When the NBA’s 2020/21 league year begins – whenever that may happen – 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 2017 first-round selections, will have until the day before the 2020/21 regular season starts 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 beginning in 2021/22. If they don’t sign extensions during the coming offseason, those players will be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of 2021.
A year ago, nine players eligible for rookie scale extensions signed new deals between July 1 and the start of the season. That number was a little higher than usual, likely because few teams projected to have significant cap room available in 2020. Still, we should have at least that many viable candidates for rookie scale extensions this time around, even if that doesn’t mean they’ll all sign new contracts.
Here are the players who will be eligible to sign rookie scale extensions during the 2020 offseason:
- Bam Adebayo (Heat)
- Jarrett Allen (Nets)
- OG Anunoby (Raptors)
- Lonzo Ball (Pelicans)
- Tony Bradley (Jazz)
- John Collins (Hawks)
- Zach Collins (Trail Blazers)
- Terrance Ferguson (Thunder)
- De’Aaron Fox (Kings)
- Markelle Fultz (Magic)
- Josh Hart (Pelicans)
- Jonathan Isaac (Magic)
- Justin Jackson (Mavericks)
- Luke Kennard (Pistons)
- Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
- T.J. Leaf (Pacers)
- Lauri Markkanen (Bulls)
- Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
- Malik Monk (Hornets)
- Frank Ntilikina (Knicks)
- Dennis Smith Jr. (Knicks)
- Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
- Derrick White (Spurs)
- D.J. Wilson (Bucks)
The following players were either selected in the first round of the 2017 draft or signed their rookie scale contracts in ’17 along with the players listed above. However, they aren’t eligible for rookie scale extensions this year for the reasons noted:
- Harry Giles: Fourth-year option declined by Kings in 2019.
- Josh Jackson: Fourth-year option declined by Grizzlies in 2019.
- Tyler Lydon: Third-year option declined by Nuggets in 2018.
- Anzejs Pasecniks: Never signed rookie scale contract; rights renounced by Sixers in 2019.
- Justin Patton: Third-year option declined by Timberwolves in 2018.
- Caleb Swanigan: Fourth-year option declined by Kings in 2019.
- Guerschon Yabusele: Waived by Celtics in 2019.
- Ante Zizic: Fourth-year option declined by Cavaliers in 2019.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.