Here is a quick analysis of the flurry of extensions that were handed out (and some that were not) Halloween night before the league's deadline.
-James Harden, HOU (5 years, $78.8 million) – It was a no-brainer before he signed the deal and looks like even more of one now that he signed it. Harden rewarded the Rockets’ faith in him as a max-player by torching the Detroit Pistons for 38 points, 12 assists, six rebounds and four steals.
-Stephen Curry, GSW (4 years, $44 million) – Yes, his ankles might be made of twigs, but he is a point guard you can build around, especially on offense. His work as a playmaker has improved every year he has been in the league. A full year with wings like Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Brandon Rush should help his assist numbers.
-Jrue Holiday, PHI (4 years, $41 million) – So much for the max contract he was rumored to be asking for all offseason. Holiday has a lot of potential and this deal could become a steal if he has breakout year the way many are predicting. The best part about Holiday, Curry and Ty Lawson (who signed a 4 year, $48 million extension earlier this week) is that these are also very fair, movable contracts should each team decide to move in a different direction.
-DeMar DeRozan, TOR (4 years, $40 million) – It is the most puzzling extension of this season. Extending DeRozan and believing in his potential is understandable, but the Raptors severely overpaid when they did not have to. Barring a huge step up this season, DeRozan was not getting $10 million a year from any other team next summer and even if he was the Raptors could have matched. This also means the Raptors committed $60 million to Landry Fields and DeMarr DeRozan in a matter of months. Let that sink in for a little bit.
-Taj Gibson, CHI (4 years, $38 million) – Possibly the fairest deal of the extension deadline. The Bulls need Gibson’s defense, rebounding and intangibles. He is the perfect fit for what Tom Thibodeau is trying to do. This does mean the Bulls are committed to about $36 million a year for three frontcourt players for the next few years. So long Carlos Boozer next summer?
Restricted Free Agents next summer:
-Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings – Both the Kings and Bucks wisely opted against extending Evans and Jennings. Their market is a bit of a mystery and it is unclear if either player fits in to what both teams are trying to do. Having said that, if either has a great season, the deals Curry, Holiday and DeRozan signed pretty much set the bar for what we can expect Evans and Jennings to get offered next summer.