Tag:CBA
Posted on: November 26, 2010 2:21 pm
 

Hunter's statements ring in Freshmen ears

NBA labor dispute could have impacts not only on NBA players but freshmen headed for one-and-done status.
Posted by Matt Moore

Kyrie Irving was busy tearing up teams on Duke's way to dominating the CBE Classic in Kansas City. Terrence Jones was making a name for himself in Maui. Josh Selby was continuing his ineligibility thanks to Team Melo. Harrison Barnes was struggling to find himself, and Enes Kanter, well, he wasn't doing anything much at all.

The country's best freshmen draft prospects were a little distracted last week when NBA Union head Billy Hunter said he was 99% sure there would be a lockout next season . But don't think the comments didn't trickle their way into the youngsters' ears at some point later, along with Ken Berger's report of hope emerging in the talks just as Hunter talks doom and gloom.

You're going to hear a lot from these kids as the year goes on about how they're not paying attention to the CBA talks. You're going to hear about how they are just focused on their team and trying to win now, for their teammates. And everything you hear is ignoring the reality which is that the current tensions between the owners group and the union has to have these standout freshmen concerned.

The freshmen have a bigger decision because "one-and-done" players are usually the most talented and have the best chance of getting drafted as high as possible. There are certainly exceptions (Evan Turner and Blake Griffin are two that spring immediately to mind). But "one-and-done" has come to mean high profile draft pick in recent years and next year's projected draft class is chock full of them. Five of the top six players projected in the 2011 class by Draft Express are freshmen (though it's hard to argue Enes Kanter is a freshman anywhere at this point).

A lockout means leaving college puts them in a precarious position financially should they elect to jump to the draft this summer. Staying in college increases the odds of injury, their stock dropping, or other forces beyond their control impacting the number of millions they're able to collect when they decide to become a professional.

So it's kind of a big decision.

The question is if the concerns surrounding a lockout for the freshmen will be enough to keep them at their schools next year. If they do talk kids off the professional highwire ledge, it could have huge impacts on next year's college basketball season. Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com isn't convinced the lockout concerns will freeze the freshmen, because they'll have other options to make some dough before their contract dough gets sorted out. But if they do, it'll make for a stellar college basketball season in 2011-2012. As Parrish told F&R:

"I'm not certain a lockout would force everybody back to college the way some suspect because the elite guys, at the very least, will still have options. A freshman coming off a great season and deep run in the NCAA tournament -- Jared Sullinger? Kyrie Irving? Terrence Jones? -- might be high-profile enough at that point to secure endorsements that can't be turned away, or maybe a European club offers big money to bring a 'name' over. Beyond that, academics could always force the hand of a few who never intended to be in school more than a year. So we shall see. But if a lockout comes and guys subsequently decide it's to their benefit to just remain in college, wow, we could be in for a great 2011-12 season of college hoops.

Imagine Kentucky adding Mike Gilchrist, Anthony Jones and Marquise Teague to Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb. Or Duke operating with Kyrie Irving, Quinn Cook and Austin Rivers. Or Baylor putting Quincy Miller beside Perry Jones. Or Texas with Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph and Myck Kabongo? Or Memphis returning every relevant player from a team currently ranked 14th, and then tossing Adonis Thomas into the mix.

Again, I'm not sure a lockout will create all or even any of this because returning to school wouldn't be the lone option for the current crop of freshmen, especially the ones who spend March turning into household names. But are the possibilities fun to consider? Yes, absolutely."

The union naturally isn't concerned with players who aren't in the league, beyond some preliminary talks about eliminating the age restriction. They've got bigger concerns for established veterans and trying to fend off the losses in revenue share being discussed. (Read more about how the union is softening on that stance in Ken Berger's column here.) But this situation goes to show how massive this lockout situation is. It will hold an impact on the NBA which is enjoyed success it hasn't seen since Jordan retired (the second time), players, owners, agents, and even those youngsters making a name for themselves in front of the student bodies.

It's just another example of a world that could be dramatically altered not by play on the hardwood, but by talks held in boardrooms over the next ten months.
Posted on: November 24, 2010 12:22 am
 

Nick Collison got his dough in a weird way

Posted by Matt Moore
You want the long version or the short version on this one?

Okay, short version: Nick Collison got a 4-year,  $11 million extension that is exceptionally cap-friendly and easy to move in case the Thunder have to do something radical like pursue a player that can make a shot in the post. He got a big signing bonus due to a nice CBA clause which may never exist again. Good times for him.

