Several members of the talented draft class of 2009 are eligible to hit free agency at the end of the year if an extension isn’t reached by the deadline on Oct. 31.
The Clippers acted quickly, signing two time All-Star Blake Griffin to a five-year deal that could be worth $95 million. The incentive kicks in if he is selected as an All-Star twice during the next five seasons.
While Griffin is the only member of his class to be selected to an All-Star game, he is also one of the few to agree to an extension.
Thirty five days remain for teams to decided if their first round pick from 2009 is either a cornerstone of the franchise or expendable. Any player that fails to reach an agreement with their team can become a restricted free agent next summer.
Take a look at ten players facing free agency next summer and how it impacts each team’s payroll.
Beginning in 2013-14, teams above the $70 million luxury tax line will have to pay $1.50 for each $1 over the tax threshold, going up incrementally for every $5 million a team is above the limit, a steep penalty, especially for teams playing in smaller markets.
James Harden- Oklahoma City Thunder
No situation is more intriguing than Harden’s in Oklahoma City. The team signed Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to max extensions while agreeing with Serge Ibaka to a four-year $48 million deal earlier this summer. Harden, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, is looking for a max extension, but may be the first casualty as a result of the league’s latest collective bargaining agreement.
Oklahoma City has $62,678,559 committed in 2013-14
Tyreke Evans- Sacramento Kings
Ever since he won Rookie of the Year honors in 2010, Evans’ game has grown stagnant. In his debut season, the 6-foot-6 guard averaged 20.1 points, 5.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game, putting him in elite company. Each statistical category has regressed over the past two years and with viable back court replacements already in Sacramento, Evans may have to look elsewhere for a contract extension.
Sacramento has $32,753,397 committed in 2013-14
Stephen Curry- Golden State Warriors
Few players are as candid about their contract situation as Curry. “If they were to take that approach to wait and I’ve had a great season, hopefully it would spark some interest across the league for the future and the price would drive up,” Curry told NBA.com. “If I were the Warriors, I’d offer a reasonable amount and sign me up now.” Ankle injuries limited Curry to just 26 games last season and Golden State as delayed any further negotiations with their point guard until after the pre-season.
Golden State has $60,877,035 committed in 2013-14
Brandon Jennings- Milwaukee Bucks
Three years ago, Jennings became an internet sensation after he bashed a team for passing on him in the draft, now he must convince the team that did select him to offer a long term contract. If no extension is worked out, Jennings could take the qualifying offer ($4.3 million) next summer and become an unrestricted free agent for the 2014-15 season.
Milwaukee has $32,862,616 committed in 2013-14
Jrue Holiday- Philadelphia 76ers
Fifty million comes off the 76ers payroll this summer and how the team handles Holiday’s future will be interesting. While the 22-year-old has shown flashes, his play hasn’t been consistent enough to warrant a max extension. Philadelphia was one win away from advancing past Boston and into the Eastern Conference finals, but with an overhauled roster, Holiday must have a stellar season to earn the money he is expecting this summer.
Philadelphia has $29,275,685 committed in 2013-14
Ty Lawson- Denver Nuggets
Two months ago, Lawson felt an extension was imminent, especially averaging 16.4 points and 6.6 assists per game. For this season, the former North Carolina star has set a goal of becoming a top-5 point guard in the league. “ I think after this year I’ll be in the discussion at least,” Lawson told Dime Magazine. If he achieves that status, a maximum contract from Denver will be waiting for him.
Denver has $59,136,559 committed in 2013-14
Jeff Teague- Atlanta Hawks
The 2012-13 season is really an evaluation period for Teague in Atlanta. The Hawks acquired point guard Devin Harris, a 29-year-old former All-Star as insurance if Teague leaves. Last season, Teague entrenched himself in the starting lineup, averaging 12.6 points and 4.9 assists per game and will have a more prominent role in the offense after Joe Johnson was dealt to Brooklyn.
Atlanta has $13,258,800 committed in 2013-14
Taj Gibson- Chicago Bulls
The Bulls have to decipher if Gibson is a key contributor off the bench or a legitimate contributor to a championship caliber team. The Bulls are one of 14 teams yet to use their one time amnesty clause, a provision the team can use to rid the three-years $47.1 million remaining on the contract for Carlos Boozer. For the Bulls to extend Gibson with the type of deal he is looking for, the 27-year-old must prove he can become a productive starter.
Chicago has $64,478,533 committed in 2013-14