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Which other 2013 NBA Draft class members will join C.J. McCollum with contract extensions?

C.J. McCollum became the first player from the 2013 NBA Draft class to sign a contract extension. Which players will follow him? And how will the impending end of the current CBA affect those negotiations?

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the most promising player of a weak 2013 draft class. Will he be a max player soon? Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Last week, C.J. McCollum became the first eligible player from the 2013 NBA Draft to ink an early extension. He won’t be the last. McCollum signed a deal pretty close to his individual player maximum, and is on deck to earn $106 million over four years once his rookie deal expires in 2017. Given that McCollum went No. 10 in the 2013 draft, his new deal shows that a) the Blazers did an excellent job in selecting him and b) McCollum himself did a great job showing his worth.

As it turns out, the other 2013 draft picks looking at massive extensions this summer were also drafted in the low lottery or beyond. That was the year of the infamous Anthony Bennett pick. While a few of the players in the top half of the lottery still have promising NBA futures, there’s unlikely to be another max extension among them.

There is also one huge fly in the ointment for the group of eligible players as a whole: no one knows what the next NBA labor deal is going to look like. Players and the league are currently negotiating a new CBA, with a potential work stoppage on the horizon in 2017. Players and their agents might wonder if the individual max might go away in the next deal. Teams might wonder if salary restrictions (at the team or individual level) will get even tighter. That uncertainty can breed inaction.

Or, the opposite could happen. Players and agents could fear greater restriction in the next labor deal and look to cash in now, and teams could fear greater freedom and act now while restrictions are in place. You never know how interested parties will react to uncertainty until they react.

With that in mind, here’s a brief breakdown of the other eligible players looking at paydays of varying sizes.


Giannis Antetokounmpo: The Greek Freak is pretty clearly the best player from the 2013 draft. If McCollum is getting a max based primarily off one excellent season, Giannis is definitely in line to cash in. The Bucks seem fully invested in Antetokounmpo; the only thing that could prevent a deal, really, is if Giannis’ camp thinks holding off for a new labor deal might be particularly lucrative. That’s unlikely.

Rudy Gobert: Gobert has a less strong case than Antetokounmpo, but it’s still a pretty darn good argument. The Stifle Tower is an excellent defender and he’s really mobile. He and Derrick Favors have proven that they can lead an elite defense together, and Gobert’s touch is promising enough that Utah doesn’t have to worry about compatibility or scoring punch as much as you’d think. Gordon Hayward is a free agent in 2017, so it would be advantageous to Utah to lock up Gobert in advance to limit the drama next summer. However, it’s plausible that the Jazz could try to convince the Frenchman to take a discount to help the team build more guard depth.


Steven Adams: Is Steven "Steve" Adams a max player? The definition of what is a max player is pretty convoluted at this point, especially on a team where Enes Kanter is a max player. The easy part of the Adams situation is that the team should keep him long-term whether Russell Westbrook stays or goes. The hard part is finding common ground on salary.

Victor Oladipo: I am skeptical Oladipo gets an early extension precisely because of the uncertainty in Oklahoma City and the uncertainty about Oladipo’s potential. Thunder GM Sam Presti can’t know for sure how Dipo will mesh with Westbrook should RW commit long-term; likewise, Presti can’t know how a Thunder team centered around Oladipo, Adams, Kanter and whoever comes back in a Westbrook deal will perform. It’s hard to commit when there’s that much uncertainty ... unless you’re getting a big discount. After the way this summer played out, I’m not convinced Oladipo is prepared to take a discount for a team he’s just joined.

André Roberson: Man, he was pretty darn good for like half of the Warriors series! Oladipo’s presence complicates Roberson’s future immensely, to say the least.


Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: Other than Giannis and Gobert, the most likely early extension seems to be the Pistons’ shutdown guard. A $100 million max extension seems out of reach, but odds are KCP gets a big number after negotiations. That said, Stan Van Gundy let Andre Drummond hit restricted free agency before retaining him. The Pistons may prefer flexibility in 2017 over locking up KCP early.

Dennis Schroder: The Hawks already committed to Schroder by trading Jeff Teague and elevating the German point guard to de facto starter status. Now we see whether Atlanta commits financially this summer as well, or waits to see how the team performs before inking up. Schroder will be 23 this season, he has a lot still to prove and might be willing to bet on himself if the Hawks don’t come in with a big early offer.


Nerlens Noel: The Sixers are less of a black box since the Colangelos took the reins, but their frontcourt remains totally unresolved. Jahlil Okafor appears to be the odd man out, but with shot-blocking Joel Embiid getting healthy, is Noel the right long-term fit? It’s hard to imagine the Sixers finding enough faith in anyone or anything to start committing to players like Noel at this stage. Odds are Noel reaches restricted free agency in a year.


Alex Len: Len has shown promise, but his production doesn’t warrant a huge capital outlay at this point. That, however, gives the Suns an opportunity to ink him up at a big discount if his camp is equally unsure as to his potential. We’ve seen these sorts of deals in the recent past (like Jonas Valanciunas in Toronto), and they usually work out. That said, Phoenix is in a weird fugue state so who knows?


Otto Porter: Why isn’t Otto Porter a Discount Special? Because he’s one of those Georgetown dudes represented by David Falk, and David Falk clients don’t offer discounts until there’s no other option because their hands have been overplayed. Ask the Pistons about Falk client Greg Monroe, or the Clippers about Falk client Jeff Green.


Other players like Shabazz Muhammad, Cody Zeller, Gorgui Dieng and Kelly Olynyk could get nice extensions depending on how their teams see 2017 going. But there are a few eligible players who have basically no shot at an early extensions for certain reasons.

Ben McLemore: He’s underwhelmed over three years and the Kings have been unsuccessful in trade attempts. What a strange career he’s having.

Tony Snell: There’s just no conceivable way the Bulls lock up Snell. It’s a minor miracle he’s still on the team. Wait ... he’s still on the team, right?

And finally ...

Michael Carter-Williams: The Bucks are replacing MCW as point guard with Giannis, if you’re wondering whether the shine has worn off on this class’ Rookie of the Year. Let this be a lesson to all future trophy winners: individual awards mean nothing. (Also, practice shooting more often.)