NBA Teams Commit Close To $475MM In Extensions

The money spent on rookie scale extensions continues to rise, with the total that teams agreed to pay to this year’s class likely to eclipse the approximately $458MM committed to last year’s rookie scale extension signees. This year, the seven players who signed rookie scale extensions before Monday’s deadline will earn an estimated $473.725MM. It’s further testament to the influence of the league’s $24 billion TV deal, and it’s a number that reflects the projected rises in the salary cap and in the maximum salaries, which are tied to the cap.
The $473.725MM number is contingent on the projected maximum salaries for 2016/17 of $20.4MM for Damian Lillard and $24.9MM for Anthony Davis. Their extensions call for them to make the max, whatever it might be when the NBA announces its maximum salaries for the 2016/17 season in July. If either of them makes an All-NBA team or wins MVP this season, they’d trigger the Derrick Rose rule and fall into the higher maximum salary tier that’s currently projected to yield a $24.9MM max. Our number is based on the idea that Davis, an All-NBA First Team selection last season, will again be so honored. Lillard was a Third Team All-NBA pick in 2013/14, but he didn’t make an All-NBA team last season. Thus, we cautiously estimate that he won’t this year. If he does, it would add a projected $25.875MM to the value of his extension and to the total amount of rookie scale extension money for the 2015 class.
We also split the difference between the numbers on the extension the Raptors gave Terrence Ross late Monday, since Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported it was worth nearly $33MM while Michael Grange of Sportsnet hears it comes in at $10.5MM a year, which would work out to $31.5MM. We went with $32.25MM. Further changes to the payouts might occur based on whether the signees trigger incentive clauses.
Here’s a look at the seven players who signed rookie scale extensions and the value of their respective deals. For the sake of historical comparison, we’ll also link to the extensions from 2014, 2013, 2012 and the preceding five years.
The following extension-eligible players didn’t sign new deals and will hit the open market next summer. They’ll be restricted free agents, assuming their teams tender qualifying offers.

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