Earlier today, we listed the fourth-year players who are eligible for contract extensions of up to five years. The criteria for those players are fairly simple: If you're still playing on the deal you signed as a first-round draft pick and you're entering the final year of that contract, you're extension-eligible.
For veteran players, however, the criteria are a bit more convoluted. As Larry Coon explains in his invaluable CBA FAQ, veteran contracts of less than four years cannot be extended. However, longer deals can be extended in the following scenarios:
- If a player is on a four-, five-, or six-year deal, it can be extended three years after it was signed.
- If a player previously signed a contract extension, his contract can be extended again three years after the extension was signed.
- If a player previously renegotiated his contract, his deal can be extended three years after the renegotiation was signed, if his salary was increased by more than 10%.
Given the specific circumstances required for a veteran contract extension, not a ton of players are eligible for them in any given year. Veteran extensions can also be for no more than four years, which includes the current season, meaning a player in the final year of his deal could only add three new seasons.
As such, top extension-eligible veterans (Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Andrew Bynum, etc.) are more likely to wait until free agency, where they can maximize their earnings. On the other hand, many extension-eligible players such as DeSagana Diop, Hedo Turkoglu, and Charlie Villanueva have virtually no chance of receiving new deals from their current teams, who are just waiting to clear those salaries.
Still, somewhere in the middle, there are a handful of players that we can reasonably expect to at least discuss the possibility of a contract extension with their respective teams at some point before next June. Here's the complete list, by my count, of veteran players currently eligible for extensions:
- 76ers: Andrew Bynum
- Bobcats: Matt Carroll, DeSagana Diop
- Bucks: Monta Ellis, Beno Udrih
- Bulls: Luol Deng
- Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao, Luke Walton
- Clippers: Lamar Odom, Chris Paul
- Hawks: Devin Harris, Zaza Pachulia, Josh Smith
- Jazz: Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Marvin Williams, Mo Williams
- Kings: Francisco Garcia
- Lakers: Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace
- Magic: Hedo Turkoglu
- Mavericks: Dahntay Jones, Shawn Marion
- Nuggets: Andre Iguodala
- Pacers: Danny Granger
- Pistons: Corey Maggette, Jason Maxiell, Charlie Villanueva
- Raptors: Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon
- Rockets: Kevin Martin
- Spurs: Stephen Jackson
- Suns: Marcin Gortat
- Timberwolves: Chase Budinger
- Warriors: Andris Biedrins, Andrew Bogut, Jarrett Jack
- Wizards: Trevor Ariza, Emeka Okafor
Storytellers Contracts was used in the creation of this list.