Teams around the NBA combined to hand out more than $450MM in rookie scale extensions this year, as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors recently noted. Such a high figure isn’t overly surprising given the number of eligible candidates that there were, and the total would have been much higher if young talents like Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, and Tristan Thompson could have worked out deals with their respective clubs. Two players who inked extensions earned maximum salary pacts in Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving, with the former scoring a four-year deal and the latter receiving a five-year pact. Ricky Rubio put pen to paper on a four-year, $55MM contract with the Wolves just before the deadline after initially holding out for max money.
Some extensions were more surprising than others, like the four-year one Alec Burks worked out with the Jazz, which will net him about $10.5MM per year even though he’s never started more than 12 games in a given season. That dollar figure is much higher than the one Chuck predicted Burks would land, and so was the four-year, $48MM contract Kemba Walker signed with Hornets. Kenneth Faried agreed to a four-year, $50MM deal with the Nuggets, but big men often find a way to get paid handsomely, so neither his deal nor the four-year, $48MM one inked by Nikola Vucevic come as a total shock.
Not every new contract is worth such an lucrative amount, however, as Markieff and Marcus Morris reached four-year agreements with the Suns that will pay them average annual values of $8MM and $5MM, respectively. Smaller rookie-scale extensions aren’t typically the norm, but with the deals signed by the Morris twins, a total of three rookie scale extensions with average annual values of less then $10MM have been signed in the last two years (Quincy Pondexter is the other recipient of such a contract; he inked a four-year, $14MM extension with the Grizzlies in 2013).
Which of these rookie scale extensions do you think will end up being the best deal in the long term? Any one of these contracts could end up being unquestionably team-friendly, but just as easily, any of them could end up looking like poor decisions a few years down the road. It’s hard to predict how guys will develop as players, which is the deciding factor on how these extensions will eventually be judged, but we want to hear your thoughts. Vote below and share your reasoning in the comments section as to why you made your selection!