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Last-Minute NBA Rookie Scale Extension Predictions | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

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Last-Minute NBA Rookie Scale Extension Predictions

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    Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images

    The deadline for rookie scale extensions is nigh.

    The highest stars of the 2019 draft class received max money over five additional years ($194.6 million to $233.2 million), including Zion Williamson (No. 1), Ja Morant (No. 2) and Darius Garland (No. 5). Others got solid four-year deals done corresponding to RJ Barrett (No. 3, $107 million to $120 million), Tyler Herro (No. 13, $120 million to $130 million) and Keldon Johnson (No. 29, $74 million to $80 million).

    Teams have until Oct. 17 to lock in extensions for the remaining first-rounders from 2019. If deals aren’t reached, the players will be made restricted free agents in July. Sometimes it is best for each parties to attend. For others, like Deandre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns, the delay could cause chemistry and trust issues.

    Everyone wants as much money as possible, but teams must also watch out where they invest their resources.

    The next players are on the clock:

Jordan Poole within the Herro/Barrett Range?

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 9: Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Lakers  on October 9, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

    The champion Golden State Warriors have been within the news for all of the improper reasons, with Poole (No. 28) the recipient of a Draymond Green punch. Whatever the incident, the Warriors and Poole have been negotiating for a while.

    In accordance with multiple sources, a deal might be close in a spread just like what Tyler Herro and RJ Barrett got with their respective franchises. Like Herro, Poole brings firepower off the bench for a playoff contender. Each players hope to maneuver into the starting group eventually. While Poole has played that role before for the Warriors due to injuries to others, he’s currently behind legends Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

    Poole began 51 games last season, scoring 18.5 points while shooting a league-best 92.5 percent from the free-throw line. If he is not in a starring role due to circumstances, he’d prefer to be paid like a star. Golden State could compromise on a four-year deal within the $110 million to $125 million range.

De’Andre Hunter Primed for a Payday

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    ABU DHABI, UAE - OCTOBER 5: De'Andre Hunter #12 of the Atlanta Hawks looks on during practice and media availability as part of 2022 NBA Global Games Abu Dhabi at Etihad Arena on October 5, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, The United Arab Emirates. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/NBAE via Getty Images)Catherine Steenkeste/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Miami Heat ended the Atlanta Hawks’ playoff run in the primary round, but De’Andre Hunter (No. 4) went off in the ultimate game for 35 points and 11 rebounds. He’s the prototype three-and-D forward teams value highly, though the more significant concern for Hunter is durability, as he’s missed considerable time over the past couple of seasons.

    “He still has upside,” a competing executive said. “4 years, $80 million could be solid, gambling on health and upside.”

    It’s unclear where the Hawks stand near the extension deadline, but with the salary cap projected to climb almost 8.5 percent (some expect it to succeed in 10 percent), high-level players are in search of that rise to be baked into their deals. If Hunter is price an $18 million starting salary under the present $123.7 million salary cap, he may expect that very same percentage of the cap based on a $134 million projection for 2023-24 for a $19.5 million starting salary.

    This one can go either way, but after a down season, the Hawks err on the side of caution and wait.

Cam Johnson may Should Wait

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    PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 15: Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns walks to the locker room at halftime of Game Seven of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks at Footprint Center on May 15, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Going by the precedent set with Deandre Ayton, the Suns may decide to wait until next summer to pay Cam Johnson (No. 11). The counterargument is that they gave Mikal Bridges and Landry Shamet extensions last season (which only compounded the awkwardness with Ayton).

    In accordance with an agent source, the Suns are hesitant with Johnson because, “When he’s healthy [enough to play], he’s still not healthy.”

    Johnson averaged 61 games a season over his first three years. Unfortunately, he suffered a sprained thumb 4 minutes into his second preseason game. The Suns could also be in search of a Kyle Kuzma-type extension; he earned a flat $13 million per season in 2020 from the Los Angeles Lakers. Considering the rising cap, which may translate to a $15.5 million starting salary.

    Is that enough for Johnson to commit? He likely chooses to bet on himself and explore restricted free agency for a healthier payday in July.

Three Necessary Role Players on Contenders

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    Boston, MA - October 5: Boston Celtics PF Grant Williams pulls down a 3rd quarter rebound. The Celtics lost to the Toronto Raptors, 125-119. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    Three playoff teams and three role players eligible for extensions. Matisse Thybulle (No. 20) is a high-level on-ball defender who struggles to attain for the Philadelphia 76ers. Brandon Clarke (No. 21) with the Memphis Grizzlies and Grant Williams (No. 22) of the Boston Celtics are bench players who can play either power position. Clarke relies on his mobility and athleticism, while Williams is a physical presence who has turn into a reliable weapon as an out of doors shooter.

