NBA AM: Who Gets A Rookie Extension Today?
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Deadline For Extensions: NBA teams have had all summer to discuss contract extensions with the players they obtained or drafted from the 2010 NBA Draft that are still on their rookie scale contracts and several have reached deals.
John Wall (#1 overall), Derrick Favors (#3 overall), DeMarcus Cousins (#5 overall), Paul George (#10 overall), Larry Sanders (#15 overall) and Quincy Pondexter (#26 overall) have reached contract extensions on their rookie scale deals.
NBA teams have until midnight tonight to reach deals or those remaining players will hit free agency in July. Their respective teams can restrict their free agency with a qualifying offer at the end of the season, there is a chance that a team with cap space sets a higher price in July than what’s likely being talked about now, especially if the players has a solid season.
Last year at the deadline several players signed deals that at the time seemed overvalued and somewhat risky, that today look like solid investments. Stephen Curry’s four-year $44 million deal a season ago seems like a bargain today, as does Jrue Holiday’s four-year $41 million deal.
The biggest issue facing teams is that they in essence are bidding against themselves in setting a price and trying to establish market value on a player.
Here are some of the players on deck for an extension, and their likelihood of getting one:
Evan Turner, Philadelphia (2nd overall): The odds that Philly extends Evans are extremely low. While Evans has played extremely well for the 76ers, who notched their first win of the season last night dropping the Miami HEAT 114-110, the 76ers are clearly in rebuild mode and locking up 2014 free agent dollars now is not part of the plan. The window for an extension is not completely closed, because if Evans camp offers a deal at enough of a value the 76ers might move simply to create a bigger trade chip down the line. The odds of a deal are low, so don’t expect an extension for Turner.
Greg Monroe, Detroit (7th overall): The Pistons and Monroe’s camp have talked extension extensively. And Greg certainly made his case last night dropping in 24 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. The problem with an extension for Monroe is that his new contract number would eat into the Pistons projected $20 plus million in possible cap space next year. It might be smarter to pay the extra $2 million Monroe gets in a free agent offer sheet to preserve the cap space. Again, this one really comes down to price, but given that comparable bigs have signed for north of $11 to $12 million a season, the Pistons best move might be to wait until July and use their cap space and then match whatever Monroe is offered in free agency. It might cost them a little more letting other teams set the price, but it keeps the window for cap space in July open. Both sides are talking, so a deal is possible, it just does not seem likely simply because of the impact a deal would have on next summer’s flexibility. The Hawks went through the same situation with Jeff Teague last summer too.
Gordon Hayward, Utah (9th overall): The Jazz have been trying to reach a deal and at the end of the day, literally, they will likely have one. Hayward’s camp has smartly played up his appeal to other teams, especially teams in bigger markets that are closer to winning. Hayward’s camp is looking for a deal a little better than the pact given to teammate Derrick Favors, which clocked in at four-years and $49 million. Some have suggested Hayward price is closer to $60 million. Typically what happens is some of that money gets converted into performances bonuses and a deal is reached and that’s likely what’s going to happen with Hayward. Both sides are too close to reaching a deal for something to not come together today, so unless a wheel falls in the negotiations expect Hayward to have his new deal tonight.
Ed Davis, Memphis (13th overall): The Memphis Grizzlies believe in Ed Davis, but they are not going to set his price tag. The Grizz have reportedly closed talks on an extension with Davis, but don’t read that to mean anything more than they want to see how he progresses this season. The Grizz are sitting on roughly $68.3 million in possible cap commitment next season assuming Zach Randolph stays in his deal and does not opt for free agency. The Grizz have wisely covered themselves with Davis, but before they invest the going rate of $10 million per season into Davis they want to see if that’s what the market thinks. Last year it was assumed Grizzlies guard Tony Allen was in-line for a major payday and he re-signed for $4.4 million after the two-guard market started to dry up. With where the Grizz are positioned cap wise today they cannot afford to overpay for Davis, even though he is a player they are extremely high on.
Patrick Patterson, Sacramento (14th overall): King’s GM Pete D’Alessandro classified the talks with both of his extension eligible players as “spirited conversations” but that the team would convene today and make some decisions. Like many of the bigs in this class the price tag for a serviceable frontcourt player is significant and unless Patterson’s camp is will to make a deal with Sacramento it’s unlikely they are just going to shell out the $9 to $10 million being rumored in connection with Patterson. This one really is a 50/50 call. Last season there were talks all the way to the deadline that Toronto would not reach a deal with DeMar DeRozan and they did on a four-year, $42 million deal. No teams wants to be holding the best restricted free agent in July. The Kings already saw themselves priced out of former lottery pick Tyreke Evans this past summer and with so many teams poised to have cap space in July, do the Kings want to see Patterson walk away or worse yet have to match a higher dollar deal than they could have gotten today? That’s the decision that has to be made today and there are no indicators either way.
Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix (18th overall): The Phoenix Suns are talking extension with Bledsoe and after hanging 22 points with six assists in last night’s 104-91 win over Portland, his case is pretty strong. The question becomes price for Phoenix. Last the bar was set at four years, $40-plus million for top tier point guards. If Bledsoe’s camp has him in that range, he might get his deal today. If the number is closer to $50 million, which some have suggested, that might not get done until this summer. Phoenix would like to lock in Bledsoe, because it would allow them to move on from Goran Dragic at some point and having Bledsoe locked in gives an extra layer of security, but for Phoenix everything comes down to price so it will be interesting to see what gets done today, all indications are they’ll reach a deal.
Avery Bradley, Boston (19th overall): The Celtics have been talking extension with Bradley’s camp. And like Patterson, it’s a 50/50 equation. The Celtics are clearly in rebuild mode so future cap space and the math of a new deal is going to matter. If a deal gets done its likely going to be a touch in Boston’s favor so that’s where the uncertainty comes from. Extending Bradley creates a bigger trade chip next season and that’s clearly something Boston has to be considering. This one will likely come down to the wire and its more likely than not that Bradley does not get a deal simply because of where Boston is at in their rebuild, but like the DeRozan scenario above, Boston might blink to avoid getting priced out of a player they really like in July.
Grevis Vasquez, Sacramento (28th overall): Like Patterson, the Kings and Vasquez are talking, but also like Patterson it seems the Kings will wait until the deadline to make a decision. It’s been said that Vasquez is willing to make a deal for Sacramento to get his extension and his security, but also to put down roots. Typically when a player is willing to make a deal, things get done, but with the Kings they have one eye on the future and locking in Vasquez does bite into future cap space if the price is not right. There are no indications from Sacramento which way they are leaning, but sources close to the situation say the framework of a deal is there is Sacramento wants to make it.
Indiana’s Lance Stephenson was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft and the Pacers would love to try and extend him, but rookie scale extensions only apply to those players drafted in the first round, so Stephenson will have to take a trip through free agency.
NBA teams have until midnight Eastern to submit their extensions to the NBA league office, and historically there have been several that have come down to the wire, so expect more of the same today.
Are you pumped for the 2014 NBA Draft Class? HOOPSORLD’s Yannis Koutroupis offers up his first NBA Mock Draft of the season. Check it out here!
We Want To Know:
Gilbert Talks Kyrie: According to Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer Cavalier owner Dan Gilbert is not at all worried about Kyrie Irving’s future.
“It’s still a little bit early, but we feel good about Kyrie being here for his entire career,” Gilbert said. “We think we set up an environment and a culture that is conducive to him being not only an All-Star but hopefully the leader of our championship-contending team. We’ll keep going until we get to that point, whether it’s this year or next year, whatever it might be.”
Gilbert points to the solid relationship Irving has with head coach Mike Brown as a big part of the formula for keeping a star player happy. Brown’s emphasis on defense has helped forge that relationship.
“That head coach/leader-star relationship is absolutely critical, as you all know in building a championship team,” Gilbert said. “Seeing Kyrie on the other side of the floor excel to add to his offensive skills is going to be critical for that kind of thing (championship) to happen. We feel very fortunate, and we’re lucky that the lottery ball fell a couple years ago. He’s a very, very critical part of our franchise evolution.”
The Cavalier got Andre Bynum on the floor for the first time since his arrival in Cleveland. Most pundits believe if Bynum can produce for the Cavs, they are a playoff contender.
“It’s hard to make exact predictions, but I would say if we would avoid catastrophic injuries, I think there is an expectation that this team is a playoff contender,” Gilbert said.
The Cavaliers opened their season last dropping the Brooklyn Nets 98-94. Irving scored 15 points and dished out nine assists in the win.
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