Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey acknowledged Thursday that the team needs stability after last summer’s whirlwind of changes, and he told reporters, including Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune, that the team will consider rookie scale extensions for Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. Both will be eligible to receive the extensions between July and the end of October.
“It’s definitely something we’ll explore,” Lindsey said. “Whether we get a deal done, I don’t know. But we’ll sit down and talk to both of their representatives when the time comes.”
The team signed Derrick Favors to a four-year, $48MM extension this past offseason, but it didn’t come to terms on an extension with Gordon Hayward, who’ll be a restricted free agent this summer. Kanter, a Max Ergul client, and Burks, who’s represented by ASM Sports, would hit restricted free agency in 2015 if the Jazz don’t extend their contracts this year. Both saw about twice as many minutes this season than in 2012/13 as they established themselves as integral members of the team’s rotation.
Kanter nonetheless said Wednesday that he wanted to see the Jazz use more lineups that put him together with the team’s younger players. Hayward, 24, is the oldest of a group that includes Kanter, Burks, Favors and rookie Trey Burke, all of whom were lottery picks. The groundwork for long-term stability appears to be there if the Jazz want to keep them together.
The Jazz’s only commitment beyond next season is to Favors, leaving the team with plenty of cap flexibility. Neither Kanter nor Burks is likely to approach the kind of deal that Favors got, and while rookie scale extensions are mostly the purview of potential stars in the making, role players occasionally wind up with rookie scale extensions, too. Quincy Pondexter, who scored a four-year, $14MM extension with the Grizzlies this past fall, but Kanter and Burks can probably command more than that, given their youth and upside as lottery picks.