Last month, 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 rookie-scale deal you signed as a first-round draft pick and you're entering the final year of that contract, you're extension-eligible. John Wall became the first of those players to ink an extension with his current team last week, when he re-upped with the Wizards.
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 deal 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 such as LeBron James are far more likely to wait until free agency, where they can maximize their earnings. On the other hand, many other extension-eligible players like Charlie Villanueva, Richard Jefferson, and Andris Biedrins essentially have 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:
- Bobcats: Ben Gordon, Brendan Haywood
- Bucks: Luke Ridnour
- Bulls: Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng
- Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao
- Celtics: Rajon Rondo
- Heat: Joel Anthony, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade
- Jazz: Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, Marvin Williams
- Kings: Travis Outlaw, John Salmons
- Knicks: Andrea Bargnani, Amar'e Stoudemire
- Lakers: Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol
- Magic: Hedo Turkoglu
- Mavericks: Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki
- Nets: Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce
- Pacers: Danny Granger, Luis Scola
- Pistons: Charlie Villanueva
- Raptors: Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Kyle Lowry
- Spurs: Matt Bonner
- Suns: Channing Frye, Marcin Gortat
- Thunder: Kevin Durant, Thabo Sefolosha
- Trail Blazers: LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews
- Warriors: Andrew Bogut, David Lee
- Wizards: Trevor Ariza, Emeka Okafor
In addition to the players listed above, several players will become extension-eligible sometime before next June. Here's that list, along with the dates they become eligible to sign a new deal:
- Bulls: Joakim Noah (October 4th)
- Clippers: Jared Dudley (November 1st)
- Grizzlies: Mike Conley (November 1st), Zach Randolph (April 20th)
- Hawks: Al Horford (November 1st)
- Knicks: Carmelo Anthony (February 22nd)
- Thunder: Nick Collison (November 23rd), Kendrick Perkins (March 1st)
- Spurs: Tony Parker (October 30th)
Storytellers Contracts was used in the creation of this list.