June 30 marks the official beginning of the NBA offseason, but it’s not all about free agency. There will be trades, and there will be contract extensions, and some of the trades will be because of contract extensions that do not come to pass. If you want to be prepared for the deals that might go down, you need to know which players can sign these extensions.
The following is not a complete list of everybody who is extension-eligible, or even every good player who is extension-eligible. Jaylen Brown, for example, could theoretically add three years to his contract with the Boston Celtics, but they are limited to offering him a deal with a starting salary of about $34 million. If he simply waits for free agency, they can pay him $6 million more in the first year of the contract. (An extension would also remove the possibility of Brown earning the supermax.) For similar reasons, the recently traded Dejounte Murray is not listed here.
A few notes:
- Rookie-scale extensions can be signed until Oct. 17 (i.e. before the start of the regular season).
- Supermax extensions can be signed until Oct. 17.
- Players with more than one season remaining on their contracts can sign veteran extensions until Oct. 17.
- Players entering a contract year can sign veteran extensions at any point until the 2023 offseason begins.
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OK, enough preamble! Here are 50 players who are or will be eligible for contract extensions in the 2022-23 season:
25 biggest names
In February, after telling The Athletic that “the door’s not closed” on returning to Cleveland, James said sees himself staying with the Lakers “as long as I can play,” with the caveat that he would love to play with his son. Then the Lakers tumbled down the standings and out of the playoff picture. Is he confident enough in the front office and the roster to sign a two-year, $97 million extension? He’ll be eligible to do that from Aug. 4 until the end of next year’s regular season. If he doesn’t, then he’ll be a free agent next summer. Bronny James will be draft-eligible in 2024.
There’s no mystery here: After the Nuggets were eliminated in the playoffs, Jokic said on the record that, if the five-year, $254 million supermax contract extension “is on the table, of course I’m going to accept it because I really like the organization, I really like the people who work here.” Since then, Tim Connelly, the executive who drafted him, has left for the Timberwolves, but the Denver Post reported that Jokic remains comfortable with the direction of the franchise.
The most that the Pelicans can offer Williamson on a rookie-scale extension is five years and $186 million (with an All-NBA escalator that could take it up to $222 million). Based on his 2020-21 season, that is a no-brainer — at 20 years old, he was already one of the most dominant offensive players in the NBA. He missed all of the 2021-22 season, though, because of a broken foot, and has played in only 85 games since New Orleans drafted him No. 1 overall in 2019. In a similar situation five years ago, Joel Embiid and the 76ers negotiated an extension with extremely specific protections for the team: Philadelphia could waive Embiid and save money if a foot or back injury caused him to miss 25-plus regular-season games in a season and play fewer than 1,650 minutes.
Morant can and will likely sign that same five-year, $186 million extension, which, with an All-NBA escalator that would bump it to $222 million if he makes an All-NBA team again next season. Morant has said he wants to stay where he is, and Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman has said they won’t have any issues spending money to keep the core together.
By making All-NBA this past season, Towns became eligible for a supermax extension that comes with a starting salary of $47 million and is worth $211 million over four years. Towns has not definitively said that he will sign it, but that is the expectation. “I think KAT is one of the most talented guys in the NBA,” Connelly said at his introductory press conference, adding that “the best thing we can give KAT is stability.”
Booker made All-NBA, too, and can sign the exact same extension that Towns can. If he signs it, then he’ll make more than $58 million in 2027-28, when he’s 32 years old. It’s a lot of money, but it’s what it takes to retain a franchise player heading into his prime. The Suns had their reasons for not extending Deandre Ayton’s contract last summer, but they should not mess around with this one.
It makes sense for the Cavaliers to give Garland the “fun max” after his first All-Star season. That means five years and $186 million, but salary-cap nerds know that the devil is in the details. Does Garland get a player option? Does he get the most player-friendly All-NBA escalator? Surefire superstars get all of that stuff by default, but there’s room for negotiation here.
