De’Aaron Fox

Super-Max Candidates To Watch In 2023/24

Note: This is an updated version of an article that was sent exclusively to our Trade Rumors Front Office subscribers in June. Click here for more information on Trade Rumors Front Office.

The NBA’s Designated Veteran rule, as we explain in our glossary entry on the subject, allows players to qualify for a maximum salary worth 35% of the cap before they gain the required NBA service time.

Typically, a player is ineligible to receive a maximum contract that starts at 35% of the cap until he has at least 10 years of experience, but the Designated Veteran rule gives a player with between seven and nine years of experience the opportunity to do so if he meets certain performance criteria. This has become colloquially known as signing a “super-max” deal.

The performance criteria are as follows (only one of the following must be true):

  • The player was named to an All-NBA team and/or was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the most recent season, or in two of the last three seasons.
  • The player was named the NBA MVP in any of the three most recent seasons.

Since the NBA introduced the concept of the Designated Veteran contract in 2017, 12 players have signed them across seven offseasons. Celtics wing Jaylen Brown became the latest player to join that group this summer when he signed a five-year super-max deal that could become the NBA’s first $300MM contract.

Brown will be the only player who signs such a contract this offseason, but it’s worth taking a peek down the road to see which players are the best candidates to join the list of super-max recipients in 2024 and 2025.

We can start by penciling in another Celtic, Jayson Tatum, for 2024. Although he doesn’t yet have enough years of NBA service to sign a Designated Veteran extension, Tatum met the performance criteria in the spring by earning his second consecutive All-NBA berth.

That means that even if he doesn’t make an All-NBA team in 2024, he’ll have received an All-NBA nod in two of the previous three seasons when he meets the service time criteria next summer, making him super-max eligible. It seems likely the Celtics will offer him a Designated Veteran extension at that time.

Here are some other candidates to watch during the 2023/24 season:


Because a player become ineligible for a Designated Veteran extension if he’s traded after his first four years in the NBA, prime candidates like Donovan Mitchell and Domantas Sabonis won’t be able to qualify. Still, there’s an intriguing group of candidates in play for next summer.

Ingram, Murray, and Siakam, members of the 2016 draft class, would have become super-max eligible if they had made an All-NBA team this year. They’ll get another chance in 2024.

Ingram averaged a career-best 24.7 points and 5.8 assists per night in 2022/23, but injuries limited him to just 45 games. While he’s not one of the best 15 players in the NBA, it’s not impossible to imagine the 26-year-old earning an All-NBA spot if he stays healthy and helps lead the Pelicans to a top-four seed in the West. He’s probably a long shot, but we can’t rule him out entirely.

Murray was making his way back from an ACL tear last season, which meant he was subject to load management and wasn’t necessarily at his best from day one. But his postseason performance – 26.1 points per game on .473/.396/.926 shooting en route to a championship – served as a reminder that he has All-NBA upside.

Siakam made the All-NBA Second Team in 2020 and the Third Team in 2022 and received some votes in 2023. However, he still needs one more All-NBA nod in 2024 to become eligible for a Designated Veteran deal. He’ll be a candidate to watch as long as he remains in Toronto for the 2023/24 season. A trade – which would make him ineligible – still looms as a possibility.

Adebayo and Fox are 2017 draftees with just six years of NBA experience, which means that Fox didn’t meet the Designated Veteran performance criteria by earning All-NBA honors in May — he’ll need to do it again in 2024 to qualify for a super-max deal. His performance this past year showed that he’s capable of it.

Adebayo’s path to an All-NBA berth is complicated by the fact that the All-NBA teams will become positionless beginning in 2024. That means voters won’t necessarily have to choose three centers, which may reduce his odds of making the cut.

Still, the field of All-NBA candidates may be more wide open than usual in 2024, since the league is also requiring players to appear in at least 65 games in order to be eligible for one of the 15 spots. That means a player who misses a few weeks with an injury might be out of the running. If Ingram, Murray, Siakam, Fox, and Abebayo can stay healthy and play at least 65 times, their All-NBA odds will increase.

It’s worth noting too that being named Defensive Player of the Year is another way to qualify for a super-max. Adebayo has finished in the top five in voting for that award in each of the last four seasons and is a legitimate candidate to win it at some point.


Doncic, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Jackson were drafted in 2018 and have just five years of NBA experience, so they’re still two years away from having the service time required for a Designated Veteran contract — none of them would be able to sign a super-max extension until 2025. However, they all have an opportunity to meet the performance criteria in 2024.

Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander made up the All-NBA First Team backcourt in 2023, so if they make an All-NBA team again next year, they’ll have done so in at least two of the three years leading up to the 2025 offseason.

As for Jackson, he missed out on All-NBA honors in 2023, but was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. It’s a tall order, but if he can win a second DPOY award in either of the next two seasons, he’ll make himself eligible to sign a super-max contract in 2025.

The rookie scale extension recipients

Ball, Edwards, and Haliburton have all signed five-year, maximum-salary rookie scale extensions this offseason that project to start at 25% of the 2024/25 cap. If we assume the cap will rise by the maximum allowable 10%, those deals would be worth just shy of $217MM.

However, all three extensions include Rose Rule language. This is another form of the super-max — we can call it the “mini” super-max, paradoxical as that may sound. Unlike a player who signs a Designated Veteran contract, which starts at 35% of the cap instead of 30%, a player who meets the Rose Rule criteria can receive a starting salary worth 30% of the cap rather than 25%.

The performance criteria for a Rose Rule salary increase are essentially the exact same as for a Designated Veteran bump, but must be achieved by the end of the player’s four-year rookie contract. That means Ball, Edwards, and Haliburton would have to make the All-NBA team in 2024 in order to increase the projected value of their respective extensions to $260MM over five years — an All-NBA berth in 2025 or 2026 would be too late.

Each of these three players has an All-Star berth under his belt, so making the leap to All-NBA certainly isn’t inconceivable. Edwards may be the best bet of the three to qualify for the mini super-max, but if Ball and Haliburton can lead their teams to playoff spots, they’d certainly have a case.

LeBron James Recruiting NBA Stars For 2024 Olympics

LeBron James wants to play in the 2024 Olympics and has started recruiting other veteran stars to join him, multiple sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic.

James reached out to Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum and Draymond Green, who are all planning to be part of the team next summer in Paris, Charania adds. Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox and Kyrie Irving are also interested in participating, according to Charania’s sources.

Team USA is coming off a fourth-place finish at the World Cup, but Charania reports that James’ team-building efforts started well before that tournament and aren’t related to the disappointing result. Charania points out that although the U.S. has failed to medal in the last two World Cups, it has won four straight Olympic golds and James wants to see that streak continue.

James was part of gold medal teams in 2008 and 2012, but he hasn’t played in the Olympics since then. He will be 39 in December, and sources tell Charania that he and Durant, who will turn 35 later this month, are viewing the 2024 Games as their “last dance” with USA Basketball.

They have both talked to Curry, who will be 36 next summer, about forming the core of the U.S. team, Charania adds. Curry has never played in the Olympics, but he has two World Cup gold medals.

Charania states that USA Basketball managing director Grant Hill refused to comment on the reported interest from James and other stars, but he is aware of it.

And-Ones: T. Davis, Player Tiers, 2025 FAs, R. Thompson

According to Arale Weisberg of Israeli outlet Walla Sport (Twitter link), Spanish powerhouse FC Barcelona is keeping tabs on free agent wing Terence Davis, who spent the past two-and-a-half seasons with the Kings (hat tip to Dario Skerletic of Sportando).

In 64 regular season games (13.1 MPG) with Sacramento in 2022/23, Davis averaged 6.7 PPG and 2.2 RPG on .423/.366/.791 shooting. In total, the 26-year-old has appeared in 227 games over four seasons with the Raptors and Kings.

A handful of NBA teams were rumored to be interested in Davis once free agency got underway on June 30, but he has yet to find another club. The Kings renounced his rights in order to maximize their cap space this summer.

As Skerletic notes, Barcelona — which recently signed Jabari Parker — would likely have to give Davis a contract in the range of Parker’s deal to entice him to come to Europe. Parker will reportedly receive a one-year, $2MM contract that includes an NBA opt-out clause.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Earlier this week, Seth Partnow of The Athletic released his first two player tier rankings ahead of the 2023/24 season. Roughly ranking the top-125 players in the league, tier five consisted of 45 players, while tier four contained 41. His latest installment — tier three — includes 21 players, such as Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, and Kings guard De’Aaron Fox. Partnow’s top two tiers will feature 18 total players.
  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype takes an early look at the potential 2025 free agent class, with Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo ranked No. 1 overall. Wizards guard Landry Shamet rounds out Gozlan’s top-65 list.
  • Former Indiana forward Race Thompson, who went undrafted earlier this summer, recently revealed that he sustained a right tibia plateau fracture a couple months ago, as Kyler Staley of Hoosier Illustrated relays. Thompson had reached an agreement to play for the Knicks in Summer League action, but obviously the injury prevented that from happening.

