Yesterday was the deadline for teams to extend the rookie deals of the 2009 draft class. After the much ballyhooed James Harden trade-and-extend, there were several other notable players around the league who got paaaaiiiid. Let’s break em down, with a few quick-hit thoughts on each.
- James Harden: 5 years $80 million. We’ve discussed him already, but the exact terms of his extension with the Rockets hadn’t yet been disclosed. Doesn’t matter. Whatever the max is, he’s worth it. And if you weren’t already convinced, did that 37-12-6 yesterday help?
- Wardell Curry: 4 years $44 million. This is a tricky one. Say Curry is fully healthy and is durable for the remainder of this deal. What is he worth then? Offensively, there are few players in the league on his level from an efficiency standpoint. Fluid stroke, great court vision, and possesses calm and collected decision making skills. While his defensive ability leaves something to be desired, if he stays healthy this year he may very well fetch close to the max salary (or the max outright) in the open market. By doing this now, they could potentially be saving themselves $10-15 million.
- DeMar DeRozan: 4 years $40 million. Oh deary me. DeRozan certainly has tremendous athletic ability and may very well have a ton of untapped potential in him. And yet, from the information that we have so far, DeRozan is a shooting guard who can’t shoot, pass, defend or rebound at league-average levels. He does have the ability to get to the rim and get to the free throw line, but to fork over $10 million a year for that skillset seems like agenerous leap of faith.
- Ty Lawson: 4 years $48 million. Seems just right. He gets to the rim at will, and orchestrates one of the best offenses in the league. Takes great shots and is a sound decision maker. Kind of a Jameer Nelson on cocaine, if you will.
- Jrue Holiday: 4 years $41 million. Reasonable. While he hasn’t been remarkable thus far by any means, he has shown flashes and is still very young (entered the league at 19). Will be assuming more of a playmaking role with Andre Iguodala gone.
- Taj Gibson: 4 years $38 million. Very cost-effective deal. While it remains to be seen whether he can contribute more consistently on offense, he is already among the top handful of defensive big men in the game. He’s a little older than the rest of the other guys so you’re not paying so much based on potential but based on what he is right now, this is a great deal.
Notable players from that same draft class who didn’t get extensions: Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans.