Extensions a mixed bag for 2009 draft class
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
With a deadline looming at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday for players in the 2009 draft class to land contract extensions, the agent for Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday said it appears his client won’t be among those landing a new deal.
“We’ve had conversations, but I don’t feel like any progress has been made,” the agent, Tony Dutt, told USA Today Sports on Monday of the talks with the Sixers. “We haven’t talked in a while.”
Players who don’t receive extensions will become restricted free agents next summer, with their “home” team then able to match any offer that comes their way. Los Angeles Clippers forward and former top pick Blake Griffin agreed to a max extension in early July, but he’s likely to be among the few from his class.
Holiday, who continued to express a desire for an extension when speaking to local reporters on Friday, has averaged 13.7 points, 5.6 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.5 steals since becoming a starter two seasons ago. But despite his steady improvement and a significant role in the Sixers’ big-picture plans, the fact that he was seeking a maximum contract made a deal seem unlikely all along.
It’s not a matter of whether the Sixers want the player who they took 17th out of UCLA running the team that now features center Andrew Bynum as the centerpiece, but whether they pay top dollar now or settle the matter in the summer when Holiday’s market will be made clear. As is the case with any and all of the 2009 class, the chance remains — however slim — that an agreement can be reached in the 11th hour of negotiations.
New Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden is as close to a sure-thing on the extension front as this field is offering.
After Saturday’s stunning trade that sent the reigning Sixth Man of the Year and former No. 3 pick from Oklahoma City to Houston, the shooting guard told reporters on Sunday that he expects to sign an extension with the Rockets before the deadline. It’s not yet known whether Houston is offering a four-year, $60 … [For more on Extensions a mixed bag for 2009 draft class, click here.]