a coach.

This is also the free market at work. If a coach is on more than one team's short list, then they're going to demand decent terms. SVG wasn't going to rush into a bad situation. And Kerr wasn't going to leave his cushy TNT gig for a dodgy situation.

For those guys its just not worth it.

MrfadeawayJB
05-15-2014, 11:47 AM
If they don't like the coach they are quick to break ties so the # of years is irrelevant

Chronz
05-15-2014, 11:55 AM
for appearances

slashsnake
05-15-2014, 12:17 PM
If they don't like the coach they are quick to break ties so the # of years is irrelevant

I don't think that's entirely true. I think if McHale had a 3 year contract they wouldn't be picking up any options for a 4th year next year and would make the decision to hire someone new. But they are sticking with him through his lame duck year instead.

The Timberwolves would be another. I think the Adelman situation would have been really tough there. Having to pay him out would have taken that team into the red pretty bad this year. Instead they worked out the retirement/consultant idea. With wanting to keep Love, my guess is if his contract wasn't guaranteed, they would have jettisoned him during the season.

Sure with the big market moneymaking teams, it doesn't matter. Look at the Lakers and Knicks and their coaching carousels. But for the teams not making those profits those coaches stay around longer and I think that is due to the guaranteed money. The leash can be a lot shorter in Golden State where they are making 40 million a year more than some other teams.

D-Leethal
05-15-2014, 12:30 PM
To field a more competitive offer than the next team in line for his services.

RipCity32
05-15-2014, 12:35 PM
Im happy the Pistons gave out such a long contract to a good coach. Dumars has been butchering coaches for too long now. Stuckey has played for 6 coaches in 7 seasons and Drummond is already about to play for his 4th coach in not even 3 seasons yet.

JPS
05-15-2014, 01:59 PM
No cap on coaches salary. The money coaches get paid is crumbs to the owners. If there is a bidding war like there was for Kerr and svg they can go more years. If they fire them ea rly it will not hurt the owners pockets.

Chromehounds
05-15-2014, 02:04 PM
desperate and one upping the other teams that are offering them 3 year deals.

^^^ What he said! ;)