Will any other members of the 2013 draft class join those two by the Oct. 31 deadline?
Most league insiders agree that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert remains the most likely candidate, of the 2013 first-rounders still on the board, to land an extension by month’s end.
Gobert is an excellent player who helps define the Jazz’s identity. At just 24, he should remain in peak form for the entirety of his next deal.
The difference between Gobert’s cap hold if not extended ($5,303,218) and starting salary in an extension (projected to be a max of about $24 million) might be the largest in NBA history. If the Jazz wait to ink Gobert, they could spend that $19 million-ish difference next offseason then use Gobert’s Bird Rights to exceed the cap while re-signing him.
If I were the Jazz, I’d need Gobert to sacrifice a large amount of money over the life of the extension to justify losing so much 2017 flexibility. And if I were Gobert, I’d want a full max or pretty close to it.
So, waiting makes a ton of sense.
But some players value security, and some teams value certainty. There’s room to reach a deal.
However, with a revised Collective Bargaining Agreement reportedly near completion, that could cool extension talks. Teams and players might want a clearer picture of just how everything will work. If the CBA isn’t done before the extension deadline, Utah and Gobert could always strike a deal. But I’d guess they’ll wait longer for CBA terms before jumping into an agreement now.