2018 Rookie Scale Extension Updates and Predictions

2018 Rookie Scale Extension Updates and Predictions

The 2018 NBA Draft class is eligible to sign Rookie Scale contract extensions this offseason. Each player has until late-October to agree to an extension. If no agreement is reached, the player will be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of 2022. A handful of players are ineligible to sign an extension, because they had team options declined at some point during their Rookie Scale contract.

By pick, here’s where things stand for each player. For those who have already signed an extension, we’ll remind you of the terms. For the rest, we’ll make a prediction on what happens before the late-October extension deadline.

Related: Spotrac's NBA Extension Tracker

  1. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

    Ayton was a huge part of the Suns making the 2021 NBA Finals. He’s come a long way since his rookie year on both ends of the court. The floor for Ayton was set by Jarrett Allen getting a five-year, $100 million contract from the Cleveland Cavaliers. If Allen is worth $20 million a year, Ayton has to feel good about getting a max deal.
    Prediction: five years, $172.5 million, no options
  2. Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings

    Bagley hasn’t stayed healthy throughout his first three years in the NBA. That, more than anything else, is what will keep him from getting paid. The Kings will only offer extremely team-friendly terms, and that’s not worth it for Bagley. All the potential is still there, but he has to put it together. That means a prove-it season in 2021-22.
    Prediction: No extension
  3. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

    Doncic already got the richest Rookie Scale contract extension in NBA history. It’s well-earned too, as Doncic has been terrific since coming to the NBA. He’s poised to be an annual MVP candidate and will eventually sign a Designated Veteran extension down the line too.
    Prediction: Already signed a five-year, $207 million extension, player option in 2026-27
  4. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies

    This is where it gets interesting for the 2018 class. Jackson has been really good, but he’s only been slightly healthier than Bagley has been. The difference is that Jackson has been a good defender and a top-tier shooter over his three seasons. As a 6’11’’ 4/5, that’s great value in today’s NBA. Look for Memphis to do what they can to keep Jackson in the fold, but to not overpay, given his injury history.
    Prediction: four years, $88 million, no options
  5. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

    Young inked a deal that could end up looking exactly like Doncic’s does. Whereas Doncic has already qualified for the bump to the second salary tier, Young needs to make All-NBA again to get there. Don’t bet against him.
    Prediction: Already signed a five-year, $172.5 million extension with a player option in 2026-27, will jump to $207 million if Young makes All-NBA in 2022.
  6. Mo Bamba, Orlando Magic

    Bamba hasn’t been healthy, nor very good for the Magic. He’s struggled with the speed of the NBA game and only rarely flashes potential befitting his draft status. Orlando doubled-down on the position by acquiring Wendell Carter Jr., which may signal where Bamba stands moving forward.
    Prediction: No extension
  7. Wendell Carter Jr., Orlando Magic

    Orlando acquired Carter at the 2021 trade deadline in exchange for Nikola Vucevic. Carter looked pretty good with the Magic, in a 22-game sample at the end of last season. He’s never fully shown the skills that earned him Al Horford comps, but there is still plenty of potential there. The Magic love to lock up their own players, when they can. Don’t expect anything different with Carter. They just need it to be team-friendly enough to make it worth it.
    Prediction: four years, $48 million, no options
  8. Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Sexton is a really interesting case. Because he’s been on bad Cavs teams, a lot of people probably missed him averaging 24.3 points per game on 47/37/81 shooting splits last season. Sexton also dished out a career-high 4.4 assists per game. He’s not just a gunner who puts up meaningless numbers. The question is: What’s that worth to the Cavs, who also have Darius Garland as a smaller point guard and Isaac Okoro as a two-guard?
    Prediction: No extension, unless he’s traded before the extension deadline
  9. Kevin Knox, New York Knicks

    Knox showed a lot of potential at his first Summer League in 2018. Since then, it’s all kind of gone downhill. He’s shot just 37% for his career and could barely get off the bench in his third season. Knox needs a change of scenery to try to jumpstart his career.
    Prediction: No extension
  10. Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns

    As bad as Knox as bad, that’s how good Bridges has been for the Suns. Bridges is already a high-end defender and his shot has developed faster than anyone could have foreseen. Phoenix is in a tricky spot. They already paid Devin Booker and Chris Paul, as well as a few role players. Ayton is probably going to push for a max deal. Will the Suns pony up for Bridges too?
    Prediction: four years, $90 million, no options
  11. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander , Oklahoma City Thunder

    Gilgeous-Alexander got the non-superstar version of the full max extension. He got five years and max money, but no player option at the end. That feels fair, considering he’s shown to be All-Star-level player, but hasn’t quite popped just yet.
    Prediction: already signed a five-year, $172.5 million extension with no options
  12. Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets

    Bridges had somewhat of a breakout season with the Hornets in 2020-21. The issue for Bridges is that he’s caught in somewhat of a crowded frontcourt. If Charlotte is willing to give him $15 million a year, Bridges should grab it. Anything less, he should bet on himself landing a bigger deal next summer.
    Prediction: No extension
  13. Jerome Robinson, Free Agent

