labour Uncertainty Means NBA Stars Aren't Getting Contracts Extensions

NBA Memphis Grizzlies

Photo: AP

The uncertain economic future of the NBA has some players determined to get contract extensions done now, rather than waiting until next summer. The problem is that NBA teams are in no hurry to comply.Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies currently makes $17.3 million and is coming off arguably the best season of his career.  He’s even been well behaved for Memphis, so normally this would seem like a very logical time to discuss a contract extension that Randolph wants and deserves.  But there have been no indications that Memphis is interested in negotiating with Randolph at this juncture.

Why? Because no one knows what’s going to happen when the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after this season. The NBA has publicly stated that it wants to reduce player salaries by one-third, and of course, the players are quite happy with the exorbitant wages they receive right now. 

Memphis might well want to keep Randolph, but if there are going to be league-wide salary rollbacks in the next CBA, it makes little sense for the Grizzlies to negotiate with Randolph now when they could be in a position to re-sign him at a much cheaper cost in just a few months.

Randolph isn’t the only guy stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Only five 2007 first-round draft picks signed contract extensions with their teams by the November 1 deadline, a record low. 

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