Pacific Notes: Reaves, Fox, Dunleavy, Warriors

In an interview with Sam Yip of HoopsHypeLakers guard Austin Reaves admits being relieved to not have to worry about his NBA future after signing a long-term contract this summer.

Reaves started on a two-way deal with L.A. after going undrafted in 2021. That gave him a path to cash in after two productive seasons, which he did by landing a four-year, $53.8MM deal.

“That’s kind of how it’s always been my whole life,” Reaves said. “I’ve really bet on myself and really always just knew I needed an opportunity. Just put my foot down and the rest will take care of itself. I’ll figure out something to do and to at least be on the team and help the team so that was really it and hell yeah, it’s a big relief.”

Reaves also discusses the Lakers’ productive offseason, which included the additions of Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Jaxson Hayes. He believes the team is positioned to make another run at a title after reaching the conference finals last season.

“I feel really, really good about what we did,” Reaves said. “You bring back the core that went to the Western Conference Finals and those pieces fit really well with what we kinda need because we lacked that last year. Overall, everybody’s competitive, and we kinda got that taste last year of running it back and trying to win a championship.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Kings guard De’Aaron Fox is coming off his best NBA season, and teammate Davion Mitchell believes he’s ready to become an MVP candidate, per Tristi Rodriguez of NBC Sports Bay Area. Mitchell touted Fox’s credentials during a recent appearance on the “Deuce and Mo” podcast. “He’s talking more. He’s being a leader,” Mitchell said. “We already know what he can do on the floor, he’s playing defense more, he’s guarding the best players, he’s doing that type of stuff. And when you got a player like that at that level, playing a lot of minutes, a young player, I think we’re going to be tough to beat. He’s shooting the ball really well, little things like that that he’s added to his game that makes him a top player in our league.”
  • New general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. is more comfortable with the Warriors‘ roster after the team targeted veteran players in several offseason transactions, according to Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I really like the balance,” he said on the “Dubs Talk” podcast. “I think it’s got a good combination of veteran experience, a middle tier of guys that are good, they’re tough, they’re hungry, and we got some good young players. And I don’t think we have too many young players.”
  • The Warriors have announced several moves involving the coaching staff and front office (Twitter link). The team confirmed that Chuck Hayes will be its new director of basketball operations and revealed that Kris Weems has been promoted to assistant coach.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Murray, Fox, Clippers, Preston

On a recent episode of Podcast P with Paul George (YouTube link), Draymond Green said new point guard Chris Paul will help stabilize the Warriors‘ second unit and “unlock” one of the team’s former lottery picks.

“CP can anchor that unit…and I think that is a big thing to helping unlock our team again…I’ll tell you one more thing that I think it unlocks and I look forward to learning this from him; I think Chris Paul will completely unlock Jonathan Kuminga and his growth. CP is great with young guys,” Green said (hat tip to HoopsHype).

The Warriors are trading Jordan Poole, Ryan Rollins, Patrick Baldwin, a top-20 protected 2030 first-round pick, and a 2027 second round pick to the Wizards for Paul. The deal isn’t official yet but likely will be tomorrow once the free agency moratorium lifts.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Kings forward Keegan Murray is once again shining in Summer League action. As he prepares for his sophomore season, the first-team All-Rookie member is working with star guard De’Aaron Fox on a daily basis, writes Hunter Patterson of The Athletic. “I’ve been with him every single day so far this summer,” Murray said. “We play one-on-one three, four times a week so that’s helped me a lot in different areas on the court.” For those curious, Murray said he has yet to beat Fox one-on-one, though he’s come “very close.”
  • Additional trades could still be in the works, but it appears as though the Clippers‘ free agency work is done, according to Law Murray of The Athletic, who examines the team’s moves this offseason. With 16 players on standard contracts and Jason Preston on a non-guaranteed deal (it will be guaranteed July 18), the young guard’s performance during Summer League will be critical for his future with the team, says Murray.
  • Speaking of Preston, he said he underwent LASIK eye surgery and had another procedure to fix a deviated septum, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. The 23-year-old former second-round pick missed his entire rookie season after foot surgery and appeared in just 14 games with the Clippers in 2022/23.

