When the NBA’s new league year begins on July 1 – or, starting this year, June 30 – players eligible for free agency will be able to begin negotiating and reaching contract agreements with suitors. In addition to those free agents, another group of players will also become eligible to sign new deals.
For players who are entering the fourth and final year of their rookie scale contracts, the first day of the new league year is the first day they can agree to rookie scale extensions. Those players, who are almost exclusively 2016 first-round selections, will have until the day before the 2019/20 regular season to finalize long-term agreements with their current teams.
Players eligible for rookie scale extensions can sign new deals that run for up to four – or five – years, with those contracts taking effect to start the 2020/21 season. If they don’t sign extensions during the coming offseason, those players will be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of 2020.
A year ago, five players eligible for rookie scale extensions signed new deals between July 1 and the start of the season, which was a fairly modest number compared to some other recent offseasons. We should have at least that many viable candidates for rookie scale extensions this time around, though that doesn’t mean they’ll all sign new contracts.
Here are the players who will be eligible to sign rookie scale extensions this year before opening night:
- Malik Beasley (Nuggets)
- DeAndre’ Bembry (Hawks)
- Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
- Kris Dunn (Bulls)
- Juan Hernangomez (Nuggets)
- Buddy Hield (Kings)
- Brandon Ingram (Pelicans)
- Damian Jones (Hawks)
- Skal Labissiere (Trail Blazers)
- Caris LeVert (Nets): Extended
- Thon Maker (Pistons)
- Dejounte Murray (Spurs)
- Jamal Murray (Nuggets): Extended
- Jakob Poeltl (Spurs)
- Taurean Prince (Nets)
- Domantas Sabonis (Pacers)
- Dario Saric (Suns)
- Pascal Siakam (Raptors)
- Ben Simmons (Sixers): Extended
- Denzel Valentine (Bulls)
The following players were selected in the first round of the 2016 draft along with most of the players listed above, but aren’t eligible for rookie-scale extensions this year:
- Wade Baldwin: Waived by Grizzlies in 2017.
- Dragan Bender: Fourth-year option declined by Suns in 2018.
- Marquese Chriss: Fourth-year option declined by Rockets in 2018.
- Henry Ellenson: Waived by Pistons in 2019.
- Brice Johnson: Waived by Grizzlies in 2018.
- Furkan Korkmaz: Third-year option declined by Sixers in 2018.
- Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot: Fourth-year option declined by Thunder in 2018.
- Georgios Papagiannis: Waived by Kings in 2018.
- Malachi Richardson: Waived by Sixers in 2019.
- Guerschon Yabusele (Celtics): Signed rookie contract in 2017; could be extension-eligible in 2020.
- Ante Zizic (Cavaliers): Signed rookie contract in 2017; could be extension-eligible in 2020.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.