When the NBA’s 2021/22 league year begins in August, 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 (August 3) is the first day they can agree to rookie scale extensions. Those players, who were 2018 first-round selections, will have until the day before the ’21/22 regular season starts (likely in mid-October) 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 2022/23. If they don’t sign extensions during the coming offseason, those players will be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of 2022.
Ten players who were eligible for rookie scale extensions signed new deals during 2020’s brief offseason window. That number was higher than usual, but we’ve seen an uptick in rookie extensions during the last couple years as more teams look to lock up their promising young players in advance of free agency. We should expect several more rookie scale extensions to be signed in August, September, and October of 2021.
Here are the players who will be eligible to sign rookie scale extensions during the 2021 offseason:
- Grayson Allen (Grizzlies)
- Deandre Ayton (Suns)
- Marvin Bagley III (Kings)
- Mohamed Bamba (Magic)
- Mikal Bridges (Suns)
- Miles Bridges (Hornets)
- Troy Brown (Bulls)
- Wendell Carter Jr. (Magic)
- Donte DiVincenzo (Bucks)
- Luka Doncic (Mavericks)
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder)
- Aaron Holiday (Pacers)
- Kevin Huerter (Hawks)
- Chandler Hutchison (Wizards)
- Jaren Jackson Jr. (Grizzlies)
- Kevin Knox (Knicks)
- Josh Okogie (Timberwolves)
- Michael Porter Jr. (Nuggets)
- Collin Sexton (Cavaliers)
- Landry Shamet (Nets)
- Anfernee Simons (Trail Blazers)
- Lonnie Walker (Spurs)
- Robert Williams (Celtics)
- Trae Young (Hawks)
The following players were selected in the first round of the 2018 draft along with the players listed above. However, they aren’t eligible for rookie scale extensions this year for the reasons noted:
- Jacob Evans: Waived by Knicks in 2020.
- Dzanan Musa: Waived by Pistons in 2020.
- Jerome Robinson: Fourth-year option declined by Wizards in 2020.
- Zhaire Smith: Waived by Pistons in 2020.
- Omari Spellman: Fourth-year option declined by Knicks in 2020.
- Moritz Wagner: Fourth-year option declined by Wizards in 2020.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.