Contract Watch: Players who could still get extended

Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers

Contract Watch: Players who could still get extended

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Contract Watch: Players who could still get extended

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The trade deadline has passed and teams are now making final touches to their rosters. The playoff squads are courting buyout candidates. Others are also making investments for their rosters next season by converting two-way players to multi-year deals.

Though less common at this point in the seasons, teams can also extend veteran players that are on expiring contracts. The Minnesota Timberwolves recently extended Patrick Beverley to a one-year deal worth $13 million. Vets have recently trended to signing extensions and avoiding free agency, which is a leading cause of the lack of cap space in the upcoming offseason.

Here are several other extension-eligible players who could receive extensions before the season’s end. We used ProFitX to view what these players should be earning based on their level of play, and evaluate if they are in a position to earn such a raise with their current team.

Jusuf Nurkic (Portland)

Jusuf Nurkic 2021-22 ProFitX Contract Analysis

Jusuf Nurkic 2021-22 ProFitX Contract Analysis

Jusuf Nurkic is finally back to his pre-injury form this season. He is the lone veteran other than Damian Lillard who did not get traded in this month’s trade deadline. Both Nurkic and the Portland Trail Blazers have a mutual interest in a new deal during free agency, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. He is currently eligible for an extension worth up to four years, $64.5 million but he can get more in free agency. He could extend now on a short-term deal if he wants to secure some money and test a different free agency year. He could also extend for up to two years, $25.8 million if he wants to secure some money while also retaining his trade eligibility this offseason.

Robert Covington (LA Clippers)

Robert Covington 2021-22 ProFitX Contract Analysis

Robert Covington 2021-22 ProFitX Contract Analysis

Robert Covington had a lot of good fits on the trade market and the Clippers are one of the best for him. The Clips could theoretically go into next season sporting an all-wing rotation that includes Covington playing small ball five like with the Rockets two years ago. He is set to become a free agent but can be extended prior to the offseason for up to two years, $28 million. He could extend for up to this amount and still retain his trade eligibility during the offseason, which is key since the Clippers were reportedly open to flipping him after they acquired him.

Thaddeus Young (Toronto)

Thaddeus Young 2021-22 ProFitX Contract Analysis

Thaddeus Young 2021-22 ProFitX Contract Analysis

The Toronto Raptors moved down roughly 10 spots in this year’s draft to acquire Thaddeus Young. They needed someone productive in exchange for Goran Dragic, who was out of the rotation, and Young brings a lot of versatility to their frontcourt. He will become a free agent this offseason but it could make sense for the Raptors to extend him now. They are entering the offseason with just over $30 million in space below the luxury tax with 10 players. That’s more than enough to fill out the roster while utilizing the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception and bringing back Young to a contract in his current salary range.

Gary Harris (Orlando)

Gary Harris 2021-22 ProFitX Contract Analysis

Gary Harris 2021-22 ProFitX Contract Analysis

Gary Harris has been considered a buyout candidate due to his situation but it seems more likely he will finish the season in Orlando. He has a strong role and might even have a future there. He is currently extension-eligible but any deal will interfere with their near $30 million in cap space for the upcoming offseason. Still, if they can get him back at a reasonable rate, it might be worth extending them now and worrying about the cap space later.

Tyus Jones (Memphis)

Tyus Jones 2021-22 ProFitX Contract Analysis

Tyus Jones 2021-22 ProFitX Contract Analysis

The Memphis Grizzlies are a borderline cap space team but they’d likely have to get off a significant contract like Steven Adams for them to really be in the mix. If they plan on operating over the cap, they could look to extend some of their veterans now like Tyus Jones. He is having a career year and played a major part in keeping the Grizzlies afloat when Ja Morant was hurt.

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