The deadline for NBA teams to get extensions done with players from the 2018 draft class was yesterday, October 18, and while we saw a lot of teams agree to new long-term deals with some of their key talents, other teams in the league were not as successful in negotiations.
Those that did not agree to a new long-term deal will now become restricted free agents at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
Being a restricted free agent is not necessarily a bad thing for the player and from the team’s perspective, they still own the rights to the player since they can match any offers given to said player, but they are still free agents and any team in the league can sign them to an offer sheet.
For some teams, this could be a little bit too much to handle, especially with big market teams being slightly more appealing than a vast majority of the league.
From the 2018 draft class, Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Michael Porter Jr. all agreed to long-term extensions earlier in the offseason, and yesterday, Jaren Jackson Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., Landry Shamet, and Mikal Bridges were all able to get deals done with their respective teams.
All of these guys listed above are now under contract long-term in their current situations, but some other top-tier players from the 2018 NBA Draft remain without long-term security.
As a result, the following three teams could eventually look back at the contract extension deadline and regret not making any moves.
Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton
The Phoenix Suns are coming off a season in which they won the Western Conference and they were able to strike long-term deals with Mikal Bridges and new addition Landry Shamet, but they were unable to reach an agreement with 2018’s No. 1 overall pick, Deandre Ayton.
Since joining the Suns ahead of the 2018-19 season, Deandre Ayton has improved every year he has been on the court and this past season, he really took the next step in his career during the playoffs.