De'Andre Hunter

John Collins Out At Least Two Weeks; Nets Have Shown Interest

Hawks power forward John Collins will be out at least two weeks due to the left ankle sprain that he suffered during Wednesday’s victory over Orlando, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Atlanta confirmed Collins’ two-week timeline, tweeting that his MRI also revealed joint swelling. His return to play will be updated as appropriate, per the Hawks.

The 25-year-old has dealt with a number of injuries throughout his career — he appeared in 293 of 385 (76.1%) regular season games during his first five seasons, which amounts to an average of 62.4 games over an 82-game schedule — but he had yet to miss a game in 2022/23. The Hawks play seven times over the next two weeks, so he’ll be sidelined for at least those seven games.

Collins has been the subject of trade rumors for a few years, and this season is no different — Ian Begley of SNY.tv reported on Thursday (Twitter video link) that the Nets have “touched base” on the veteran big man, though he wasn’t sure how serious the discussions were. The Jazz reportedly inquired on Collins as well — rumors about Phoenix’s potential interest were disputed by multiple reporters.

Collins is having a down season by his standards — through 22 games (31.5 MPG), he’s averaging 12.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 1.4 BPG on .484/.219/.845 shooting. For context, his career marks are 16.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG and 1.1 BPG on .555/.362/.783 shooting.

The Hawks also announced (via Twitter) that fellow starting forward De’Andre Hunter — who aggravated his own injury Wednesday night — will miss at least one week with a right hip flexor strain. An MRI confirmed the diagnosis. If he’s sufficiently healed by next Friday, Hunter will miss three games with the injury, though that’s a best-case scenario.

Hunter, who signed a four-year, $90MM rookie scale extension prior to the season, is averaging 14.9 PPG and 4.0 RPG on .447/.354/.808 shooting through 21 games (30.9 MPG) for the 12-10 Hawks.

With Collins and Hunter sidelined, the Hawks will likely lean more on rookie wing AJ Griffin and second-year forward Jalen Johnson. Bogdan Bogdanovic‘s potential return should definitely help as well — he’s listed as questionable to make his season debut on Friday against the Nuggets, per Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link).

Hawks’ Hunter, Collins Exit Wednesday’s Win With Injuries

8:36pm: Hawks head coach Nate McMillan said Hunter and Collins will undergo MRIs on Thursday, according to Brad Rowland of Locked On Hawks (Twitter link). McMillan also confirmed that Hunter aggravated the same injury he was dealing with heading into the game.


7:32pm: Hawks starting forwards De’Andre Hunter and John Collins exited Wednesday’s game against Orlando with injuries and were ruled out for the remainder of the contest, Atlanta announced (via Twitter).

Collins, the power forward, sustained a left ankle sprain, while Hunter, the small forward, is dealing with right thigh soreness. As Gabe Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets, the Hawks were up 20 points at halftime, so it’s possible that may have contributed to the decision to sit both players.

The Hawks announced prior to the game that Hunter was available but dealing with right hip flexor soreness, and considering the hip flexor is located at the top part of the thigh, it’s reasonable to speculate that there could be a correlation (Twitter link via Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). The team also announced that reserve wing Justin Holiday had entered the health and safety protocols and was out Wednesday.

Guard Gary Harris was injured during Wednesday’s game as well, experiencing right hamstring tightness that caused the Magic to rule him out for the remainder of the contest (Twitter link). Harris was making his sixth appearance in 2022/23 after offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus caused him to miss Orlando’s first 15 games.

We’ll have to wait for more updates to determine whether Hunter, Collins or Harris might miss more time with their respective injuries.

The 11-10 Hawks had lost three in a row heading into Wednesday’s contest but are in a strong position to snap that skid, currently leading 108-89 with eight minutes remaining. The Magic will have dropped six straight if they wind up losing. Their current record is 5-16, the second-worst mark in the NBA.

11 Players Affected By Poison Pill Provision In 2022/23

The term “poison pill” doesn’t actually show up in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, but it’s used colloquially to refer to a provision in the CBA that affects players who recently signed rookie scale contract extensions.

As we explain in our glossary entry, the so-called poison pill provision applies when a player who signed a rookie scale extension is traded before the extension takes effect.

In that scenario, the player’s incoming value for the receiving team for matching purposes is determined by averaging his current-year salary and the salaries in each year of his new extension. His current team, on the other hand, simply treats his current-year salary as the outgoing figure for matching purposes.

