Several members of Team USA have new contracts to celebrate this summer as they prepare for the FIBA World Cup, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Josh Hart became the latest player with a new deal, signing a four-year, $81MM extension with the Knicks electronically Thursday morning while the Americans prepared for a pair of exhibition games in Spain.
“It was actually pretty cool, I was just laying down on the training table, getting some treatment, on FaceTime with (his wife Shannon) and signing the contract,” Hart said. “It meant a lot. I wasn’t highly touted coming out of high school, wasn’t highly regarded in the draft, went through free agency the first time and I was restricted, it was a terrible experience for me, so to be able to do this, it’s a dream come true – just being able to have something that can take care of my parents, my family, my kids.”
Other U.S. players also had productive offseasons. Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton and Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards both signed five-year, maximum-salary extensions. Cameron Johnson got $100MM over five seasons to stay with the Nets, and Austin Reaves re-signed with the Lakers for approximately $54MM over four years.
“Yeah, that’s my kids’ kids’ money, for sure,” Edwards said. “It don’t matter (which player’s contract we’re talking about), that’s a lot of money.”
There’s more on the World Cup:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo traveled to the United States for more testing on his knee before deciding whether to play for Greece, according to Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. The Bucks‘ medical staff will reportedly work with doctors from the Greek team to determine the best course of action for Antetokounmpo.
- Wenyen Gabriel is the most recognizable player for South Sudan, which is preparing for its first-ever World Cup appearance, Askounis adds in a separate story. Other team members with NBA ties include Marial Shayok, Mangok Mathiang and Carlik Jones.
- Thunder guard Josh Giddey is ready to become the new on-court leader for Australia, per Olgun Uluc of ESPN. Coach Brian Goorjian plans entrust his offense to the 20-year-old, who is seen as the future of the Australian basketball. “Giddey sets the standard of, eventually you’re gonna be the guy for this program, and he’s an unselfish player, so that sets the standard straight out of the gates,” teammate Jock Landale said. “He’s already embodied the Boomers mentality, and our culture, just through how he plays. It’s gonna come naturally to him, and he’ll fit in really nicely.”
- Veteran guard Matthew Dellavedova isn’t part of Australia’s 13-man roster for exhibition games prior to the start of the tournament, according to Eurohoops.