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A Look at Extensions, Options & Final Rosters

The offseason is over, but teams still have difficult decisions to make regarding extensions, options and roster spots.

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The 2014-15 NBA regular season is less than two weeks away.  While most general managers are close to finalizing their 15-man rosters, teams still have a number of items to resolve before November.

Extensions

Teams have until Halloween to ink extensions with first-round picks in the final year of their rookie contract.

Thus far three extensions have been signed. The Phoenix Suns extended Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris, while the Denver Nuggets extended Kenneth Faried.

The following players are eligible for a contract extension:

Charlotte Hornets — Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo
Chicago Bulls — Jimmy Butler
Cleveland Cavaliers — Tristan Thompson
Golden State Warriors — Klay Thompson
Miami HEAT — Norris Cole
Milwaukee Bucks — Brandon Knight
Minnesota Timberwolves — Ricky Rubio
New York Knicks — Iman Shumpert
Oklahoma City Thunder — Reggie Jackson
Orlando Magic — Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris
Portland Trail Blazers — Joel Freeland, Victor Claver
Sacramento Kings — Derrick Williams
San Antonio Spurs — Kawhi Leonard, Cory Joseph
Utah Jazz — Enes Kanter, Alec Burks

Third/Fourth-Year Options

The deadline for teams to pick up the third or fourth-year options on rookie-scale contracts is also on Halloween.

Some teams have already gotten the obvious chore out of the way.  The Washington Wizards exercised their options on Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. The Toronto Raptors gave Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross additional years.  The Indiana Pacers picked up Solomon Hill’s option. The Portland Trail Blazers didn’t even wait until October to get the deed done with All-Star point guard Damian Lillard.

Players still waiting include:

Atlanta Hawks — Dennis Schroder, John Jenkins
Boston Celtics — Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger
Brooklyn Nets —  Sergey Karasev, Mason Plumlee, Marquis Teague
Charlotte Hornets — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller
Chicago Bulls — Tony Snell
Cleveland Cavaliers — Dion Waiters
Detroit Pistons — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Andre Drummond
Golden State Warriors — Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Nemanja Nedovic
Houston Rockets — Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas
Los Angeles Clippers — Reggie Bullock
Milwaukee Bucks — John Henson, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Minnesota Timberwolves — Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng
New Orleans Pelicans — Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers
New York Knicks — Shane Larkin, Tim Hardaway Jr.
Oklahoma City Thunder — Jeremy Lamb, Steven Adams, Perry Jones III , Andre Roberson
Orlando Magic — Victor Oladipo,  Moe Harkless, Andrew Nicholson, Evan Fournier
Philadelphia 76ers — Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, Arnett Moultrie
Phoenix Suns — Alex Len, Miles Plumlee, Archie Goodwin
Portland Trail Blazers — Thomas Robinson, C.J. McCollum, Meyers Leonard
Sacramento Kings — Ben McLemore
Utah Jazz — Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert

[Update: On Thursday, the Knicks picked up their option on Larkin; the Bucks took theirs on Henson and Antetokounmpo.]

Waived Players

Teams have already started pruning down their rosters.  The regular season maximum is 15 players, but rosters can climb to as high as 20 through the preseason.

The following players were waived since the start of camp:  David Stockton (Wizards), Vander Blue (Wizards), Keith Bogans (76ers), Jarvis Varnado (76ers), Vernon Macklin (Pelicans), Michael Beasley (Memphis Grizzlies), Kevin Murphy (Utah Jazz), Dee Bost (Jazz), Chris Johnson (HEAT), Reggie Williams (HEAT), James Southerland (Trail Blazers), John Holland (San Antonio Spurs), Luke Hancock (Grizzlies), Joe Jackson (Suns), Jamil Wilson (Suns) and Casey Prather (Suns).

The Sixers will pay Varnado $75,000 not to be with the team.  Holland will get $20,000 from the Spurs.  Bost and Murphy will each earn $65,000 from the Jazz.

Waived players could end up in the D-League as affiliate players of their former franchise.

The NBA currently has 547 players under contract, with 406 fully guaranteed.  With a maximum of 450 slots available on 30 teams, at least another 97 players will be cut before opening night — that’s 17.7 percent of the league.

Some non-guaranteed players are a lock to stick, like Patrick Beverley (Rockets), Anderson Varejao (Cavaliers) and Amir Johnson (Raptors).  Others may have to beat out players on guaranteed contracts.

The Celtics and Pistons have 16 guaranteed players.  The Rockets also have 16, if you include Beverley who projects to be the team’s starting point guard despite having a non-guaranteed contract.  All three teams will have to waive or trade a player with guaranteed salary before the regular season.

[Update: On Thursday, the following players were also waived — Chris Wright (Bucks), Elijah Millsap (Bucks) and Daniel Orton (Wizards).]

Salary Cap Status

Some teams still have sizable spending power.  The 76ers can get as far as $31.2 million under the cap if need be.

The Magic (up to $7.9 million), Bucks ($7.3 million), Jazz ($5.7 million), Suns ($4.2 million), Hawks ($3.4 million) and Pistons ($3.1 million) also have space.

Not many worthwhile free agents are still on the market, but cap room can be a helpful tool in trades.

Once rosters are cut down, the following chart of team salaries will further crystallize:

Eric Pincus is a Senior Writer for Basketball Insiders, with a focus on the business side of the game.

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