NBA Announces 2022/23 All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-NBA teams for the 2022/23 season.

A total of 100 media members vote on the All-NBA awards. Players received five points for a First Team vote, three points for Second Team, and one point for Third Team, for a maximum total of 500 points. This year’s three All-NBA teams are as follows:

First Team

Second Team

Third Team

A total of 37 players received at least one vote, per the NBA. The top vote-getters who wound up missing out on All-NBA spots were Lakers center Anthony Davis (65), Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (49) and Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (44).

Morant had Rose Rule language in his rookie scale extension, meaning his five-year deal would have started at 30% of next season’s cap had he been voted in; instead, he’ll receive 25% of the cap, which is projected to be a difference of about $39MM across five seasons.

Other players receiving 20-plus points include Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (39), Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) and Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (23). The next three highest were Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (15), Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (15) and Anthony Edwards of the Timberwolves (14), who is listed under forward but spent most of the season at shooting guard.

As we noted earlier today, both of the Celtics’ top two players will now be eligible for Designated Veteran Extensions, also known as the super-max: Brown will be eligible to sign a five-year extension this offseason that starts at up to 35% of the 2024/25 salary cap, while Tatum will be eligible to sign a super-max extension in 2024 after earning All-NBA nods each of the past two seasons.

Like Brown, Siakam would have been eligible for a super-max extension this summer had he made an All-NBA team. He finished a distant ninth, so his maximum extension will now be worth a projected $192.2MM over four years, tweets Eric Koreen of The Athletic. As Josh Lewenberg of observes (via Twitter), Siakam could still qualify for a super-max deal if he makes an All-NBA spot next season as an impending free agent.

This will be the last season under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the new CBA, All-NBA voting will be positionless and players will be required to play a minimum of 65 games to earn major regular season awards. Five of the players honored today — Antetokounmpo, Curry, Butler, Lillard and James — played fewer than 65 this season and would have been ineligible if the new requirements had been in effect, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

LeBron extended his own NBA record with his selection, earning a spot on an All-NBA team for the 19th straight season, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter link). No other player has more than 15 total All-NBA awards (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan are tied for second at 15 apiece).

Giannis was a unanimous First Team selection for the fifth straight season, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link), and the only unanimous choice in 2022/23. Antetokounmpo now has more First Team berths than any European-born player, tweets HoopsHype, and only trails Hakeem Olajuwon among international players (six). The Bucks superstar finished third in MVP voting behind Embiid and Jokic, but Jokic received some First Team votes over the Sixers’ MVP winner, which is why Embiid wasn’t a unanimous pick.

According to HoopsHype (Twitter link), this is the first season in league history that only one American player (Tatum) was voted to the First Team. Doncic (Slovenia) and Antetokounmpo (Greece) are European, Embiid was born in Cameroon, and Gilgeous-Alexander is Canadian.

Despite earning an All-NBA nod for the first time, Mitchell wasn’t happy that he didn’t make the First Team, sending out a tweet on the matter.

Kings Notes: Sabonis, Fox, Barnes, Monk, Murray, Mitchell

Domantas Sabonis may need surgery for the avulsion fracture in his thumb, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee tweets. The Kings center had an appointment with hand specialists on Monday to discuss whether the thumb needs to be repaired.

While he mends, Sabonis is open to hearing from the front office about potential moves. He said that if general manager Monte McNair and assistant GM Wes Wilcox have questions for him about roster construction, he will provide his input, James Ham of The Kings Beat tweets.

We have more on the Kings:

  • De’Aaron Fox will take lessons from his first playoff series, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes. Fox feels he and his teammates have to improve in order to become true contenders. “I know there’s another level I have to get to as a professional and our team has to get as well,” he said. “I’m grateful for this experience. The playoffs are everything that I expected it to be.”
  • Harrison Barnes and Trey Lyles are among the players headed to unrestricted free agency. Malik Monk hopes the front office can keep the core group intact, Ham tweets. “I would love to have the same guys here because we’re all like brothers,’ Monk said.
  • Sabonis is eligible for an extension this offseason but it’s unlikely he’ll agree to one, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks explains. The big man could get an additional four years and $122MM without a renegotiation but the extension is $132MM less than the five-year deal he could sign with the Kings after becoming a free agent next summer. It would also be $65MM less than a four-year max with a rival team that has cap space.
  • In order to acquire another high-level player, the Kings may have to deal Keegan Murray and/or Davion Mitchell, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype opines in his offseason primer.