Irving picked up his $36.5 million player option for next season, so he’s technically eligible to sign an extension as long as four years. He and Brooklyn can negotiate that at any point until the 2023 offseason begins. One thing to note in this particular case: Since it’s not a new contract, an extension cannot include new incentives.
Lillard is under contract for two years before his 2024-25 player option, and, he turns 32 this summer. If the Blazers want to show that they’re still serious about building around him, though, offering him a two-year, $107 million (!) extension would do it. According to Bleacher Report, they are expected to do just that.
VanVleet recently told Daily Hive that he’d love to spend his entire career in Toronto. As of July 8, he can extend his deal through the 2026-27 season. If he declines his $23 million player option for the 2023-24 season, he could get a slight raise that year by signing a four-year, $114 million extension. His other option — playing out the season and hitting free agency next year — would also likely result in a raise, based on his 2021-22 production, but it looks like he’ll sign the extension, per Bleacher Report.
As of Oct. 1, Siakam, whose current max deal expires in 2024, will be eligible for a three-year, $128.9 million extension, which would keep him under contract through 2026-27. He’s 28 years old, still improving and coming off an All-NBA season, so that kind of money is not outlandish.
The 28-year-old Grant is on a $21 million expiring contract, and he’s eligible for a four-year, $112 million extension, and he’s now a member of the Blazers. These things are related! Do not, however, expect this deal to get done in the offseason — Grant cannot officially sign an extension until Dec. 23, six months after the trade.
Perpetually a trade candidate, Turner is on a $17.5 million expiring contract and is eligible for a four-year extension worth $97 million. The Pacers could also, in theory, go the renegotiate-and-extend route, which would mean using some of their cap space this summer to give him a raise next season, and simultaneously extending the deal. Turner is still just 26, and if Indiana doesn’t want to invest in him, it should trade him to a team that does.
Generally, you’d think a team that just made the conference finals would like to come to terms on an extension with a 22-year-old wing who just won Sixth Man of the Year. Miami might hesitate, though, if he will not settle for anything less than the rookie-scale max. According to Bleacher Report, signs point to an extension worth about $25 million per season.
Is Milwaukee confident that the 30-year-old Middleton will age well? He has a player option worth more than $40 million in 2023-24, and they can extend him through the 2026-27 season. The Bucks can legally pay him an average salary of about $50 million on a three-year deal (if he picks up that option) or a four-year deal (if he declines it), but don’t expect them to do that. A more realistic scenario is a short-term extension at a smaller number that keeps Middleton under contract until 2025 (the earliest that Giannis Antetokounmpo can hit free agency) or 2026.
The McCollum-Pelicans partnership started about as well as both sides could have hoped, and, if they can agree on a number, they could extend his contract through the 2026-27 season. McCollum turns 31 in September, and he has two years and $69 million left on his deal. (He can sign an extension as of Aug. 9.)
Sometimes, when a team trades for an All-Star player, the entire league assumes an extension is coming. This is not one of those times. Sabonis can sign a three-year extension worth more than $75 million, but this is far less than Sacramento (or another team) can pay him when he hits free agency in 2024. At 26 years old, he doesn’t need to give the Kings a discount.
A few questions: Do the Knicks see Barrett as a future All-Star? Is he open to signing for anything less than the rookie-scale max? How aggressively is the front office planning to pursue stars on the trade market? There are lots of variables here, and, even after Barrett went on a scoring binge in the last couple of months of the season, there are questions about his game. An extension is a bet that his work ethic and his aggressiveness will eventually translate to efficiency.
As a rule, non-max extensions are difficult for players on rookie contracts. Maybe Poole will be an exception, thanks to all the good vibes in the Bay Area. He was a major defensive liability at times during the playoffs, but made some devastating shots in the Finals and remains an enormous success story for the Warriors’ development program. Is Golden State confident enough that he’ll improve defensively to make a long-term investment a year before it has to? Is Poole so happy to be in this system, with these players, that he’s willing to accept significantly less money than he projects to make next summer?