Long version: The Thunder used a CBA clause that says that a team under the cap may allot its remaining cap space towards a signing bonus for an extension of a player, meaning Collison will wind up making $13.3 million this season, prior to a lockout which means he can buy a lot of T.V. dinners to get him through the drought.

It's a no-lose situation for the Thunder. Collison gets the same amount of money he would anyway, and gets it sooner, while the Thunder get to keep a reasonable number on the future cap implications of a player they believe in a lot. It works out for the best in alll ways. Even if the Thunder suffer an injury and have to sign an emergency replacement they'll have the veteran exception available. Meanwhile, their roster is pretty set and doesn't need much tweaking, and tweaking isn't how they got here. They got here through patience, hard work and deal's like Collison's that help the team and he player.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 12:37 pm
 

Zach Randolph would like that extension now

Posted by Royce Young

Over the summer, it seemed like the Grizzlies and Zach Randolph were going to play it cool with the extension talk. Randolph said he understood the situation and is just focused on playing. You know, saying the right things.

Well now, he'd very much like his money.

In an interview with FanHouse he talked about an extension and he didn't hold back on his wishes.

“I want to do it now,” he told FanHouse Monday before his Grizzlies lost to the Magic, 89-72, in Orlando. “Sooner the better. If we don’t do it now, there are a lot of other teams out there who like me….”

“I’d like to get it out of the way, but they (his agent and the Grizzlies) aren’t really talking right now, at least not that I know of,” he said. “And that’s disappointing. I like playing for this team. I want to stay with this team. I’m a blue-collar player in a blue-collar town, and it’s a good fit. I’m in my prime, and we all know it’s a business, too.”

Things are complicated right now for Memphis in money terms. The Grizzlies just paid Mike Conley a lot of cash and signed Rudy Gay in the offseason. O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol are eligible to be extended soon as well and if Randolph gets paid, somebody has to go.

It's not likely that this will be a clean, simple negotiation. Randolph is making over $17 million this season and has put up some of the best numbers of his career last season at 20.8 ppg and 11.7 rpg. He down to 16 ppg and 10.9 rpg this season so far, but it's early and he's playing a little less.

The FanHouse story said the Grizzlies are looking at something like three years and $40 million, but that's still a hefty price tag for a team that has a number of players to pay. At the same time though, a lot of the Grizzlies' current success is directly tied to Z-Bo's contributions. He's playing well on the court, and off it. He's keeping his head togethr and functioning extremely well within the Memphis system.

The CBA has a lot of players asking for extension as there's a lot of uncertainty with what will happen. Randolph is right. Someone will pay him. But I'm not sure it'll be for what he really wants.
Posted on: November 12, 2010 1:35 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 1:40 pm
 

Friday 5 With KB: KG the Jerk, Heat fail, and BRI


Posted by Matt Moore

1. Kevin Garnett is not exactly the most popular guy in the world right now. Garnett seems to be the kind of guy who is loved by his friends and close circle and is abrasive to everyone else. Do you have any thoughts on his evolving legacy from lovable lunatic lose to hated psychotic champion?

Ken Berger: I think your evaluation of KG is spot on. He is like the crazy uncle that everyone is wary of and constantly nervous about what he might say or do next. But he's family, so you tolerate him. You know, the old, "He's a jerk, but he's our jerk." At this point, Garnett could care less what people think about him or what his legacy is. He's perfectly content to continue yapping and thumping his chest and winning another championship. And I don't see anything wrong with that, as long as he doesn't care that he'll never be named man of the year or Mr. Congeniality. To me, the funniest aspect of this whole episode recently was Joakim Noah calling Garnett ugly. Hey, Jo, I don't think GQ is putting you on the cover any time soon.

2. Not exactly a banner week for the Heat. Scale of 1 to 5. How much should fans  (if there are any) be pushing the panic button?

KB: I'd say 3.5. On one hand, some of this could have and should have been expected, given that basketball is a team game and you can't just plug talent into the equation like in baseball and automatically win 70 percent of your games and waltz to the championship. I know that you know that in basketball, how the pieces fit together are every bit as important -- if not more so -- than the talent itself. Eventually, the talent will shine through, and LeBron and Wade will become as deadly a combination as we thought they'd be. But there are several areas of concern that need to be watched closely: The misuse of LeBron's and Wade's best attributes when they are on the floor with a point guard, meaning neither one has the ball in his hands for too many possessions. This can (and should) be solved when Mike Miller comes back. Instead of a point guard, you put Miller on the floor with LeBron and Wade acting as interchangeable wings who take turns initiating the offense. In my mind, LeBron fits this role best. Two, the lack of size is becoming a major issue. Erick Dampier, please pick up the white courtesy phone. Three, Erik Spoelstra struck a chord when he lectured the team at halftime Thursday night about ego. It has been a real wakeup call for these three free-agent darlings who came together so effortlessly. Winning in May and June is going to prove a lot more difficult than winning in July.