    All three could extend, though finding the suitable price may delay their contracts to restricted free agency. Would Thybulle get greater than the two-year, $13.3 million deal Bruce Brown Jr. got from the Denver Nuggets? If Nicolas Claxton is the comp for Clarke, he received a two-year, $17.3 million to $19.9 million contract in July. Perhaps Maxi Kleber’s $33 million over three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks matches Williams’ role with Boston—or Bobby Portis’ four-year, $48.6 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.

    For Thybulle, Clarke and Williams, an extension have to be enough to make playing through the 12 months on an expiring contract too dangerous, however the number must be large enough to be worthwhile. Are they essential enough to every franchise for that investment?

    Pencil in an extension for Williams at $44 million over 4 years. The others must wait.

Are They A part of the Team’s Future?

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    SAITAMA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 02: Rui Hachimura #8 of the Washington Wizards reacts during the Washington Wizards v Golden State Warriors - NBA Japan Games at Saitama Super Arena on October 02, 2022 in Saitama, Japan.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.    (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

    If Lonzo Ball can get healthy, the Chicago Bulls have an extended list of viable guards with Zach LaVine, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, Goran Dragic and even DeMar DeRozan. Coby White (No. 7) could also be more of a luxury. He could also be higher off finding a recent home with more opportunities.

    The Washington Wizards have a still-intriguing prospect in Rui Hachimura (No. 9), however the 6’8″ forward has averaged just 49 games per season. He could grow right into a foundational piece, nevertheless it could also be too soon for the Wizards to make that commitment.

    P.J. Washington (No. 12) is a solid role player for the Charlotte Hornets. He might be near the Nicolas Claxton or Bobby Portis price range and should be almost certainly to get a deal on this section.

    Kevin Porter Jr. (No. 30) was the most efficient last season of the 4 listed, averaging 15.6 points with 6.2 assists per game in 61 starts for the Houston Rockets. He’s turn into a viable contributor, however the Rockets are currently rebuilding. A viable comp could be Markelle Fultz’s three-year, $50 million to $53 million contract in 2020. The Rockets may take their time before committing to Porter.

    Put Washington down for 3 years, $33 million. The remaining go to free agency.

Probably Not Happening

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    SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 7: Cam Reddish #21 of the New York Knicks looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on March 7, 2022 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

    While among the draft class may not have broken through yet, that doesn’t mean they aren’t within the plans. If a team can lock in a player with potential at a reduction price, perhaps a number of smaller deals could get done within the $5 million to $10 million starting range.

    Some have carved out regular roles, including Jaxson Hayes (No. 8) with the Latest Orleans Pelicans, Darius Bazley (No. 23) with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Nassir Little (No. 25) with the Portland Trail Blazers. But none have established themselves as clear priorities for his or her respective franchises. Hayes and Little might give you the chance to get a deal within the $6 million to $8 million starting range, while Bazley may have to take an especially favorable deal to stick to the Thunder.

    Others don’t seem like priorities, including Cam Reddish (No. 10) with the Knicks, Romeo Langford (No. 14) of the Spurs and Dylan Windler (No. 26) on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Goga Bitadze (No. 18) played a lesser role with the Indiana Pacers than teammate Jalen Smith (who re-signed for 3 years, $15.1 million). The Utah Jazz’s youth movement may open a chance for Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17), who barely played last 12 months after an in-season trade from the Pelicans.

No Deals for the Rest

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    ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 22: Chuma Okeke #3 of the Orlando Magic smiles during the game against the Golden State Warriors on March 22, 2022 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

    While Chuma Okeke (No. 16) was drafted in 2019, he didn’t sign with the Orlando Magic until 2020 and won’t be extension-eligible until next summer.

    Others didn’t last through their rookie scale contracts and can’t
    be prolonged, including Jarrett Culver (No. 6), Sekou Doumbouya (No. 15), Luka Samanic (No. 19), Ty Jerome (No. 24) and Mfiondu Kabengele (No. 27).

    Second-round picks aren’t eligible for rookie-scale extensions. Daniel Gafford (No. 38) of the Wizards, Terance Mann (No. 48) of the Los Angeles Clippers and Nicolas Claxton (No. 31) have already prolonged. Some are already on their second or third contracts, including Talen Horton-Tucker (No. 46) of the Utah Jazz and Bol Bol (No. 44) of the Magic.

    Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter, @EricPincus.

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