The 2020 free-agent class has the chance to be the weakest we’ve seen in years. There just aren’t many big names on the market that summer.
For that reason, one Eastern Conference executive says Pascal Siakam, Jaylen Brown and Buddy Hield have an incentive to wait to sign a contract extension with their respective teams.
All three are eligible to sign rookie-scale extensions. If the three players don’t sign one with their teams before Oct. 21, they will become restricted free agents.
“You have to consider the market and free-agent class when making these decisions. For example, if you look at the market next summer, there are a few teams that will have cap space and there isn’t much of a free-agent class. There’s a big incentive for a lot of these guys [who are up for extensions] like Pascal Siakam, Jaylen Brown and Buddy Hield to wait because the 2020 free-agent class is pretty weak, so it’s possible that they could play their way into a max contract or near-max contract,” the exec told Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype.
“If Siakam waits and plays well, he could potentially be the top free agent available next summer. Brown is about to have an increased role in Boston, so the same thing applies for him; he could play his way into a max contract. They’d only need to win over one team with a lot of cap space. And, historically, when teams have cap space, they’ll spend it – even if the free-agent class is weak.”
Obviously, all three players are vital members of their franchises. But if these extensions fail to live up to their expectations, you could see one, or all of them, elect to hit the rather barren 2020 free-agent market instead, where one team is bound to be willing to break the bank.
Hield averaged 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Sacramento Kings last season. He will make $4.9 million in 2019-20 under his current deal.
Young star Jaylen Brown averaged 13.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists for the Boston Celtics. He will make roughly $6.5 million this season.
As for Siakam, he is looking for the max. He averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists for the Raptors last season, and will make just $2.4 million this season.
It will be interesting to see how things play out as the season progresses.