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Little Financial Incentive Exists For Many In 2013/14

The movitation of looming negotiations for a new contract can drive players to put a little extra into a season. Even guys who aren't in the final years of their deals may have a financial carrot on a stick, with team and player options and non-guaranteed seasons to be decided on for 2014/15. Former first-round draft picks entering their third seasons can look forward to the prospect of a lucrative extension.

Still, there are plenty of others who have no direct financial incentive to play well in 2013/14. They have contracts that include a fully guaranteed season in 2014/15, with no options to be decided upon next summer. No teams have more players in this situation than the Bucks, Nuggets, Timberwolves, and Trail Blazers, all of which hope eight of their guys can find something else to drive them. The Heat have the specter of a third straight championship to shoot for, but everyone on the team will be playing for a contract, too, since they're the only NBA franchise without anyone locked into his 2014/15 salary.

This compilation doesn't take into effect players who are up for veteran extensions, since those are rare under the new collective bargaining agreement. Over time, the latest CBA should curtail the number of players without a negotiation ahead, since it places stricter limits on the length of deals.

Everyone who signed a long-term, fully guaranteed free agent contract this summer is on the list. It also includes John Wall and Larry Sanders, who signed long-term rookie-scale extensions. There are a few of this year's second-round picks shown here, but none of the first-rounders, since they must sign rookie-scale contracts which call for either an option decision or an extension candidacy in each of the three offseasons between the four years of the deal. Since many guys on rookie-scale deals sign extensions, unlike other NBA players, we've included those who are set for rookie-scale extension eligibility in 2014.

Of course, just because a player doesn't have a tangible financial incentive to play for doesn't mean there isn't some money at stake. A player's off-court endorsement earnings are often affected by his play, and if a guy lollygags this season, only to ramp up his production when negotiations draw closer, front offices might not be fooled. Teams can get rid of them by trading them or waiving them, but these players will still be due their 2014/15 salaries:

ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.

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