Until relatively recently, it was crazy to suggest that Wiggins might get an extension — if you were talking about his max contract, it was probably in the context of hypothetical trades. Now that he’s played a crucial role on a championship-winning team, though, it makes sense for Golden State to stay in the Wiggins business. The 27-year-old wing is not going to get maxed out again, but, rather than dealing with the uncertainty of a contract year, he can add up to four years to his deal this summer. If the Warriors want to line him up with Stephen Curry, then they’ll offer him three years.
Green’s usually not the first name that comes up when it comes to the Warriors’ extension-eligible players, but, as of Aug. 3, he’ll be in that group. Without an extension, and presuming that he doesn’t decline his player option, he is on track to hit free agency in 2024, at which point he will be 34 years old. It would make sense to align his extension with the end of Curry’s contract, too, particularly if Green is willing to take anything less than the max.
Let’s say the Warriors extend Wiggins and Green through 2026, so their contracts expire when Curry’s does. Why not Thompson, too? Golden State would probably hesitate to max him out after his injuries — he’ll be making $43 million in 2023-24 — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t negotiate a two-year extension that satisfies both parties.
As of Aug. 7, LeVert’s contract can be extended for up to four years and about $100 million, which is part of why he ended up on the Cavaliers in the first place — by trading him, Indiana avoided having to deal with this negotiation. Cleveland will likely be reluctant to go that high, but it wouldn’t have made the move if it didn’t intend to keep him.
Is Russell a part of the Wolves’ core or about to get traded? This answer partially depends on how much money he expects to get on his next contract. He’s eligible for a four-year extension worth about $170 million, but there’s no way the Wolves are going to put that on the table. Maybe there’s some kind of compromise to be found, though, if he’s willing to take less than the max. (If Minnesota does not extend Russell, then it can open up a max slot in free agency next summer.)
The Bulls gave up a lot to get Vucevic, and, in this situation, the team is usually prepared to pay up when it’s extension time. How much does it matter that his 3-point percentage nosedived last season? Are the Bulls really looking to add a rim protector to play next to Vucevic? Are they excited about a four-year, $118 million extension that will run until his age-36 season? We’ll see! But if they don’t trade or extend him, then he can bolt in a year.
More veteran extension candidates
The Mavs can guarantee Kleber’s $9 million salary in 2022-23, then offer him an extension worth up to approximately $60 million over four years, which would keep him under contract until 2027. They wouldn’t have made the conference finals without him, and every team is looking for bigs who can actually stay on the floor, so that could be fair value for both sides.
Wood can sign an extension worth $77 million over four years, but not until Dec. 24, the sixth-month anniversary of the trade that sent him to Dallas. You can look at the first couple of months of the season as a trial period; this is the first time he’s going to have a real role on a good team (unless you count those few games he played with Harden), and, if that brings out the best in him, an extension might make sense.
Update: Zubac is staying in Los Angeles, and the two sides reached an agreement early: By declining the 2022-23 team option, the Clippers were able to give Zubac a short-term raise as part of a three-year, $33 million deal, his agents told ESPN.
It should be a no-brainer for the Clippers to exercise their $7.5 million team option on Zubac, who has outperformed his contract substantially. Assuming that they do that, they will be able to negotiate a contract extension, which could run to four years for a maximum of approximately $61 million. Zubac is only 25, so it would be wise to try to get something done, unless Los Angeles is thinking about trading him instead.
Barnes just turned 30, and he’s coming off the two most efficient seasons of his career, playing a vital role for a team that is desperate to improve and has no one else like him on the roster, save for the guy it just drafted. This is usually time to cash in, but the Kings aren’t necessarily at the stage where it makes sense to pay him almost $100 million (over four seasons). He is on an $18.4 million expiring contract, any trade suitors will have to factor in the price of an extension.
