We’re about a month and a half removed from the 2019 NBA draft, and the contract statuses of 56 of the 60 players selected on that night have been determined.
As our list of draft pick signings shows, 53 players – 29 first-round picks and 24 second-rounders – have signed contracts with their new NBA teams. Three more players – Didi Louzada (Pelicans), Deividas Sirvydis (Pistons), and Vanja Marinkovic (Kings) – will reportedly spend the 2019/20 season overseas in various international leagues.
That leaves just four players whose contract situation for ’19/20 remains up in the air. Those players are as follows:
- Orlando Magic: Chuma Okeke, F (Auburn)
- Denver Nuggets: Bol Bol, C (Oregon)
- Charlotte Hornets: Jalen McDaniels, F (San Diego State)
- Brooklyn Nets: Jaylen Hands, G (UCLA)
Okeke is the lone 2019 first-rounder who remains unsigned, and it’s probably not just a coincidence that he’s the last one to ink his rookie contract. He tore his ACL in March and is expected to miss a good chunk – if not all – of his rookie season. While virtually every first-round pick signs for 120% of his rookie scale amount, the Cavaliers were able to get Kevin Porter for lower than that earlier in the offseason — it’s possible the Magic are exploring a similar deal with Okeke.
Bol, meanwhile, figures to sign with the Nuggets eventually. The team still has a projected opening on its 15-man regular season roster, plus a pair of open two-way contract slots. I’d expect Bol to sign a standard deal, but the two sides will have to reach an agreement on the years, dollars, and guarantee amounts. Since Denver has its full mid-level exception available, a variety of options are on the table.
As for McDaniels and Hands, they look like strong candidates to sign two-way contracts. Both the Nets and Hornets have an open two-way slot, and players selected in the 50-60 range frequently end up on two-way deals. While Brooklyn already has 15 players on guaranteed contracts, Charlotte is only carrying 13, so it’s possible a regular season roster spot is still in play for McDaniels.