Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen is a player to keep an eye on as a strong candidate for a contract renegotiation and extension in 2024, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Scotto made his comments on Markkanen during a podcast with HoopsHype colleague Yossi Gozlan, who said he’d be surprised if the 26-year-old’s contract isn’t renegotiated and extended next offseason.
An NBA team can’t renegotiate a player’s salary downward, but is allowed to use cap room to give him a raise for the current season, as the Jazz did with Jordan Clarkson earlier this month. The club can then negotiate an extension based on that newly renegotiated cap hit, giving him a first-year salary worth as much as 140% of that amount (up to the player’s maximum salary).
Markkanen will earn approximately $17.26MM in 2023/24 and $18.04MM in ’24/25. Under the NBA’s veteran extension rules, he’d be eligible next offseason for a four-year extension worth approximately $113MM, including a 40% raise to $25.26MM for ’25/26.
Renegotiating Markkanen’s contract using cap room to give him a raise in 2024/25 would allow the Jazz to increase their extension offer well beyond $113MM, putting them in a better position to lock up the Finnish star for the long term. Utah currently only projects to have about $99MM in salaries on its cap for ’24/25, and not all of that money is guaranteed, so the team would have plenty of flexibility to operate under the cap and give Markkanen a raise.
After being traded from the Cavaliers to the Jazz in the Donovan Mitchell blockbuster, Markkanen enjoyed a breakout season in Utah, earning his first All-Star nod and blowing away his previous career high by averaging 25.6 points per game in 66 contests (34.4 MPG). He posted an impressive shooting line of .499/.391/.875 and also grabbed 8.6 rebounds per night.
Markkanen will technically become extension-eligible this offseason, but the Jazz aren’t in position to renegotiate his contract yet, since they’ve used up their 2023/24 cap room. That means the most he could get on an extension prior to next offseason is $81.9MM over three years.
NBA contract renegotiations have typically been pretty rare, but they’ve enjoyed a renaissance within the last year. Clarkson, Domantas Sabonis (Kings), and Myles Turner (Pacers) have all renegotiated their contracts with their respective teams since January. Before that, no player had agreed to a renegotiation since Robert Covington in 2017.