Two-time reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo just inked a five-year, $228.2 million extension with the Milwaukee Bucks, setting the mark for NBA contracts. It has been a long time coming for the superstar forward. It also takes the Greek Freak off the free-agent market for next summer.
As upset as some teams might be that they won’t be able to chase after Giannis Antetokounmpo in free agency, players have to be excited that he’s reset the already volatile market amid the economic downturn during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Given the extensions we’ve seen this offseason, NBA contracts have not been impacted by the lack of league-wide revenue.
This has us thinking. Who might receive the next huge long-term contract around the NBA? Here’s a look at five options.
NBA contracts: John Collins, forward, Atlanta Hawks
At 23 years old, this power forward is already among the most-skilled young bigs in the entire NBA. Collins averaged 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds on 58% shooting from the field as a third-year player for the Hawks last season. He has also put up a combined 16.4 win shares in three seasons, proving himself to be a solid contributor on both ends of the court.
Despite this, the Hawks have not decided to sign Collins to an extension. This comes at a time when fellow 2017 classmates Jayson Tatum, De’Aaron Fox, Donovan Mitchell and Bam Adebayo have already received massive NBA contracts. Set to become a restricted free agent, there’s a darn good chance another team will sign Collins to an offer sheet next summer that the Hawks won’t match.
NBA contracts: Trae Young, guard, Atlanta Hawks
Young is one young Atlanta Hawks player that is almost guaranteed to be offered a max-level rookie extension when eligible following the 2020-21 season. Young, 22, morphed into one of the better all-around offensive players in the NBA as a sophomore last season. He averaged 29.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists on 44% shooting from the field.
There’s a chance Young tries his hand in free agency and looks for a larger market following the 2022-23 season. He might also opt to wait it out in order to earn a more lucrative payday from the Hawks. However, a raise from the $6.07 million annual salary he’s making right now to $33 million per season makes the most sense. Expect Young to ink said deal when he’s able to next summer.
NBA contracts: Kawhi Leonard, forward, Los Angeles Clippers
After seeing teammate Paul George sign a four-year, $176.3 million extension ahead of the 2020-21 season, there’s a chance that Leonard opts to commit to the Clippers long-term here soon. The former NBA Finals MVP is playing under a three-year, $103.1 million contract he previously inked with Los Angeles. Leonard can, and probably will, opt out of said deal next summer.
If that is indeed the case, re-signing with the Clippers would net him a deal similar to the one George signed. It’s an incentive for the 29-year-old Leonard to remain with Los Angeles rather than move on from his current team in free agency for the second time in three years. However, it would not be a shock if Leonard tested the free-agent waters come summer time.
NBA contracts: Stephen Curry, guard, Golden State Warriors
Back in July of 2017, this three-time NBA champion inked what was then a record five-year, $201.2 million contract with the Warriors. Shockingly, this represented Curry’s first big payday in the NBA after he signed a mere four-year, $44 million extension back in 2012.
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Now 32 years old, Curry has made it clear he wants another extension. The Warriors are going to oblige. It’s also going to be a whopper. Once signed, it will be worth $156 million over three seasons. That would set the per-year record for NBA contracts at $52 million annually. It’s a deal James Harden just recently turned down with the Houston Rockets. To say Curry is worth this cash would be an understatement.
NBA contracts: Luka Doncic, forward, Dallas Mavericks
If the Mavericks could ink this generational talent to a 10-year contract, they would have already done that. Alas, NBA contracts don’t work that way. What we do know is that Doncic will join the above-mentioned Trae Young in receiving a massive extension following the 2020-21 season. He’s worth that and a whole lot more.
Doncic, 21, averaged 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists as a sophomore last season. These are numbers LeBron James was not hitting until his seven year in the NBA. Just think about that for a second. Already compared to King James, Doncic’s career trajectory seems to be on that same level. It will soon net the guard a deal averaging out to about $33 million annually.