For instance, Heat guard Tyler Herro is earning a $5,722,116 salary in 2022/23, but signed a four-year, $120MM extension that will begin in ’23/24. Therefore, if Miami wanted to trade Herro this season, his outgoing value for salary-matching purposes would be $5,722,116 (this year’s salary), while his incoming value for the team acquiring him would be $25,144,423 (this year’s salary, plus the $120MM extension, divided by five years).

[RELATED: 2022 NBA Rookie Scale Extension Recap]

Most of the players who signed rookie scale extensions aren’t candidates to be traded anytime soon. But even in the event that a team does want to look into trading one of these recently extended players, the gap between the player’s incoming trade value and outgoing trade value could make it a real challenge to find a deal that works for both sides.

The “poison pill” provision applies to 11 players who signed rookie scale extensions in 2022. Here are those players, along with their outgoing salaries and incoming salaries for trade purposes:

Player Team Outgoing trade value Incoming trade value
Zion Williamson NOP $13,534,817 $34,639,136
Ja Morant MEM $12,119,440 $34,403,240
RJ Barrett NYK $10,900,635 $23,580,127
De’Andre Hunter ATL $9,835,881 $19,967,176
Darius Garland CLE $8,920,795 $33,870,133
Tyler Herro MIA $5,722,116 $25,144,423
Brandon Clarke MEM $4,343,920 $10,868,784
Nassir Little POR $4,171,548 $6,434,310
Jordan Poole GSW $3,901,399 $26,380,280
Keldon Johnson SAS $3,873,025 $15,574,605
Kevin Porter Jr. HOU $3,217,631 $15,234,726

Once the 2023/24 league year begins, the poison pill provision will no longer apply to these players. At that time, the player’s ’23/24 salary would represent both his outgoing and incoming value.

Until then though, the gap between those outgoing and incoming figures will make it tricky for these players to be moved, with one or two exceptions.

The small difference between Little’s incoming and outgoing trade figures, for instance, wouldn’t be very problematic if the Blazers wanted to trade him. But the much larger divide between Poole’s incoming and outgoing numbers means there’s virtually no chance he could be moved to an over-the-cap team in 2022/23, even if the Warriors wanted to.

Hawks’ Owner Ressler Talks Murray, Hunter, Expectations

After acquiring Dejounte Murray from San Antonio in a blockbuster trade that saw them give up three first-round picks (two unprotected) and a pick swap, the Hawks expect to be a playoff team and not just a play-in club in 2022/23, team owner Tony Ressler tells Jeff Schultz of The Athletic.

Ressler conducted separate one-on-one interviews with Schultz and Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to discuss the Murray trade, his expectations for the team, and a handful of other topics.

The Hawks’ owner stressed in both conversations that the team will have to wait to get to the 20- or 30-game mark to get a real sense of where it stands in the Eastern Conference, but Atlanta got off to a solid start on Wednesday with a 117-107 victory over Houston.

Here are a few of the more notable comments from Ressler’s two interviews, which overlap a little but are worth checking out in full:

On whether there was much internal debate over making the Murray trade:

“Yes, there was a lot of debate. Dejounte is a great player, and we gave up a lot to get him. There wasn’t debate about the quality of Dejounte and what he would bring to the Hawks. And now, our starting five, I think we have a good team. (Wednesday) was only one game, but it did say, ‘Hey, we have four guys who can give you 20 points any night.’ And if that’s an aberration, then we screwed up, but we don’t think it’s an aberration. We’re deeper and better than we were last year.”

On whether the Hawks felt like they were mortgaging their future and opening up a win-now window with the Murray deal:

“I try not to speak that way. That’s not good business talk. Good business talk is, ‘Is this a good trade for us now?’ Not, ‘We have to win now.’ As you point out, that’s a lot for any player, and it’s worthy of evaluation and discussion. After losing in the first round of the playoffs, we saw a lot of things we can do better, and we thought Dejounte would help us do many of those things. And we do still have some picks for the future, so we can still draft young players for the future. We’re not out of that part of the business.”

On why the Hawks felt comfortable signing De’Andre Hunter to a four-year extension worth at least $90MM:

“De’Andre has done everything well. He’s had some bad luck in his first three seasons, health-wise, whatnot, injury wise, but you know what, he’s a kid that can do everything. And he’s a great kid, he’s a great player, wants to get better. And for whatever it’s worth, we believe he’s getting better, continuing to get better and off a pretty high bar. So that’s a kid that you’re thrilled to have here. I actually think he complements the rest of our guys beautifully.”