3. In the Post-Ups you alluded to the improving situation in New Orleans. Now that the team looks like it's ready to compete in the playoffs again (though it's still early), is it time to start looking for what can get them to the next level, and what is that?

KB: I think it's a positive sign that the Hornets are trying to get someone CP3 would consider to be a top-tier running mate. But they're a little stuck in that regard, and here's why: Peja Stojakovic and his $14.3 million expiring contract could be easily deal to a team trying to get off a lot of future money, and if one of those pieces coming back is an elite 3-point shooter, New Orleans is better in the short run. But they future money they'd have to take back in such a deal would hamper their ability to make moves next summer -- or whenever the lockout ends and under whatever new rules exist. The most valuable asset on the NBA market right now is cap flexibility heading into the uncertainty of a new CBA, especially for low-revenue markets. So the Hornets can't allow themselves to be tempted by the prospect of getting better in the short term at the expense of hampering their flexibility heading into a new deal. 

4. You also wrote in the Post-Ups that Kevin Love is garnering offers. Why is it that the Wolves are so reticent to trade him if they won't play the man?

KB: Ah, this is a question that goes straight to the heart of the most mysterious figure in the NBA, David Kahn. I'm told in recent days that Love isn't the only player who wants out of Minnesota. Corey Brewer does, too -- but Brewer isn't making any noise publicly, or even privately. Love is doing both. Right now, the Wolves like Love's talent but are disenchanted with his attitude. I think if the right deal came along, they'd move him. Because that locker room is too fragile right now to risk keeping a malcontent on board. Maybe Kahn can trade Love for a few more point guards.

5. BRI up 3 to 3.5%, record ratings across the board. Selling the NBA store for $300 million. The league is booming. Are owners really going to walk away from the most prosperous time in recent history to prove a point? Really?
KB: Yes sir-ee-bob. A hearty contingent of owners see this as a once-in-a -lifetime opportunity to change the economics of the sport in their favor. They also know the vast majority of people will side with them, because of their inherent biases against "greedy millionaire players." This is silly, of course, but it's just the way things are. There are a couple of reasons to be encouraged: 1) sources tell me numerous owners were impressed with the players' presentation of their proposal at a recent CBA meeting, realizing that the union was offering some creative ideas as how to make the business better for everyone; and 2) there's still a lot of time. The next key time-marker in this battle is All-Star weekend, when both sides concede significant progress will need to have been made. But as in all negotiations, the real progress doesn't happen until the 11th hour. Will there be a lockout? Yes, in my opinion. Are the owners and players short-sighted enough to let it wipe out an entire season, or even as much of the season as the '98-'99 lockout did? I don't think so. Both sides realize there's too much at stake.
Posted on: October 26, 2010 1:14 pm
 

Steve Kerr says the $350M loss number is accurate

Posted by Royce Young

If you're an NBA observer watching the current labor issues and CBA negotiations, you don't know what to believe. The players' union says the league is making tons of money. The league says its losing tons of money. The fans don't care. We just don't want to lose basketball games.

But in an interview with CNN.com, former Suns general manager and current TNT analyst Steve Kerr agrees with the league's financial position.

CNN: You were a general manager and a player, so you've seen the league's economics from both sides. The NBA is projecting about $350 million in losses this season -- do you think that's an accurate figure?

Kerr: Yes. Having been on the management and seeing a lot of numbers both in Phoenix and elsewhere, I think that's an accurate number.

Well then. 

Kerr attributes the financial troubles to rising player costs in a bad economy. We've heard that story. But he also mentions how owners are equally to blame because previously bought teams 30 years ago for $20 million just waiting for the value of their franchise to skyrocket, so they were fine with losing some money. Now, Kerr says, owners buy teams for $300-400 million and can't afford to watch the money fly out the door because there's not a big payoff in the future.

And then of course the issue of reducing player salary. Here's Kerr's thoughts:

CNN: Is it realistic that player costs can be reduced by 1/3 as the commissioner David Stern says he wants to do?