    Robinson never found his footing in the NBA and was waived by the Washington Wizards near the end of the 2020-21 season.
  14. Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets

    It’s only been two seasons, but Porter has already shown why many considered him to be a top prospect in 2018. A back injury caused Porter to slide in the draft, and then he also missed his rookie season. Since then, he’s shown all the potential that everyone loved. Porter is already a dominant scoring option. He averaged 19 points on 54/45/79 shooting in his second season. He’s also a solid rebounder and a willing defender. Denver is going to pay to keep their talented forward, because Porter is an ideal fit with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Look for this deal to come in shy of the max, but maybe with some incentives to get it to the max.
    Prediction: four years, $100 million, no options
  15. Troy Brown Jr., Chicago Bulls

    Brown has been flashing potential, but flashes don’t get you an extension. At least not one Brown should sign. The hope is that with a bigger role on a playoff team, Brown can show what he can do and get paid as a free agent.
    Prediction: No extension
  16. Zhaire Smith, Free Agent

    Smith didn’t even really make it to the third year of his Rookie scale deal. The Philadelphia 76ers traded him to the Detroit Pistons in a salary dump, and he was subsequently waived.
  17. Donte DiVincenzo, Milwaukee Bucks

    DiVincenzo looked like he was on his way to a potential extension before getting hurt late in the 2020-21 season. The Bucks went on to win the title without him, and DiVincenzo now has some catching up to do. His ability to handle the ball, pass and shoot makes him a good fit with the Bucks big three. Milwaukee would do well to get him on a relatively team-friendly deal, even if it adds to the tax bill. They just don’t have anyway to replace DiVincenzo if he were to leave.
    Prediction: four years, $60 million
  18. Lonnie Walker, San Antonio Spurs

    Walker has shown improvement in his first three seasons. The challenge for him is that the Spurs have a loaded backcourt, and Walker isn’t really big enough to play at small forward. This one will go to restricted free agency.
    Prediction: No extension
  19. Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks

    Huerter has gone from interesting prospect to key rotation player for the Hawks. In some ways, Huerter’s ascendency has matched that of Atlanta’s. He’s a solid defender and a good ball-mover and shooter. That makes him an ideal fit next to Trae Young. But Atlanta just paid Young and John Collins, a summer after spending a bundle in free agency. Look for the Hawks to let this one play out and decide between Huerter and Cameron Reddish as the big guard alongside Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic.
    Prediction: No extension
  20. Josh Okogie, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Okogie is Minnesota’s best wing defender, but that’s sort of like being the best Marvel villain not named Thanos: It’s not saying much. More importantly, Okogie is the third or fourth player in a rotation of players who are best as shooting guards for the Wolves. On an increasingly expensive team, he’s not getting a new deal.
    Prediction: No extension
  21. Grayson Allen, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks acquired Allen on the cheap this offseason. That’s a great depth move for Milwaukee, but with Donte DiVincenzo ahead of him in the pecking order, Allen’s not getting an extension.
    Prediction: No extension
  22. Chandler Hutchison, San Antonio Spurs

    The Spurs acquired Hutchison by jumping in to help facilitate the Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers trade. It’s not a lock Hutchison makes the roster out of training camp, so forget an extension of any sort.
    Prediction: No extension
  23. Aaron Holiday, Washington Wizards

    The Indiana Pacers moved Holiday off to Washington in part because he was extension-eligible. Indiana has better guards, but Washington’s mix is a little conducive to regular playing time for Holiday. That’s not going to get him an extension though. But if Holiday plays well, look for a new deal next summer with the Wizards.
    Prediction: No extension
  24. Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers

    Simons became a pretty deadly shooter last season, as he knocked down 42.6% from behind the arc. That has value for a Portland team that is short on depth. The question comes with how much more money the Trail Blazers want to invest in another guard. They’re already playing Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Norman Powell a combined $366 million. Now, if Lillard was moved in a trade…
    Prediction: No extension
  25. Moritz Wagner, Orlando Magic

    Wagner is not eligible for an extension, because he was waived by the Boston Celtics during the 2020-21 season.
  26. Landry Shamet, Phoenix Suns

    Shamet has bounced around during his first few years in the NBA. The Suns picked him up for some guard depth behind Devin Booker, but he’s not getting extended. Phoenix has more important extensions to handle first, and that leaves Shamet without an extension.
    Prediction: No extension
  27. Robert Williams III, Boston Celtics

    Brad Stevens acted early, and somewhat set the market, when he inked Williams to a four-year extension worth up to $54 million. That deal is set up well to protect Boston if Williams continues to have injury issues, as he has for the first three years of his career.
    Prediction: Already signed a four-year extension worth between $48 and $54 million with no options
  28. Jacob Evans, Free Agent

    Evans was traded a couple of times before being waived by the New York Knicks before the 2020-21 season.
  29. Dzanan Musa, Free Agent

    Musa was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Detroit Pistons before being waived prior to the 2020-21 season. He played for Anadolu Efes in Turkey last season.
  30. Omari Spellman, Free Agent

    Like his former teammate Jacob Evans, Spellman was traded a couple of times and was waived by the New York Knicks early in the 2020-21 season.