Before every NBA season, teams have a final task to cover before kicking off the regular season: the rookie extensions. Three years removed from each draft, the players selected become due for a new deal with their respective teams. As we enter the 2021-22 season, the 2018 draft class is up.
Most standouts from this class have already signed new deals, but some negotiations haven’t gone smoothly. Among the players already signed, we have Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Wendell Carter Jr., Mikal Bridges, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Michael Porter Jr., and Robert Williams.
Luka Doncic received the highest salary of each player listed above: a celebratory $207.1M extension that will span over five seasons. It will kick in at the start of the 2022-23 season. The most recent signee comes from Phoenix, as Mikal Bridges and the Suns agreed on his new deal Sunday afternoon. He signed a team-friendly, four-year deal worth $90M.
2018 Rookies still unsigned
Despite their performance, some players from the 2018 class haven’t received their pay raise yet. These players include Landry Shamet, Lonnie Walker, Donte DiVincenzo, Miles Bridges, Collin Sexton, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Deandre Ayton.
In some cases, like Phoenix, It isn’t as simple as giving players their due. They have to consider the cap while negotiating with their players to ensure that these new contracts won’t hurt them in the future. As the Suns currently boast three prospects from the 2018 draft, they especially must be mindful of that.
For the other, players it could simply boil down to their current teams wanting to see more out of them. Even if no deal comes by the 6 pm deadline tonight, the players without contracts can still get extended next offseason. They would enter restricted free agency. Thus, any contract that they sign can be matched by their current team.
While we wait for the final results of today’s deadline, fans sit by, anticipating the start of a new season. The NBA regular season will begin on Tuesday night in Milwaukee as the reigning champion Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets.