In the weeks leading up to Halloween's deadline for fourth-year extension-eligible players to ink new deals, the prevailing wisdom suggested that teams were increasingly reluctant to lock up their players prior to free agency. TNT's David Aldridge and Sean Deveney of the Sporting News were among those who wrote stories attempting to explain why we were seeing fewer and fewer rookie scale extensions.
When the dust settled after October 31st, however, it turned out that clubs weren't all that reluctant to extend their fourth-year players after all. Ty Lawson, James Harden, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday, and Taj Gibson signed extensions during the last two days of October, joining Blake Griffin and Serge Ibaka as players avoiding restricted 2013 free agency by re-upping this offseason. It's the first time that many players have finalized rookie scale extensions since 2008, when NBA teams committed about $372MM to eight contract extensions.
In 2012, the amount of money committed to extensions blew away that 2008 figure, exceeding $400MM. We don't know specific amounts of the summer extensions yet, so we can't nail down the exact amount that teams spent. But if we use the base salaries reported to date and assume that next year's maximum salary will stay the same as this year's (it will likely increase), 2012's eight extensions add up to more than $424MM in commitments.
Here's a breakdown of the rookie scale extensions that have been inked over the past five seasons: