Justise Winslow, and Josh Richardson, got tidy presents with the new CBA. Per Ira Winderman,
For Winslow, a $400,000 boost next season and then a $1.1 million boost if the Heat choose to exercise their rookie-scale option on his 2018-19 salary.
"Oh, yeah, I knew about that," Winslow said with a smile, ...but don't tell anybody.”
"I mean, it's great. I mean, I'm doing the same amount of work and I'm getting a raise pretty much is how I look at it."
In the 2017-18 season, all players under a rookie scale contract from the past three drafts (2014, 2015 and 2016) will see their salary increase for that season by 15 percent.
In 2018-19, players still under rookie deals from the 2015 and 2016 drafts will see their salaries increase for that season by 30 percent.
Finally, in the 2019-20 season, players in the fourth and final year of their rookie contracts will see their salary that season increase by 45 percent.
The Designated Rookie rule allows teams to sign players finishing their rookie scale contracts to longer extensions, but does not provide for the higher maximum salary (up to 30% of the cap).
In fact, there are no performance criteria the player must meet to qualify for the Designated Rookie rule -- he just needs to be designated by his team to receive a longer extension.
However, a Designated Rookie must receive at least 25% of the cap.
Should the Heat sign Winslow to a 5 year/25% Designated Rookie extension, his salary would jump from $5 million to $25 million for one year to the next. Bottom line, Justise has a life-altering financial stake in raising his level of performance this season and the next. Trading him this summer could be a mistake.
With Winslow being mentioned as a sweetener in many trade scenarios, I would hate for him to have his career years with another team. He knows the stakes involved, so moving him this summer, while his value remains untapped, the Heat could be missing out on realizing the organic growth that Pat Riley envisioned for him.
If Winslow and Richardson can reach PER scores of 15 in this crucial season, a Miami Heat lineup of Goran Dragic/Tyler Johnson, Dion Waiters/Wayne Ellington, Winslow/Richardson, James Johnson/Kelly Olynyk, Hassan Whiteside/Bam Adebayo would reach a top 4 seed, if not higher.
Winslow and Richardson have matured enough to know they have to reach another level sooner rather than later, for their own futures. I hope the Miami Heat keep them as they achieve their potential.
The same dilemma presents itself to the Minnesota Timberwolves with Karl-Anthony Towns and the Phoenix Suns with Devin Booker, especially since can have 2 Designated Rookies. Once those players exit their rookie contracts, the teams face huge payroll decisions, because their prized personnel, if they demand top dollar, can take 50% of the franchise’s salary cap.
The Designated Player changes make the NBA teams even more “top heavy” than before, since 4 players alone can take up over 100% of the salary cap, just by themselves. The days of homegrown talent wearing the same uniform during their entire careers could be a quaint memory. Not only Miami, but its rivals won’t find it easy to keep their championship teams together, without players willing to take less than the maximum allowed.