As of July 6, Curry will be eligible sign a two-year extension worth up to $17.4 million, which wouldn’t make much sense on his end. As of Aug. 11, though, Brooklyn can offer him up to $58 million over four years, which would mean he’d hit free agency in 2027 instead of 2023. Curry will turn 32 before the start of next season, and offensively he’s a perfect complement to the Nets’ stars. Brooklyn has a lot to sort out, though, and it’s hard to imagine the team putting Curry out there next to two other small guards in the playoffs again.
Nance’s team-friendly, declining contract is expiring, but, just like with Curry in Brooklyn, the Pelicans will be able to offer him a four-year extension worth as much as $58 million once six months have passed since they acquired him in a trade. He’s the kind of player that New Orleans should want to have around, but, assuming that Williamson sticks around on a max extension, the franchise will soon have to deal with luxury-tax issues.
Crowder is also eligible for a four-year extension worth $58 million, but his team has plenty of other stuff to figure out. Phoenix is surely not going to pay everybody, which is why Crowder’s name has been in trade rumors recently. He turns 32 in July, and has been an important part of the Suns’ formula on both ends.
On the one hand, Bogdanovic had a good Sixth Man of the Year case this past season, and a four-year, approximately $97 million deal seems fair for a player of his caliber in his prime — he turns 30 in August. On the other hand, he has dealt with knee and ankle injuries in both of his seasons with the Hawks, and they have already extended Kevin Huerter, with De’Andre Hunter possibly next in line.
In Denver, Morris was one of the best backup point guards in the league. If he’s willing to sign for three years and $42 million, which the Wizards can offer him in six months, they should be happy to keep him around. He might be thriving as a starter by then, though, so he might hold out for more.
Brooks is on an $11.4 million expiring deal, and, if the Grizzlies make some kind of blockbuster trade, he could be a part of it. Save for that kind of scenario, though, they’d be smart to try to extend Brooks, who is more than just their best perimeter defender — for the last two seasons, they’ve been significantly better on both ends with him on the court. The problem is that the most Memphis can offer is four years and about $61 million, and, since you can’t have enough big wings, he projects to make more than that in free agency. (Brooks’ name has surfaced in trade rumors, but, after the draft, general manager Zach Kleimam told reporters, “Dillon Brooks is a very significant contributor, you know, part of this team.”)
Melton is no longer part of that Memphis team, but the Sixers can extend him six months after the trade becomes official. That extension could pay him a maximum of approximately $42 million over three years, and it would require Philadelphia to guarantee his $8 million salary in 2023-24.
How much does the league really value rim protection? Poeltl is one of the league’s best defensive centers, and he’s clearly underpaid on a $9.4 million expiring contract. The most that the Spurs can offer him is a four-year extension worth $61.5 million, but it’s unclear whether or not he’d be better off waiting for free agency. His future is tied to the team’s other plans — if the Murray trade indicated San Antonio is tearing things down, it could trade Poeltl, too.
As of Sept. 30, Kuzma can sign a four-year, $70 million extension with the Wizards, provided that he declines his $13 million player option for 2023-24. He might be aiming even higher than that, though, after the best all-around season of his career. If Kuzma does not sign an extension, then he will be on an expiring contract and an obvious trade candidate.
Lopez could technically get another four years and almost $75 million from the Bucks this summer, but, at 34 years old, don’t count on that happening. It would be perfectly reasonable, however, for the front office to offer him a one- or two-year extension, particularly because of how well he played defensively after his back injury.
Horford is two years older than Lopez, but he doesn’t play like it — this year, nobody gave him trouble on the perimeter until the Celtics ran into the Splash Brothers in the Finals. He can’t do this forever, but, as long as he’s OK with taking way less than the $26.5 million he’ll make next season, he might be able to parlay his strong season into a short extension. Horford has made it extremely clear how much he wanted to return to Boston and how much he loves it there.