De’Aaron Fox To Play In Game 5

April 26: Fox is officially available tonight, the team announced (Twitter link via James Ham of

April 25: Though he was initially considered doubtful to suit up, All-Star Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox now intends to play through the fractured left index finger on his left shooting hand in Game 5, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link).

After winning the first two games at home, the Kings dropped consecutive games in Golden State, knotting up their series with the Warriors at 2-2. A critical Game 5 in Sacramento is scheduled for Wednesday evening.

“There’s no [ifs], ands or buts,” Fox told reporters after a team practice today, Anderson tweets. “I’m playing.”

The Kentucky alum pegged his odds of suiting up at “99, 100 percent,” per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link)

According to Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 KTXL (via Twitter), Fox said that he would likely miss a week or two of playing time if he had suffered the same injury during the regular season. Fox, who underwent imaging after Sacramento’s 126-125 Game 4 loss at Chase Center, reiterated that he is still able to shoot with the hand.

Along with Curry, Fox has been the best player in this playoff series, so the prospect of potentially losing him Wednesday would have been a brutal blow to Sacramento’s chances. Across four games thus far, he’s been averaging 31.5 PPG on .447/.342/.700 shooting splits, along with 7.0 APG, 6.0 RPG, and 2.5 SPG.

De’Aaron Fox Doubtful For Game 5 After Fracturing Finger

Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox has sustained a fractured index finger on his left hand, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports that Fox is expected to officially be listed as doubtful for Tuesday’s Game 5 against Golden State (Twitter link).

The injury is believed to have occurred in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Game 4, Charania adds (via Twitter). Anthony Slater of The Athletic provides a video (Twitter link) of the play, where Fox’s finger appears to be unintentionally clipped by Kevon Looney when Fox casually shot a layup after a foul had already been called on Jordan Poole.

Although Fox will be listed as doubtful, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN hears the Kings are hopeful their All-Star guard will be able to play through the injury Tuesday (Twitter link). Fox apparently broke the tip of his finger and will need to wear a protective covering if he suits up, according to Wojnarowski.

The Kings finally snapped their record-long playoff streak and got off to a 2-0 start against the defending champions, only for the Warriors to respond with two straight wins at home to even the series at two games apiece. Fox was Sacramento’s leading scorer during the regular season and is averaging 31.5 points, 6 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.5 steals on .447/.342/.700 shooting in his first four playoff games (38.5 MPG).

Unfortunately, Fox is far from the first player to be injured this postseason. He joins Giannis Antetokounmpo, Tyler Herro, Ja Morant, Kawhi Leonard, Joel Embiid and Victor Oladipo, among others, as players who have suffered injuries of varying severity.

If the 25-year-old is unable to suit up for the pivotal Game 5, fellow guards Davion Mitchell, Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk are candidates for more playing time. Reserve guard Terence Davis could see some action as well after playing just 13 combined minutes in his two appearances in the series.

De’Aaron Fox Receives Inaugural Clutch Player Award

Kings guard De’Aaron Fox has been named the inaugural recipient of the NBA’s Clutch Player of the Year award, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Fox topped the other finalists, the Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan and the Heat’s Jimmy Butler. The award is named after Hall of Famer and Lakers legend Jerry West.

Fox received 91 of 100 first-place votes. according to an NBA press release. He finished with a total of 460 points, far ahead of runner-up Butler, who garnered one first-place votes and 104 points. DeRozan didn’t have any first-place votes while placing third with 77 points. Seven other players received first-place votes but the Warriors’ Stephen Curry was the only one in that group to get two first-place votes.

“When I took the job I didn’t know how consistently he would be in the clutch,” Sacramento coach Mike Brown said of Fox, per’s Shaun Powell.

Fox led the league in clutch scoring with a league-best 194 points in 39 games. Clutch time is defined as minutes when the scoring margin is within five points with five or fewer minutes remaining in a game.

Fox shot 52.9 percent from the field and 86.0 percent from the foul line in those situations. He added 20 assists and 10 steals as Sacramento went 22-17 in those close games. That helped the Kings secure the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

DeRozan scored 159 points in 33 games in those situations. He shot 47.1 percent from the field and 89 percent from the foul line while grabbing 30 rebounds and dishing out 16 assists.

Butler also found himself in 33 of those games and scored 151 points. He shot 50.5 percent from the field and 79.1 percent from the free throw line. He added 32 rebounds, 19 assists, six steals and five blocks.