Bobby Marks of ESPN:
Duke PF Vernon Carey, Jr. — the 32nd pick in the draft — is signing a four-year deal with the Charlotte Hornets, sources tell ESPN.
The contract is expected to have the most guaranteed money among second round picks in the 2020 draft class.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 30, 2020
Carey’s minimum salaries on a four-year deal:
- 2020-21: $898,310
- 2021-22: $1,517,981
- 2022-23: $1,782,621
- 2023-24: $1,930,681
- Total $6,129,593
So, a fully guaranteed four-year minimum contract would have more guaranteed money that Tillman’s. More likely: Carey’s contract, like Tillman’s, contains a team option/non-guarantee for the fourth season and has a higher salary in the first year. Tillman will reportedly get $1.3 million this season. Carey could get slightly more. Charlotte has the cap space after stretching Nicolas Batum, even with adding Gordon Hayward.
Carey is effectively betting against himself. Rather than risk a short-term deal that allows him to hit free agency and seek a big raise, he’s locking in as long as possible for relatively cheap. In exchange, he’ll get more money guaranteed.
For an old-school center in an NBA that has a surplus of such players, its not the worst strategy.