On the desire to bring an NBA championship to Atlanta:

“Franchises that have won a championship or multiple championships I have grown to respect even more. This is my eighth season, and we still haven’t won a championship. I’m proud of the direction we’re moving in. But to be a great, top-tier NBA franchise, you must win a championship. Some people in our franchise are, ‘We won one in St. Louis.’ I don’t count that. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t born. I don’t give a f–k. Our job is to win a championship or multiple championships, and we’re not there, yet.”

Contract Extension Details: Porter, Hunter, Little

As previously reported, Kevin Porter Jr. new four-year extension with the Rockets is only fully guaranteed for the first season. As Kelly Iko of The Athletic reports and Hoops Rumors has confirmed, all four years of the deal have a base salary of $15,860,000, with an additional $4,758,000 available each year via incentives.

Those incentives are divided into two categories and are based on Porter’s minutes played and the success of the team, according to Iko, who says the team-based bonuses are tied to wins, play-in tournament appearances, and/or playoff berths. If Porter maxes out his incentives, the total four-year value of the deal would be $82,472,000, but the total base value if he doesn’t earn any bonuses is just $63,440,000.

Although Porter’s second-year salary isn’t guaranteed yet, it will become partially guaranteed for $1MM if he remains under contract through July 1, 2023, which is when the extension officially begins. That partial guarantee for the 2024/25 season will increase to $3MM at the start of the ’23/24 regular season and will rise to $6MM if Porter remains under contract five days beyond the 2024 trade deadline, as Iko outlines.

Porter can also earn a full guarantee for 2024/25 if he reaches a certain minutes threshold in ’23/24 and the Rockets also earn a top-eight seed and make the playoffs that season, Iko explains. Finally, as long as Porter remains under contract, his second-, third-, and fourth-year salaries will automatically become fully guaranteed on the June 30 before that season begins. The Rockets would have to waive him to avoid paying those salaries.

Here are details on a couple other contract extensions signed earlier this week:

  • De’Andre Hunter‘s four-year extension with the Hawks starts at $20,089,286 in year one and features standard 8% annual raises, increasing to $24,910,714 for year four. Each season includes $1.25MM in unlikely incentives, so $90MM is fully guaranteed and $5MM is available in incentives, as initially reported.
  • Nassir Little‘s four-year extension with the Trail Blazers also features a standard rising structure, beginning at $6,250,000 in 2023/24 and increasing by $500K per year, up to $7,750,000 in ’26/27. As initially reported, it’s fully guaranteed, with no team or player option.

De’Andre Hunter Signs Four-Year Extension With Hawks

8:00pm: The Hawks have officially announced the deal in a press release.


7:07pm: Hawks small forward De’Andre Hunter is signing a four-season rookie scale contract extension worth up to $95MM to remain in Atlanta, agents Thad Foucher and Joe Smith inform Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports (Twitter link) that $90MM of the deal is guaranteed, while the remaining $5MM on the contract represents unlikely bonus incentives. Scotto adds that there are no player or team options baked into the agreement.

Bobby Marks of ESPN adds (via Twitter) that the fourth-year swingman’s contract extension will pay him $20.1MM starting in the 2023/24 season, with annual salary increases from there. Marks adds that $1.25MM in unlikely incentives could be paid out across each of the four years.

Hunter, the No. 4 pick out of Virginia in 2019, has spent his entire pro career with Atlanta. On draft night in 2019, the Hawks acquired Hunter’s draft rights from the Pelicans, who in turn had received his rights as part of the Lakers’ blockbuster summer deal for All-Star big man Anthony Davis.

When healthy, the 6’8″ wing has exhibited plenty of promise as an intimidating two-way force. However, Hunter has been hampered by injuries through the past two NBA seasons, having missed a combined 78 regular season contests from 2020-22.

Across 53 games during the 2021/22 season, the 24-year-old averaged 13.4 PPG on .442/.379/.765 shooting splits. He also chipped in 3.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, and 0.7 SPG. A strong defender capable of effectively pestering shooting guards through power forwards, Hunter operates as an excellent complement to star scorer Trae Young. With Atlanta having shored up its backcourt defense by trading for 2022 All-Star guard Dejounte Murray, Hunter may not be extended quite as much defensively this year.

Earlier this offseason, Hoops Rumors scribe Rory Maher predicted that Hunter could fetch a long-term deal in the range of $60-$80MM. The $60MM is what Rory projected the Hawks would have been willing to offer, while the higher end of the bargain represents what Rory considered to be the rate Hunter and his representatives may have wanted. Instead, the Hawks are making an even more aggressive commitment.

The robust $95MM total value of the deal represents a significant investment in the injury-prone wing, with the Hawks clearly gambling that he will be able to string together healthier seasons and continue to grow on offense in the seasons to come.

With Hunter agreeing to an extension, that brings the tally of rookie scale extension deals to 11 this year, tying a record that was set in 2021, tweets Marc Stein. The 2019 draft’s top five picks all signed lucrative extension deals. No. 13 pick Tyler Herro of the Heat, is the only other ’19 lottery pick to agree to a rookie scale extension.

Hawks Rumors: Collins, Hunter, Injuries, Murray

The Hawks kicked off the NBA’s Media Day season this morning, with general manager Landry Fields telling reporters that John Collins is “still here for a reason” after a summer of trade speculation, tweets Atlanta reporter Brad Rowland.

Trade talk is nothing new for Collins, who has seemingly been on the block since signing a five-year, $125MM deal last offseason. There were numerous rumors involving Collins leading up to this year’s draft, and he was reportedly part of the package the Hawks offered to Brooklyn in an attempt to acquire Kevin Durant.

Fields said Collins understands the situation and has remained professional (Twitter link). The GM added that Collins has expressed his opinion on the constant trade talks, but he understands what the team is doing (Twitter link).

There’s more from the team’s media session:

  • Fields said negotiations are continuing with De’Andre Hunter and the team hopes to have an rookie scale extension in place before the October 17 deadline, tweets Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to head coach Nate McMillan, Hunter has been able to go through normal workouts this summer, which he couldn’t do last offseason because of a medical procedure (Twitter link).
  • Fields also provided health updates on a few players, saying Bogdan Bogdanovic is “not going to be 100% for training camp” after having surgery on his right knee in May (Twitter link). The team is focused on getting Bogdanovic back to full health at some point during the season, Fields added. He also said first-round pick AJ Griffin has been “full go” for a few weeks following a foot injury that prevented him from playing in Summer League (Twitter link), and second-year power forward Jalen Johnson will also be ready for camp after a non-surgical procedure on his left knee (Twitter link).
  • McMillan was in constant contact with Trae Young as the Hawks worked out a trade with the Spurs for Dejounte Murray, Williams tweets. The coach added that Young is looking forward to having a chance to play off the ball this season. Fields admitted having two traditional ball-handlers in the backcourt might be “a little clunky at first,” but he expressed confidence that Young and Murray will figure out their roles (Twitter link).
  • Fields plans to keep the 15th roster spot open due to luxury tax concerns, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. The Hawks are about $1MM over the tax line, and Fields indicated the team’s performance will determine whether he tries to get back under the threshold. “It’s going to be a day-to-day thing,” he said.

Extension Candidate: De’Andre Hunter

This is the fourth installment in our series examining players who are prime candidates for contract extensions. This series will explore the player’s strengths and weaknesses, and will evaluate what a fair deal between the player and his team might look like. We’re continuing today with a look at an oft-injured wing with tantalizing two-way potential.


Rundown:

The No. 4 overall pick of the 2019 draft after two college seasons at Virginia, De’Andre Hunter had a prominent role as a rookie for the Hawks, but his results were a little uneven, which is normal for first-year players. In 63 games (32.0 MPG) in 2019/20, he averaged 12.3 PPG and 4.5 RPG on .410/.355/.764 shooting (.521 true shooting percentage).

Hunter clearly worked hard on his game entering year two, as he got off to a great start, averaging 17.9 PPG and 5.6 RPG on a stellar .517/.375/.877 (.646 true) shooting line in 17 games (33.3 MPG). Unfortunately, things went downhill from there, as right knee discomfort and swelling ultimately led to arthroscopic surgery and multiple setbacks, causing Hunter to miss all but five games the rest of the regular season.

He did appear in all five games of Atlanta’s first-round playoff victory over the Knicks, but didn’t look like the same player. Hunter underwent surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in the same knee shortly thereafter.

