HereThe Detroit Pistons and the fourth-year shooting guard have until Oct. 31 to agree to a contract extension, but when you consider all the factors, it appears unlikely Caldwell-Pope and the Pistons will reach an agreement, meaning Caldwell-Pope will be a restricted free agent next off-season.
A quick look at rookie extensions shows how the market has changed. Allen Crabbe, who will come off the Portland Trail Blazers bench this season, signed a four-year, $75-million offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets. The Blazers matched the offer.
The Crabbe signing is noteworthy because Caldwell-Pope, despite a spotty shooting reputation, has established himself as a solid starter.
So Crabbe’s deal likely is a starting point for any negotiations.
There was gossip over the summer that it would take a deal worth north of $20 million per year to get Caldwell-Pope’s signature. But the Pistons’ payroll is burgeoning, and owner Tom Gores likely will face a luxury-tax bill for being over the NBA’s tax line.
So Caldwell-Pope and agents Rich Paul and Mark Termini are in the position of trying to ensure that no money is being left on the table. The trend has been for more players to wait until restricted free agency status to resolve contract issues.
Caldwell-Pope can wait and gauge interest next summer, maybe even sign an offer sheet, giving the Pistons 72 hours to decide whether to make the financial commitment.
I can't help but wonder which of our two parties is less interested in signing a rookie-contract extension:
Dennis, because he's betting on himself and wants a better contract offer.
or the Hawks front office, willing to gamble a bit--in hopes of seeing DS in a starting role-- and in hopes of preserving cap space for next summer.