Just when it seemed like the NBA’s flurry of spending had died down, the Trail Blazers added another $100MM+ deal to the growing list of this offseason’s nine-digit contracts, reaching a four-year extension agreement with C.J. McCollum. Of course, McCollum wasn’t eligible for free agency until next summer, so his signing made him the first player in 2016 to ink a rookie-scale extension a year before his contract was set to expire.
While McCollum was the first player to get such a deal, he almost certainly won’t be the last. Teams have until October 31 to try to work out long-term deals with former first-round picks who are heading into the fourth and final year of their respective rookie contracts. As long as a player signed his rookie-scale contract in 2013 and hasn’t become a free agent since then, he’ll be eligible to sign such an extension up until the end of October.
Of course, even if a team ultimately intends to extend a player who fits this description, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen this year. As we saw with the Pistons and Wizards, who waited until this summer to sign Andre Drummond and Bradley Beal to maximum-salary contracts, clubs can maintain a little extra cap flexibility by holding off on making those deals official.
If a team this year decides to wait until next summer to lock up an extension-eligible player, that team would be allowing the player to reach restricted free agency in 2017 — but as long as a qualifying offer is extended, the player’s club would have the right of first refusal and could match any offer sheet. In a case like Drummond’s or Beal’s, neither the Pistons nor the Wizards was worried about losing their player, since they were willing to go to the max to retain them.
Here are the players who are eligible to sign rookie-scale extensions, up until October 31, 2016:
- Steven Adams (Thunder)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
- Reggie Bullock (Pistons)
- Trey Burke (Wizards)
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Pistons)
- Michael Carter-Williams (Bulls)
- Gorgui Dieng (Timberwolves)
- Tim Hardaway Jr. (Hawks)
- Rudy Gobert (Jazz)
- Archie Goodwin (Suns)
- Alex Len (Suns)
- Ben McLemore (Kings)
- Shabazz Muhammad (Timberwolves)
- Nerlens Noel (Sixers)
- Victor Oladipo (Thunder)
- Kelly Olynyk (Celtics)
- Mason Plumlee (Trail Blazers)
- Otto Porter (Wizards)
- Andre Roberson (Thunder)
- Dennis Schroder (Hawks)
- Tony Snell (Bucks)
- Cody Zeller (Hornets)
The following players were selected in the first round of the 2013 draft along with the players above, but aren’t eligible for rookie-scale extensions this year:
- Anthony Bennett: Waived in 2015.
- Lucas Nogueira: Signed rookie contract in 2014 (extension-eligible in 2017).
- Shane Larkin: Third-year option declined in 2014.
- Sergey Karasev: Fourth-year option declined in 2015.
- Solomon Hill: Fourth-year option declined in 2015.
- Livio Jean-Charles: Signed rookie contract in 2016 (extension-eligible in 2019).
- Nemanja Nedovic: Waived in 2014.