Marvin Bagley III contract: Did the Detroit Pistons overpay?

Jerami Grant #9 and Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Jerami Grant #9 and Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

After much speculation about how much he would get, the Detroit Pistons have re-signed Marvin Bagley III to a three year deal that is fully guaranteed.

The reported deal came in at $37.5 million for three seasons without either a team or player option:

This is a little more than expected, as most thought his annual salary would be closer to the qualifying offer or that the Detroit Pistons would split the difference and get him for around $30 million for three years.

There didn’t seem to be anyone else bidding against them, but the Pistons may have decided to give him a bit more rather than offer up a player option for the third year, taking the risk that the 23-year-old is going to be outplaying that deal by then.

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This deal is not a killer, as the Pistons have cap space and MBIII is a productive player, but since they seemed to be the only team vying for his services, it’s fair to ask if this was a slight overpay.

But when you consider his production, the fact that he might be starting this season, and similar salaries around the league, this could end up being a bargain for the Pistons.

Detroit Pistons: Marvin Bagley III could be a steal as a starting power forward

With the announcement that the salary cap is taking another big leap, the going rate for an NBA starter who is not on a rookie deal is now over $20 million per season. These numbers seem insane for those of us not in the 1%, but that’s what it is now.

If MBIII is going to start next season for the Pistons, getting him for just over $12 million per season could actually be a huge bargain, especially if he keeps improving.

There are plenty of bench guys making more than that, and Marvin Bagley III is still just 23-years-old and seemed to find new life in Detroit last season.

He also wants to be in Detroit, which can’t be discounted, as the Pistons are trying to build a culture of guys who have embraced the city, which MBIII appears to have done:

A young player with a high ceiling who wants to be in Detroit? It was a no-brainer to re-sign MBIII, especially when you look at some of the salaries around the league.

Detroit Pistons: Marvin Bagley III’s contract in comparison

For those who think this was an overpay, consider that MBIII will be making less than Kelly Olynyk next season.

In fact, when you look at NBA salaries, his could end up being one of the best value deals in the league, especially in year three, when the salary cap will have risen and there are going to be 8th and 9th men making this kind of money.

This is Olynyk money, Dorian Finney-Smith money, Josh Hart, Robert Covington, Devonte’ Graham and Terrence Ross money. When you consider his age and ceiling, I’d take Marvin Bagley III over pretty much any of those guys, who are all good role players, but don’t have the potential of a former #2 pick who finally seems to be figuring it out.

If MBIII ends up being a productive starter for the Detroit Pistons, then they just got a huge steal, and if he only maxes out as a role player, then his salary is right in line with other guys in that tier.

Though it’s a bit more than we expected, this was a worthwhile gamble for the Detroit Pistons, who are taking flyers on guys with elite talent under a coach who knows how to get the most out of it.

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