NBA teams had until 11:59 p.m. ET to come to terms with members of the 2009 NBA Draft class or risk losing them in free agency.
Both the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors decided to retain their rising stars at point guard, instead of shipping them away.
Three days ago Oklahoma City dealt away James Harden to Houston after failing to agree on a long term contract with the third overall pick of the 2009 draft.
As the importance of point guard play continues to rise, as evidenced by the three-year $25 million contract Jeremy Lin received from the Rockets after starting just 25 games last season, any talented players will be offered enormous contracts in free agency.
In his first season as the full-time starter, Lawson averaged 16.4 points, 6.6 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, orchestrating the most explosive offense in the league, even without an All-Star on the roster last season.
The Nuggets averaged a league-high 104.1 points per game with point guard Ty Lawson leading the team in points, steals and ranking second in assists.
Although Denver was eliminated in the first round, the young team showed its promise, pushing the Lakers to a seventh game as Lawson scored 56 points over the last two games of the series.
Instead of allowing the 24-year-old former North Carolina star from entering free agency this summer, the Nuggets agreed to a four-year $48 million extension.
His 2.69 assist-to-turnover ratio ranked seventh among all starting point guards last season, while his scoring numbers ranked eighth at his position and his steal average was 11th best at the position.
Golden State is trying to establish a new identity to its franchise and the main question entering the season was if point guard Stephen Curry was going to be apart of the team going forward.
Curry was limited to just 26 games after undergoing ankle surgery and sat out a majority of the preseason after having his ankle stepped on during a contest with Portland.
Even with the limited exposure to the new system implemented by Jackson and concerns about his ability to remain healthy, Golden State signed Curry to a four-year $44 million extension Wednesday morning.
When he has been on the floor, there has been little question about the 24-year-old’s ability to direct the offense.
In three seasons, Curry is averaging 17.5 points, 5.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
From anywhere on the floor, he is a dangerous shooter. Curry has connected on 47.3 percent of his attempts from the floor, 44.1 of his attempts from 3-point range and 90.1 percent of his free throws.
When he is able to stay on the floor, he is able to find his shot while being able to set up his teammates. The last time he played over 35 minutes, Feb. 18 at Memphis, Curry totaled 36 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range, six assists and two steals.
Since the 1994-95 season, the Warriors have qualified for the post season just once and are relying on Curry and center Andrew Bogut, experiencing ankle problems of his own, are hoping to lead the team to a .500 record for the first time in five years.
Point guards have become the most critical piece for teams rebuilding their franchise, as three of the last five first overall draft picks have played the position.
As Wednesday’s deadline approached, Denver and Golden State realized it was best to offer long term contracts now instead of facing competition in the free agent market this summer.