Kerr: I don't think anyone really knows. Usually in these situations, Stern's the master in these negotiations for sure and everything he says is calculated and there's a plan behind it and maybe the plan is go for 1/3 and get 1/4 -- I don't know. He knows what he wants, he knows how to get it, and he also knows that it is a partnership with the players and there has to be compromise and we'll see how it all unfolds.

Stern definitely knows what he wants. And he knows the league and the owners have the upper hand. It's all a matter of how hard and how long the players are willing to fight. Kerr said a lockout is very possible and that this situation is "more severe" than in 1999, the last time there were negotiations.

Stern says this might be the best NBA season ever. Let's hope it is, because we might have to savor it for a little while if things don't start looking up.

Category: NBA
Posted on: October 22, 2010 1:48 pm
 

More on extensions for the class of 2007

Posted by Royce Young

Yeah I know. I've already gone over this. But Marc Stein of ESPN.com has some new information regarding who could be seeing a last minute contract extension before the Nov. 1 deadline.

And as was before, there may only be one player in line to join Joakim Noah and Kevin Durant with extensions and that's Al Horford. Sources maintain to Stein that a deal before the deadline remains probable, given Horford’s status as a borderline All-Star big man. Things were complicated with Joe Johnson's massive contract, but the fact Atlanta remains still on Jamal Crawford indicates they'd like to get something done with Horford.

But what about the other players? Stein says there's really nothing more than some "maybes" in that group. And that includes top pick Greg Oden. Reportedly, Oden is resigned to the fact he's not getting a deal and in fact, isn't really even asking for it. Understandable for both sides really. Oden's obviously had the health issues and both sides understand this is an important year for Oden's future not just with the Blazers, but in terms of his well-being.

How about Jeff Green, who I sort of went over already - where's he at? The Thunder have been characteristically quiet on negotiations but Stein says Green's camp and Sam Presti "aren't close" to getting anything done. However, there's been regular conversation between both sides and from I'm told, everyone is in good spirits. The Thunder are playing things carefully with Green with the new CBA coming plus Russell Westbrook's extension that's coming next summer.

Mike Conley (taken No. 4), Corey Brewer (No. 7), Rodney Stuckey (No. 15) and Aaron Brooks (No. 26) and likely looking at becoming restricted free agents as a deal probably isn't headed their way. Yi Jianlian (taken No. 6) and All Thornton (No. 14) of the Wizards have at least had negotiations but nothing appears to be coming, Stein says. However, he believes Yi may be getting an extension much like Andray Blatche's sometime soon.

Two others that are at least having discussion are Wilson Chandler (No. 23) and Jared Dudley (No. 22). Wilson's chances aren't great but Dudley, who's a quality bench player and a nice 3-point shooter, has a legitimate chance.

Overall, there's a very strong possibility only two players from 2007 will be getting extensions, with the chance of a third in Horford. And it's not like it was a bad class either. A combination of factors including injuries, team situations and the uncertainty of the new CBA have really complicated things for the class.
Posted on: October 22, 2010 12:07 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 12:35 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Contraction, Horford, Melo



CBSSports.com's Ken Berger discusses contraction , Denver trades, and the upcoming season.
Posted by Matt Moore

Posted by Matt Moore


Each week we'll be bringing you five questions for our own Ken Berger of CBSSports.com about the inside happenings of the league. This week, Ken talks about the contraction issues , Denver's objectives in trade talks, and what he's looking forward to this season. You can email your questions to the Friday 5 With KB at cbssportsnba@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter at @cbssportsnba .


1. Your report on the CBA discussions sent shockwaves through the blogosphere as you reported the league is considering contraction as an option. But with small-market owners Peter Holt and Glen Taylor as powerful as they are, aren't they two guys that would deeply oppose this concept?

Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: Yes and no. In Taylor's case, I believe he'd oppose it only if his franchise were being eliminated. But business would be better for him if another struggling franchise were axed. In Holt's case, remember that the profitability challenge isn't about market size. It's about revenue. Yes, there are big and small markets, but that's not the point. The point is, there are high-revenue teams (such as the Lakers, who rake in nearly $2 million at the gate per home game) and there are low-revenue teams (such as the Grizzlies and Timberwolves, who make $300,000-$400,000). There are small-market teams that generate at or close to $1 million per home game (Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Utah), and there are teams in large metro areas that struggle (Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia). What the league has to constantly look at is, are the low-revenue teams doing as well as they possibly can in the markets where they're doing business? If the answer is yes, there are three ways to deal with it: 1) enhance revenue sharing to the point where those teams can compete and profit; 2) relocation; or 3) contraction. No. 3 is clearly a last resort, but you'd have to be the most rose-colored-glasses type in the world not to see that the NBA would benefit immensely from getting rid of two teams. The league as a whole would be more profitable, and the product would be better.

