Paul George is expected to sign a five-year maximum contract extension with the Indiana Pacers this week, making him the Pacers' one "Designated Player." The deal could be worth over $90 million, but George will have to meet a performance benchmark to get there. Otherwise, his contract will be worth the same as John Wall's new deal, which is about $80 million.
George is eligible to make over $90 million thanks to the so-called "Derrick Rose Rule," which is different than the Designated Player rule. The Designated Player rule states that a team can extend only one rookie contract for five years. That player can also become eligible for the Rose rule by meeting a certain requirement.
Normally for rookie scale maximum extensions, the first year of the new deal is based on 25 percent of the salary cap. But under the Rose rule, the first year can be up to 30 percent of the cap if at least one of the following benchmarks is reached:
- Named to the All-NBA First, Second or Third team at least twice
- Voted as a starter in the All-Star Game at least twice
- Named the NBA Most Valuable Player at least once
George was named to the All-NBA Third-Team last season, so if he makes another All-NBA team this upcoming year, he will qualify for that increased salary. George could also qualify with an MVP, which is how Rose earned his bigger deal. The exact amount of that increase wouldn't be known until the salary cap numbers for the 2014-15 season are released.
It should also be noted that a player can be a team's Designated Player but also agree to not be eligible for the Rose rule. Russell Westbrook did this with the Oklahoma City Thunder. But clearly George has agreed to be eligible for the salary bump.