It’s amazing that this is plausible. Love was famously frustrated when the Cavs appeared to be going nowhere, but now that they’re on the upswing and he is one of the league’s better reserves, he is having tons of fun again. It seems more likely that both sides will decide to keep their options open, but an extension is at least in the realm of possibility.
The Nuggets acquired Caldwell-Pope on Wednesday, and Denver had been trying to get him for a while, per ESPN. If this lovefest is mutual and remains so in six months, then the two sides will be able to extend this arrangement. In theory, it seems like a perfect fit: He’s a good perimeter defender, a smart cutter and a pretty good floor spacer, the exact type of wing that should thrive in Denver.
Also eligible: Kristaps Porzingis, Malik Beasley, Gordon Hayward, Joe Harris, Ben Simmons, Jamal Murray, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, Dwight Powell, K.J. Martin, Marcus Morris, John Konchar, Xavier Tillman, Steven Adams, Kenrich Williams
More rookie-scale extension candidates
Williams has contributed from Day 1, but this season made a massive leap as a shooter and got in the best shape of his career. During the Celtics’ Finals run, he played superb defense against Kevin Durant, Antetokounmpo, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, and his seven 3s in Game 7 against Milwaukee won’t soon be forgotten in Boston. The question is just how much of a raise he has earned — if the Celtics feel he’s asking for too much, they can simply wait until restricted free agency.
At times, Hunter has looked like an all-world defender with the scoring chops to make upwards of $20 million a season. He’s unlikely to get that from the Hawks this summer, though, after another injury-plagued season in which his offense was inconsistent. This does not mean that an extension is impossible; just that he’ll probably have to sacrifice money in order to make it worth Atlanta’s while.
Now that Steve Clifford is coaching the Hornets, how important is it for them to have a small-ball 5 on the roster? Are they going to pay what it takes to keep Miles Bridges in free agency? Are they just going to dump Gordon Hayward’s contract? There are a lot of variables here, but Washington’s defensive versatility is valuable. If Charlotte doesn’t extend him now, then he could be even more expensive in restricted free agency, particularly if he bumps his 3-point percentage up a little bit.
Congratulations to the Suns for seeing something in Johnson that others didn’t. Now they have to figure out if they can justify paying him. Booker’s about to get the supermax, Bridges already got his extension and the Ayton situation is, uh, complicated. The argument for extending Johnson: He made 42.5 percent of his 3s and finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting this past season, and teams with championship aspirations shouldn’t mess around when it comes to keeping their own guys. The argument against it: If the price isn’t right, then Phoenix could end up paying a premium salary to a non-star player who gets targeted on defense in the playoffs.
You’ve seen the floaters and the offensive rebounds, and you’ve seen him defend all over the court. Clarke is one of the Grizzlies’ many draft-day steals, and bringing him off the bench is a luxury. I doubt he signs an extension, unless he’s willing to accept a starting salary lower than $13 million, which will be his cap hold next summer.
Johnson’s cap hold is only $11.6 million, and he’s in line to make a lot more than that, assuming that his improved 3-point hooting was not a fluke. There are precedents for Spurs signing rookie-scale extensions right before the deadline in recent years, though — Murray did it in 2019 and Derrick White in 2020. Both of those deals, however, looked like clear wins for San Antonio at the time. The same would probably have to be true for this one.
How much do the Blazers believe in Little? If he can become a consistent 3-point shooter, he’ll be the exact type of player they need on the wing. His track record of being a rotation player is pretty short, though, and he might decide to bet on himself rather than taking whatever Portland is willing to offer now.
Normally when a guy makes Second Team All-Defense before the end of his rookie contract, there would be more buzz about an extension. In this case, though, there has mostly been trade chatter. Thybulle’s defense is obviously valuable, but opposing defenses ignore him on the other end, particularly in the playoffs. (If the Sixers do trade him, he will immediately be eligible for a rookie-scale extension with his new team.)
Also eligible: Kevin Porter, Jaxson Hayes, Rui Hachimura, Darius Bazley, Coby White, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Goga Bitadze, Cam Reddish