 2. Let's turn to our best-selling show, "As Melo Turns." You reported this week that Denver's exploring a series of one-on-one deals. We have serious questions about how good of a deal this is for Denver, particularly the whole "Anderson 'Flopsy' Varejao" angle. So what positions do you think they're aiming for with these one-offs? Or is it just any upgrade they can get?

KB: Denver's top priorities remain as follows: draft picks, young players, and cap relief. In recent weeks, after the four-way fell apart, they've added something to the list: getting rid of Kenyon Martin and/or J.R. Smith in the deal. Executives familiar with their strategy say the Nuggets appear close to abandoning another component of their wish list: a veteran player who is a decent replacement for Anthony. The thought being, if you're getting worse in the short term without Melo, why not go all the way and set yourself up to rebuild the right way? Why not "be Sam Presti," as one exec put it to me. So the long answer to your question is that the Nuggets' approach is in flux on every level, but there are certain things they feel they have to get out of this: draft picks, young players, and cap relief. If they decide to go ahead and move K-Mart and J.R., and give up the notion of trying to patch the hole with, say, Andre Iguodala, they'd be in a position to get more of all three.

 3. This week you saw a big peelback of the number of technicals compared to last week. It seemed like both sides were starting to find that "middle ground" you talked about last week. Do you think this is going to be a non-issue or do you think the union really is going to get involved legally?

KB:
For once, I agree with David Stern. Cooler heads will prevail, and the union will realize that this isn't a battle they want to wage. (Better to save their time, lawyers and money for the real fight over the CBA). Stern even budged a little Thursday when he admitted that some officials have overstepped in the enforcement of the new policy, and that they'd have to adjust. So as you and I have said from the beginning, that's what's going to happen. The players will back down a little, the refs will give them a little more leash, there will be marginally more techs doled out early in the season, and then everyone will move on.

 4. Al Horford, Jamal Crawford. Clock's ticking, at least on Horford, and we don't hear anything. What's the lastest on that front?

KB: 
The Hawks have until June 30 to extend Crawford, so there's no rush there -- despite Jamal's understandable desire to get it done now. But with regard to both Crawford and Horford, Hawks GM Rick Sund has a long history of not doing veteran extensions. This was his approach in Seattle with Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, and he did the same with Mike Bibby, Marvin Williams, Zaza Pachulia and Joe Johnson in Atlanta. (Note: Johnson was the only one of those players who got a max deal from Sund.) The point is clear: If this has been your philosophy in the past, early or mid-way through collective bargaining agreements, then it will most certainly be your strategy in the last year of a CBA. You can't 100 percent rule out Horford getting an extension by the 31st, but I doubt it. Unless the Hawks are getting a home-team discount, what's the incentive for them to pay Horford now when they don't know what market value will be under the new deal?

 5. Okay, Ken, last Friday 5 before the start of the season. We know you're least looking forward to the LeBron show. But what are you most looking forward to as the season starts Tuesday?

KB:
  I'm not least looking forward to LeBron at all. I was least looking forward to "The Decision" and its aftermath. I'm very much looking forward to watching him play alongside Dwyane Wade. It will be compelling theater, everywhere they go. Aside from that, just to mention a few things on my radar: I'm interested in seeing how Kobe Bryant's knee holds up; whether Kevin Durant and the Thunder are ready to take the next step; whether Amar'e Stoudemire will bring the buzz back to Madison Square Garden; whether Dwight Howard is as determined to dominate as he says he is; my first chance to listen to Stan Van Gundy eviscerate someone in a pre-game diatribe; my next chance to hear Howard imitate Van Gundy; the first of a million times this season that Jeff Van Gundy says, "I just don't understand that;" where and when Carmelo gets traded; and LeBron's first game in Cleveland Dec. 2.
Posted on: October 18, 2010 5:06 pm
 

The 2007 class, the new CBA and extensions

Posted by Royce Young

There are two weeks until Nov. 1. That day doesn't mean much to most, unless it's your birthday or your anniversary (you're welcome for the reminder). But for the draft class of 2007, it's an important day. A very important day. And one that looks like it will come and go without much fanfare.

As of today, Oct. 18, only two players from the class of 2007 have received a contract extension. Kevin Durant who was given a max deal over the summer and Joakim Noah who Chicago inked to a pretty hefty contract. Other than that, no one else. The No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden? Doesn't look like he's getting paid. Other top 10 picks like Mike Conley, Jeff Green, Yi Jianlian, Brandan Wright and Corey Brewer? They probably aren't going to have anything done. Only Al Horford, who is likely to get extended by Atlanta, has a shot of doing something before Nov. 1, though David Aldridge of NBA.com says it's "50-50" at this point.

(If nothing is done by Nov. 1, then the remaining un-extended players become restricted free agents for next summer. Just in case that wasn't clear up front.)

Other than Oden who the Blazers aren't extending for obvious reasons, probably the two most interesting cases are Jeff Green of the Thunder and Aaron Brooks of the Rockets.

As for Green, Aldridge thinks that the book might not be closed on an extension for the player Thunder fans call "Uncle Jeff". In his Morning Tip column, Aldridge says, "Green could certainly argue he deserves a new deal after averaging 15.1 points and six rebounds a game last season for the emerging Thunder. And Green's agent, David Falk, has a way of persuading teams to see things his client's way, so Green's status may change by the deadline. Oklahoma City's plan has been to keep its powder dry until its young core group came on line for new deals."

The problem for Green though is his teammate. No not, that Kevin Durant guy. It's his other soon-to-be-a-star teammate, Russell Westbrook. Next summer, Westbrook is eligible for his contract extension. And much like the way the Thunder treated Durant by showing up at his door at midnight, Westbrook will likely be inked on the spot. That complicates things for Green.

Nobody really knows his true market value quite yet, just like nobody really knows exactly where he should be playing. Is he a $10 million per year player? More? Less? It's hard to say at this point. And that might be why the Thunder's likely willing to let him walk into restricted free agency. This season is big in determining that value. It's a risk for the Thunder though. There are a lot of dumb general managers out there and one is likely willing to overpay Green because he's a pretty good player playing third or maybe even fourth fiddle on a good team. Someone could very easily put $11 or $12 million a year under Green's nose.

If Green wants a lot of money, then Oklahoma City might not be able to pay him. As of now, both GM Sam Presti and Green are saying the right things. Green says he's not worried about it and that's why he has representation. He said at media day that he'll let it happen when it does. And Presti said he's had "positive discussions" with Green, but won't say anything other than that.

As for Brooks, it's already been made clear he's not likely getting extended. As the reigning Most Improved Player and a guy that's potentially a star caliber talent, he's a little miffed over it. But GM Daryl Morey doesn't want to extend Brooks for a lot of the same reasons Presti doesn't want to lock in Green. It's not to say either GM doesn't want to keep their guys, it's just that they don't want to overpay without knowing completely what they have. Plus, the looming CBA negotiations are hanging overhead and it makes it tough to just hang a big multi-year extension in front of anyone and everyone. It's fiscal responsibility, but at the same time, risky behavior because you may have to pay more to keep your man next summer. Interesting dynamic there.

With this class looking at two and probably three extensions, a small trend is developing. The 2006 class had six extensions (Andrea Bargnani, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Thabo Sefolosha, Renaldo Balkman, Rajon Rondo). The 2005 group had eight (Andrew Bogut, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Andrew Bynum, Danny Granger, Jason Maxiell, Francisco Garcia and Martell Webster). 2004 had six (Dwight Howard, Devin Harris, Al Jefferson, Kris Humphries, Jameer Nelson and Kevin Martin, but the all-time great class of 2003 had 15 (LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, etc.). Either the talent has dropped a bit or GMs are just a little tighter with those extensions. It's probably a combination of both. And of course, that darn CBA.

(As an example though, out of that 2006 class, some players that got restricted free agent contracts but not extensions: Rudy Gay, Luis Scola, Ronnie Brewer and Tyrus Thomas. So just because someone isn't extended that doesn't mean they won't get paid big and/or stay with their current club.)

But then again, would you extend Thaddeus Young, Yi, Rodney Stuckey, Jared Dudley, Spencer Hawes, Rudy Fernandez, Al Thornton or Nick Young? (Interestingly, Ernie Grunfeld has the opportunity to do so on like half the 2007 class.) It's not exactly a group that screams multi-year, multi-million dollar contract.

Though it appears we may be in a new climate for contract extensions and it's something the 2008 class (Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, Westbrook, O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love, etc.) will likely have an eye on. The new CBA will determine a lot of these players' future. So Nov. 1 will probably just have to come and go while they wait to see what happens next summer.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com