NBA Contract Extension Recap
Wednesday was the deadline for players taken in the 2009 draft to receive contract extensions before they become free agents after the 2012-2013 season. Several players were inked to those lucrative extensions, but which ones were actually sound financial decisions?
James Harden, Rockets- After being unable to agree to an extension with Oklahoma City, the Thunder traded him to Houston on Saturday night. On Wednesday, the Rockets signed him to a five-year, max extension worth roughly $80 million. It seems like a stretch considering his first career start was on Wednesday, but the start sure was spectacular. Houston GM Daryl Morey wanted a star and quickly locked him up to a max extension. Harden is now the face of the franchise along with his backcourt mate Jeremy Lin, so we’ll see if Harden was worth the max.
Ty Lawson, Nuggets- Lawson’s first year as a starter was proof that he was deserving of his four-year, $48 million contract extension. He averaged nearly 17 points and 6.6 assists per game and was ninth in the league in offensive win shares last season.
Stephen Curry, Warriors- Considering that Eric Gordon got a max contract last summer after missing virtually an entire season due to injury, locking Curry up for four years and $44 million doesn’t seem to bad despite his injury concerns. Golden State traded Monta Ellis last season to make Curry the franchise cornerstone, and now he is. He would have gotten way more on the open market.
Jrue Holiday, 76ers- Holiday was 15th in defensive win shares last season to go with his 13.5 points and 4.5 assists per game last season, and is deserving of a four-year extension worth $41 million. The big question for Philadelphia going forward is whether they can re-sign Andrew Bynum. Perhaps getting him back on the court would be nice as well.
DeMar DeRozan, Raptors- Toronto’s four-year, $40 million extension reeks of desperation. He scored 16.7 points per game last season on 42.2 percent shooting, but did little else of value for his team except hit the 12th most free throws in the league in the 14th most minutes. This is another baffling move.
Taj Gibson, Bulls- Chicago clearly prioritizes defense, which is why a bit bench player received an interesting four-year contract extension worth $38 million. He averaged 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 20 minutes per game last season, which translates really well with more playing time. He finished seventh in the league in defensive rating last season and 11th in block percentage, so there’s hope he can live up to his deal.