Shorter contracts are one of the aims of the current collective bargaining agreement, which dropped the limit on most free agent pacts from five seasons to four. Contracts signed via Bird rights are kept to five years after the previous CBA allowed them to run six. The new rules have only been in place since 2011, but as more contracts signed since then reach their conclusion, the likely result will be more players hitting the market each summer. Options and non-guaranteed money effectively shorten many contracts even further, providing less stability around the league.
The Wolves and Nikola Pekovic are in an unusual position, essentially wedded to each other until the summer of 2018, barring a trade. Pekovic and Chris Paul were the only free agents receive five-year contracts this summer, and unlike Paul, who has an early termination option for 2017/18, Pekovic has no such stipulation in his deal.
Only 10 of this summer’s free agent contracts cover four years without an option or non-guaranteed money. Seven of those 10 are on Western Conference payrolls, and together with Pekovic and Paul, who are also on Western clubs, nine of the 12 contracts that will cover no less than four seasons are contained on one side of the league.
- Tony Allen, Grizzlies: four years, $20MM
- Jose Calderon, Mavericks: four years, $29MM
- Tyreke Evans, Pelicans: four years, $44MM
- Andre Iguodala, Warriors: four years, $48MM
- Kyle Korver, Hawks: four years, $24MM
- Carl Landry, Kings: four years, $26.047MM
- Chris Paul, Clippers (fifth-year ETO): five years, $107.343MM
- Nikola Pekovic, Timberwolves: five years, $60MM
- J.J. Redick, Clippers: four years, $27.755MM
- Josh Smith, Pistons: four years, $54MM
- Tiago Splitter, Spurs: four years, $36MM
- Jeff Teague, Hawks: four years, $32MM