Last season, Hunter had a slow start, not quite looking like himself after the meniscus tear. On November 8, he sustained a tendon injury on his right wrist, which required surgery and caused him to miss eight weeks of action (26 games).

Overall, he averaged 13.4 PPG and 3.3 RPG on .442/.379/.765 shooting (.547 true) in 53 games (29.8 MPG). The Hawks were very banged up at the end of the year, causing them to be overmatched in their first-round playoff loss to the Heat, but Hunter was the team’s best performer – he averaged 21.2 PPG and 3.8 RPG on .557/.462/.800 shooting (.674 true).

Strengths:

During that 17-game stretch to start ’20/21, Hunter legitimately looked like he could be a future All-Star, using his length and athleticism to aggressively drive to the hoop. Even though the Hawks lost the game, he had a memorable performance against the eventual champion Bucks, scoring a career-high 33 points on 13-of-21 shooting while fearlessly attacking Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Hunter has plus size for a forward at 6’8″ and 225 pounds with a 7’2″ wingspan, and he’s versatile on both ends of the court. He’s often tasked with guarding the opposing teams’ best perimeter scorers, as Atlanta has lacked reliable wing defenders.

The 24-year-old was a high draft choice in large part due to his defensive upside, and while he shows flashes of being a plus defender, he lacks the consistency necessary to be a true defensive force. The talent is definitely there though, and that’s something you can’t teach.

Hunter gets to the free throw line at a good rate, can score in a variety of ways, and was an above-average three-point shooter in ‘21/22 (37.9%). Nearly all of his attempts from long distance came via catch-and-shoot, and he converted a career-best 40.5% from the corners.

Improvement Areas:

Consistency is the name of the game for Hunter. He has shown flashes of high-level two-way potential, but he hasn’t been able to string it together consistently for any sustained period of time.

Losing time to injuries is out of his control, but it has certainly had an effect on his performance the past couple of years. In order to land a big pay day, he needs to prove that he can stay healthy.

Hunter is a below-average rebounder, and there’s no reason he can’t be better at his size. An average of 3.3 boards per game is unacceptably low for a forward. Even though he’s a versatile scorer, he only shot 55% at the rim last season — 23rd percentile of all players, per DunksAndThrees.com.

He’s also a poor play-maker, recording more turnovers (69) than assists (68) in ‘21/22. Hunter’s 6% assist percentage was only in the 12th percentile. There’s a lot of room for improvement there.

Conclusion:

Out of all the players eligible for rookie scale extensions in 2022, Hunter’s market value is one of the most difficult to gauge due to his injury history and inconsistent play. He definitely has a lot to prove in the upcoming season, both for his own future and to the Hawks.

They’re very different players, but maybe someone like Thunder wing Luguentz Dort works as a point of comparison for Hunter – Dort signed a five-year, $82.5MM deal with a fifth-year team option as a restricted free agent this offseason. Dort is a better defender, but Hunter has more offensive upside.

Since he isn’t getting a maximum-salary deal, Atlanta can only offer Hunter four years in an extension. Dort got $64.78MM guaranteed over four years, with an additional $1MM in annual unlikely incentives.

Sources told Jake Fisher of Bleacher Report in July that the Hawks and Hunter’s agents were approximately $20MM apart in their extension discussions. Making an educated guess, I would wager Atlanta was offering around $60MM – perhaps with additional incentives tied to games played – and Hunter was looking for around $80MM.

Hunter could easily outplay a $15MM-per-year contract, but he hasn’t shown he’s worth even that much yet. Analytics are really low on Hunter’s game – I’m more bullish on his potential, assuming he can stay healthy.

I don’t see any reason for the Hawks to budge in what they’re willing to offer, and given his injury history, there are valid reasons for Hunter to consider signing a relatively team-friendly deal. If he turns down an extension and has a breakout fourth season, that’s a good problem to have for Atlanta, because he’d be providing excess value on the final year of his rookie deal and would make it an easier decision to invest in him long term.

Grizzlies Among Teams Inquiring On Kevin Durant

The Grizzlies are showing interest in Kevin Durant and have made “new inquiries” on the Nets‘ star forward, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

As Charania writes within his round-up of the latest Durant-related rumors from around the NBA, the Grizzlies could include up to five first-round picks in a package for the two-time Finals MVP (their own 2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029 selections, plus Golden State’s top-four protected 2024 pick). The team also has a bevy of young talent on its roster beyond star guard Ja Morant, including Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Ziaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Kennedy Chandler, and David Roddy.

