As we explain in our glossary entry on veteran contract extensions, rookie scale extensions have historically been the most common form of contract extension in the NBA. However, the league’s latest Collective Bargaining Agreement loosened the rules on eligibility for veteran extensions and made them more financially advantageous, especially for players who don’t expect mega-deals.
As a result, we’ve seen a substantial bump in veteran contract extensions in recent seasons. Since the 2021/22 league year began, 14 players have signed them.
For certain extension-eligible players, such as Zach LaVine, it still makes sense to wait until free agency to sign a new contract — the biggest raise LaVine can receive on an extension would be far less than the maximum contract he’d be eligible to earn on the open market.
The maximum starting salary a player like LaVine can receive in a veteran extension is up to 120% of his current salary. A player on a more modest contract can receive a maximum starting salary worth up to 120% of the NBA’s estimated average salary.