Derrick Rose

Draft class of ’08 not getting many contract extensions


Pop quiz: How many players out of the 2008 NBA draft have gotten the early extensions to their rookie deals as of now?

Answer: One. Derrick Rose.

That could change a little over the next 10 days — Jan. 25 is the deadline to do an early extension — but only a little.

As David Aldridge points out at, the trend in recent seasons of few rookies getting early extensions to their max deals remains.

At the moment, only a handful of players — Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Denver’s Danilo Gallinari and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook — are even in the hunt to get deals, though several players’ agents are engaged, or will soon engage, in conversations with their respective teams. But so far, no one’s betting on the come for an Eric Gordon, or a Roy Hibbert, or a JaVale McGee. There’s always someone that gets a deal below the radar, as when Phoenix’s Jared Dudley got a five-year, $22.5 million extension last year….

Last year, only five of the 30 first-round picks in the 2007 class got extensions: Kevin Durant (five years, $85 million), Atlanta center Al Horford (five years, $60 million), Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (five years, $40 million) Bulls center Joakim Noah (five years, $60 million) and Dudley. That was one fewer extension than the 2006 class…

“No one wants to set the market,” a team executive texted Sunday night. “They would rather wait and try and let the guy get a deal and match. Also make sure the guy doesn’t get hurt.”

Teams are being cautious, the lockout is part of that but teams should be careful. How many players out of the first 30 in 2008 would you really want to lock in long term? Rose for sure, and I would say Love and Westbrook should get deals as well. I’d give Danilo Gallinari a deal if I thought the price were fair, same with Nicolas Batum, Serge Ibaka, O.j. Mayo and Hibbert. But after that? No way J.J. Hickson or Brook Lopez or Brandon Rush get locked up — give them a qualifying offer so you can match anything from another team, but why over commit?

A few more will come in the next few days, but that don’t expect to see many.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.