However, according to Charania, Memphis hasn’t appeared inclined to offer Jackson or Bane (or, of course, Morant) in a deal for Durant, preferring to build an offer around their draft picks. Given that the Nets are reportedly seeking a win-now return for Durant, that sort of offer is unlikely to pique their interest, even if the picks are unprotected — those first-rounders may have to be rerouted to a third team that could send Brooklyn the kind of impact players the team is seeking.

While the Grizzlies are an intriguing new suitor for Durant, there are still a number of other teams in the mix. The Celtics, Raptors, and Heat remain among the most significant threats to land the 33-year-old, Charania says, though Toronto has continued to resist including Scottie Barnes and Miami has “yet to seriously engage” in any discussions involving Bam Adebayo. Boston, meanwhile, has been unwilling to include Marcus Smart or Robert Williams in addition to Jaylen Brown, Charania says.

The Suns also remain involved, offering up Mikal Bridges and a series of draft picks, according to Charania, but they appear to be behind those Eastern teams among Durant’s most serious suitors.

Charania identifies the Sixers, Bucks, Nuggets, and Pelicans as some of the other teams that have expressed interest in Durant, though he confirms that New Orleans deemed Brandon Ingram untouchable.

According to Charania, the Hawks also made an offer for Durant, putting John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, and a draft pick on the table. The details of that pick are unclear, but Atlanta could trade its own 2023 and 2029 first-rounders or Sacramento’s lottery-protected 2024 pick.

Although Charania doesn’t specify exactly how the Nets felt about the Hawks’ offer, he says none of Brooklyn’s discussions have gained any serious traction. There are still five weeks before training camps get underway, which could be a fraught week for the Nets, assuming Durant remains on the roster — it’s unclear whether or not he’ll show up to camp if his trade request hasn’t been granted.

Extension Rumors: Hunter, C. Johnson, Poole, G. Williams, More

Of the players eligible for rookie scale extensions this offseason, Spurs forward Keldon Johnson became the first to sign a new deal worth less than the maximum. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), Johnson’s new four-year contract will have a base value of $74MM, with $1.5MM in annual unlikely incentives that could push the total value of the deal to $80MM.

Johnson’s contract will serve as a point of comparison for many of the other extension-eligible players who will be negotiating with their respective teams this summer and fall, Fischer writes in a full story for Bleacher Report.

For instance, representatives for De’Andre Hunter figure to seek a similar deal for their client, though the Hawks may be reluctant to invest heavily in a player who has appeared in just 76 games in the last two seasons due to injuries. One cap strategist who spoke to Bleacher Report said Hunter’s injury concerns “are very real,” and sources tell Fischer that the 24-year-old and Atlanta are approximately $20MM apart in their discussions about a four-year extension.

Johnson’s extension with San Antonio is worth roughly the same amount annually as deals signed by sharpshooters like Davis Bertans, Duncan Robinson, and Joe Harris, and all four of those deals will be reference points when Cameron Johnson and the Suns discuss a new deal, according to Fischer, who suggests an extension for Johnson could easily surpass $15MM per year.

Here are a few more notes from Fischer on rookie scale extension candidates from around the NBA:

  • There’s a sense that the Warriors may be best off waiting on an extension for Jordan Poole unless they can get a team-friendly rate this offseason, Fischer writes. “What’s the upside in locking him in now?” the team cap strategist said. “He’s not Luka Doncic or Donovan Mitchell, who’ve proven they can carry a team. He’s close. If he does it again, you pay him. But prior to this year he was a borderline rotation player.”
  • Cap experts who spoke to Fischer believes that the Celtics‘ four-year extension for Robert Williams (worth $48MM, plus $6MM in incentives) will be a benchmark for their extension talks with Grant Williams. However, rival executives don’t think the C’s will want to spend much more on Grant than they did on Robert.
  • The Trail Blazers and Nassir Little may both be motivated to work out a new deal this summer. As Fischer explains, Little could increase his value (and his price tag) in 2022/23 if he’s part of Portland’s new-look starting lineup, but his injury history might make him inclined to take a guaranteed payday sooner rather than later.
  • There has been no traction on extension talks between the Sixers and Matisse Thybulle, sources tell Bleacher Report. Fischer also classifies Bulls guard Coby White as a player who is unlikely to sign an extension before the season.