Under the NBA’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement, the deadline for teams to sign fourth-year players to rookie scale extensions was moved up from October 31 to the last day before the regular season begins, but Halloween remains an important date on the NBA’s calendar. It’s the last day that clubs can exercise team options on the rookie scale contracts of former first-round picks.
All the players whose options will be exercised or declined by October 31 are already under contract for the 2019/20 season. Their teams will have to make a decision on whether they want to lock in those players’ contracts beyond the coming season, picking up or turning down team options for the 2020/21 campaign.
For players who signed their rookie scale contracts in 2017 and have already been in the NBA for two years, teams must decide on fourth-year options for 2020/21. For players who just signed their rookie deals last year and only have one season of NBA experience under their belts, teams will already be faced with a decision on third-year options for ’20/21.
In many cases, these decisions aren’t hard ones. Rookie scale salaries are affordable enough that it usually makes sense to exercise most of these team options, even if a player isn’t a key cog on the roster. And for those players who do have a significant role on a team’s roster, the decision is even easier — it’s not as if the Hawks would ever consider turning down their option on Trae Young, for instance.
Still, we’ll wait for a trusted reporter, the NBA, a player (or his agent), or a team itself to confirm that an option is indeed being exercised or declined, and we’ll track that news in this space.
Listed below are all the rookie scale decisions for 2020/21 team options that clubs must make by October 31. This list will be updated throughout the rest of the offseason and into the first couple weeks of the regular season, as teams’ decisions are reported and announced. The salary figures listed here reflect the cap hits for each team.
Here are the NBA’s rookie scale team option decisions for 2020/21 salaries:
- Trae Young (third year, $6,571,800)
- John Collins (fourth year, $4,137,302)
- Kevin Huerter (third year, $2,761,920)
- Jayson Tatum (fourth year, $9,897,120): Exercised
- Robert Williams (third year, $2,029,920): Exercised
- Lauri Markkanen (fourth year, $6,731,508)
- Wendell Carter Jr. (third year, $5,448,840)
- Chandler Hutchison (third year, $2,443,440)
- Luke Kennard (fourth year, $5,273,826)
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
- Kyle Kuzma (fourth year, $3,562,178)
- Josh Jackson (fourth year, $8,930,242)
- Jaren Jackson Jr. (third year, $7,257,360)
- Grayson Allen (third year, $2,545,320)
- Josh Okogie (third year, $2,651,040)
New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks
- Frank Ntilikina (fourth year, $6,176,578)
- Dennis Smith Jr. (fourth year, $5,686,677)
- Kevin Knox (third year, $4,588,680)
Oklahoma City Thunder
- Markelle Fultz (fourth year, $12,288,697): Exercised
- Jonathan Isaac (fourth year, $7,362,566): Exercised
- Mohamed Bamba (third year, $5,969,040): Exercised
- Zhaire Smith (third year, $3,204,600)
- Deandre Ayton (third year, $10,018,200): Exercised
- Mikal Bridges (third year, $4,359,000): Exercised
Portland Trail Blazers
- Zach Collins (fourth year, $5,406,255): Exercised
- Anfernee Simons (third year, $2,252,040): Exercised
- Marvin Bagley (third year, $8,963,640)
- De’Aaron Fox (fourth year, $8,099,627)
- Harry Giles (fourth year, $3,976,510)
- Caleb Swanigan (fourth year, $3,665,787)
San Antonio Spurs
- Derrick White (fourth year, $3,516,284): Exercised
- Lonnie Walker (third year, $2,892,000): Exercised
Information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post. Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.