C.J. McCollum got his — four years, $106 million.
The 2013 NBA draft class can get extensions between now and the Oct. 31 deadline. But this is a class that may not see a lot of them. One reason: Many of the top players — No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett, No. 3 pick Otto Porter, No. 4 pick Cody Zeller, and on down the list— haven’t actually earned the kind of “we have to lock them up now and pay the man” extensions generally given out at this point. The other issue: There will be a different Collective Bargaining Agreement in place next summer, and that leads to uncertainty for teams (and players).
But here are five guys that should join McCollum on the list of guys getting extended and paid.
1) Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks. Considered a roll of the dice at the time, he has turned out to be the best player out of this draft class (that success may have encouraged the Bucks to draft Thon Maker so high in the 2016 draft). He is the point-forward the Bucks will entrust the ball to next season. He is their most gifted player and the cornerstone on which Milwaukee is building its future — a future that includes a new arena in downtown the team needs to fill in a few years. Antetokounmpo will help sell tickets there. The Greek Freak averaged 16.9 points per game on 50.6 percent shooting last season, with 7.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists a night as well. This clearly is a guy that gets locked up with a max extension, and he is going to accept it. The deal will get done.
2) Victor Oladipo, Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder just traded for him, and whether Russell Westbrook stays or goes Oladipo — the No. 2 pick in 2013 — looks like a key part of the Thunder’s future. Which traditionally means they would and should lock him up. Right now, everything in OKC is on hold until Westbrook tells the team his plans, but after that happens the Thunder should try to lock Oladipo down. That said, with all the uncertainty around the team, they may want to wait and let him become a restricted free agent next summer, where other teams would try to poach him.
3) Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz.Utah is one of the teams on the rise in the West (along with Minnesota) and that bright future is largely built around a defense anchored by Gobert. He is one of the best defensive bigs in the game, a future Defensive Player of the Year, with an improving offensive game. Again, the organization has questions to face heading into next summer — starting with can they keep Gordon Hayward? — and they have to figure out just how much they can win with Gobert and Derrick Favors paired up front (do they have enough floor spacing?). But whatever the answers to those questions, locking up a defensive anchor big with a huge contract seems a no brainer.
4) Dennis Schroder, Atlanta Hawks. When the Hawks traded Jeff Teague they played their hand here — Schroder is now the point guard of the present and future in Atlanta, and they are banking on his continued development to be a key part of their future. Which means they probably lock up the 23-year-old German with an extension. However, if they want to hesitate because they are not sure they can let him go to restricted free agency next summer and let the market set his price.
5) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit Pistons. Stan Van Gundy has put together a core of young players he likes in Detroit and Caldwell-Pope is part of that. He’s a good defender who needs to become more efficient on offense (although he did average 14.5 points per game last season). This would not be a max extension, but the two sides should be able to find a number they like. That said, Van Gundy may prefer to wait on a deal to keep a little more flexibility next summer.
Others to watch: Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder (they want to keep him, but likely don’t pay to extend him to keep their flexibility); Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia 76ers; Alex Len, Phoenix Suns; Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City Thunder (not likely but possible).