Making it in the NBA is one of the hardest things you can ever achieve, so trying to be in the right spot at the right time for you may be crucial to get paid big time, even if that doesn’t translate into a good NBA career.
That’s one of the main reasons why players often have the best season of their career right before becoming a free agent. Afterward, most of them tend to fall and their performances take a huge toll as motivation also trends down.
Some players decide to bet on themselves and decline to sign extensions in order to get more money, a bet that doesn’t always pays off. On the other hand, there are times when teams know those players are good, but that will be overpaid and aren’t just worthy of that kind of money. Today, we’re going to let you know about 5 young men that are in that kind of position, and that won’t be signing an extension this season.
5. Cameron Payne - Qualifying Offer: $4,539,242
Cameron Payne entered the league with a lot of praise as a young man with a lot of upside in the offensive end, despite the fact that he didn’t attend a major program in college and wasn’t forced to compete against top-tier players.
So, over the course of his young career, he’s failed to take a step forward and prove his doubters wrong, let alone the fact that he’s been extremely injury prone. That being said, the only way he gets an extension would be by averaging at least 15 points and 7 dimes a game.
4. Emmanuel Mudiay - Qualifying Offer: $5,758,897
Emmanuel Mudiay is one of the biggest busts of this decade, and he proved that skipping college basketball to go pro isn’t always a worthy gamble. Despite his upside, he’s failed to improve in almost every aspect of his game, still looking raw, unaware and with no confidence whatsoever.
Coach Fizdale has already stated that he plans to bring the best out of Mudiay, but with the Knicks and their logjam at the point guard spot, plus their plans to land top-notch free agents in 2019, they’re not likely to offer him much money.
3. Kelly Oubre Jr - Qualifying Offer: $4,485,665
Despite being one of the most intriguing talents of his class, Kelly Oubre Jr has yet to establish himself as a solid option for the Washington Wizards, mostly thanks to Otto Porter Jr’s surprising surge as one of the league’s best off-ball shooters.
Oubre and the Wizards aren’t likely to get a deal done any time soon, even despite the fact that Coach Brooks stated that he wants to play smaller this season and that would open the door for more playing time for “Wave Papi”. Still, he’s likely to walk away as the Wizards don’t want to overpay for him.
2. Terry Rozier - Qualifying Offer: $4,285,797
Terry Rozier was one of the main reasons why the Boston Celtics pulled off such an amazing playoff run last season without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, as he really stepped up in the offensive end of the floor and even locked down Eric Bledsoe on defense as well.
Even so, we all know he’s unlikely to maintain such kind of performances and with his desire to start, plus the fact that Boston needs to save money in order to extend Kyrie Irving and keep their core together, Rozier is a lock to leave the team at the end of the season.
1. D’Angelo Russell - Qualifying Offer: $9,160,705
This one is a crucial year for D’Angelo Russell and he knows it, so he’s likely to ball his heart out in order to get a huge contract, even if it’s not with the Brooklyn Nets, who are likely to save cash in order to make a run at Kawhi, Butler or Klay Thompson next season.
Russell is a hell of a scorer and is still pretty young, so handing him an extension wouldn’t be the dumbest move in the world. Still, with his injury history and the lack of improvement he’s shown, the Nets are likely to just wait and see how the situation unveils further.