2012 Extensions Not Showing Much Movement
The deadline for early contract extensions for the 2012 NBA draft class is set for November 2. To date, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Damian Lillard are the only players selected in the top 10 who have agreed to an early contract extension.
Thomas Robinson and Austin Rivers have already had bouts with free agency and have bounced around the league. Dion Waiters was traded by Cleveland to Oklahoma City and is still finding his niche, so an early payday may be delayed. Terrence Ross has been streaky throughout his career and the Toronto Raptors opted to invest $60 million in DeMarre Carroll this past summer at his position.
The remaining three players selected in the top 10 back in 2012 are players brimming with potential. However, with less than a week before the deadline two of the three have closed up shop on negotiations and are headed to (restricted) free agency next July.
Here is where we stand currently with notable names from the class:
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Drafted: No. 1
Status: Signed. Five years, $145 million
Davis didn’t give the fans in New Orleans any reason to worry by quickly re-upping on a five-year deal. Davis figures to be a perennial MVP candidate and led the team back to the playoffs last season. The biggest question surrounding Davis is how far he can realistically lead his often injured supporting cast before reinforcements arrive.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Hornets
Drafted: No. 2
Status: Signed. Four years, $52 million
The Hornets drafted based on need and have been largely successful when Kidd-Gilchrist has been on the floor. The problem for Charlotte is the forward has spent a good deal of time injured and is currently out six months nursing a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Drafted: No. 3
According to an ESPN report, the Wizards may prefer Beal to hold off on signing a new deal in an effort to create more cap room next summer. This would follow a similar precedent the San Antonio Spurs used with Kawhi Leonard this past summer, which allowed the franchise to sign marquee free agent LaMarcus Aldridge. The Wizards are hoping to make a run at All-Star forward Kevin Durant.
Leonard, of course, was in a different position having won a title and NBA Finals MVP in San Antonio before being asked to have patience, while Beal has battled injuries.
Dion Waiters, Oklahoma City
Drafted: No. 4
The Thunder have the leverage here and will be patient. Waiters has plenty of upside, but the franchise may opt away from bidding against themselves.
Thomas Robinson, Brooklyn Nets
Drafted: No. 5
Status: Not Applicable
Robinson is not eligible for a contract extension. The forward has already been through free agency after stints with Sacramento, Portland, Houston and Philadelphia. Robinson signed a two-year deal (with a player option for the second season) with Brooklyn this past summer.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Drafted: No. 6
Status: Signed. Five-years, $120 million
A new era is beginning in Portland. The last remnant of the promising Brandon Roy, Greg Oden and LaMarcus Aldridge core left town over the summer. It is the Lillard era now and don’t be surprised if the talented guard makes a run at a scoring title.
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors
Drafted: No. 7
Negotiations between Barnes and the Warriors have been put on hold until after the season.
“He wanted to have some resolution to his extension discussions before the start of the season, which we completely understand,” Golden State general manager Bob Myers said, according to ESPN. “I think he just wants to focus on the games as they stand now. We’ve completed discussions, and we’re not going to be able to reach a deal.
“We had a lot of good dialogue, and we end the discussion on very good terms, very amicable. We still can match any offer. We can do five years. It puts us in a maybe stronger position.”
The Warriors have been bullish on keeping their young core intact. Barnes’ impending free agency will put their philosophy to the test.
Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors
Drafted: No. 8
As stated earlier, it can’t be considered a good sign when a team invests $60 million to another player at your same position in free agency. Ross has performed decently, but has had two consecutive disappointing playoff runs. The Raptors want to take the next step and its apparent Carroll should be considered a bit higher in the pecking order.
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
Drafted: No. 9
Pistons ownership has been open about their desire to lock up Drummond long-term, but the center has opted to wait until the end of the season. The Pistons have the leverage. They can match any offer for his services and toss in an extra guaranteed year.
Austin Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers
Drafted: No. 10
Status: Not Applicable
Rivers, like Robsinon, is ineligible having just gone through free agency and deciding to stay with L.A.
Meyers Leonard, Portland Trail Blazers
Drafted: No. 11
In today’s game, with so much focus on spacing, a seven footer with range is a premium asset. Even with that being said, don’t look for Portland to break the piggybank early to lock in Leonard long-term.
Jeremy Lamb, Charlotte Hornets
Drafted: No. 12
This is a prime opportunity in Charlotte for Lamb to boost his market value. However, whatever value boost he’ll get in a new deal will likely materialize next summer and not before the November 2 deadline.
John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks
Drafted: No. 14
Status: Four years, $44 million
The Bucks proactively locked in Henson, who is developing into a strong shot blocker. Overall, Milwaukee has one of the most intriguing young cores in the league and Henson will play a key role in the team’s progress.
Tyler Zeller, Boston Celtics
Drafted: No. 17
A solid and serviceable big man who isn’t going to dominate the box score, Zeller will get a nice new deal, but likely will have to wait until next summer for it.
Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets
Drafted No. 18
Jones is a high minute guy on a team with legitimate title aspirations. There hasn’t been much in the way of news on a new deal, but he’s still a big part of what Houston is building.
Festus Ezeli, Golden State Warriors
Drafted: No. 30
With veteran center Andrew Bogut aging and approaching free agency after the 2016-17 season, Ezeli could become the team’s future in the middle. Nothing imminent on contract talks, but he’s a valuable piece for the defending champions.
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