Although several players signed lucrative long-term contract extensions over the course of the offseason, last night’s deadline came and went with a whimper, rather than a bang. Extension candidates like Gordon Hayward, Eric Bledsoe, and Avery Bradley failed to work out last-minute deals, meaning they’ll become free agents next summer. News continues to trickle in on a few of those players and their motives for passing on new contracts, so let’s round up the latest….
- Agent Mark Bartelstein, who represents Hayward, tells Sam Amick of USA Today that extensions are often the most difficult deals to complete: “Teams sometimes have a view of wanting to get something for doing it early, and the player wants to get what he perceives his value to be, so they’re hard to do.” Bartelstein added that the Jazz put in a “tremendous amount of time and effort,” so it wasn’t for lack of trying that nothing was agreed upon.
- Suns president Lon Babby echoed Bartelstein’s thoughts on the challenge of extension negotiations, telling Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic that the lack of a deal with Bledsoe “doesn’t in any way suggest” the Suns aren’t committed long-term to their new point guard.
- While 2014 free agency is still a ways off, Grantland’s Zach Lowe notes (via Twitter) that the Magic will likely be a strong rival suitor for Bledsoe.
- Discussing the Hayward and Bledsoe negotiations, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein says Bledsoe was believed to be seeking a deal worth at least $10MM annually. Hayward, meanwhile, wasn’t seeking the max, but wanted a contract “commensurate with his standing as the face of Utah’s rebuilding effort,” according to Stein.
- One executive suggested to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com that extending Derrick Favors and not Hayward was an “odd message” for the Jazz to send (Twitter link).
- Andrew Bogut‘s new contract is a veteran extension, rather than a rookie scale extension, but we’ll include this update here anyway: Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld has the specifics on Bogut’s salaries for the next several years, which start at about $12.29MM in 2014/15 and drop to about $11.03MM for 2016/17.