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Sport Robert Covington's contract extension could be key to Sixers' future

19:02  03 november  2017
19:02  03 november  2017 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Robert Covington doesn't bring as much excitement as Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons, but the structure of his contract extension could greatly impact the state of the franchise moving forward.

Robert covington ' s contract extension could be key to sixers ' future

While NBA teams have been able to renegotiate and extend contracts for a while, Russell Westbrook and James Harden are the faces of a new resurgence that coincided with the 2016 salary cap jump. Robert Covington should be the next key player to renegotiate and extend his contract, but the example to look to is Westbrook and Harden’s Thunder teammate Nick Collison.

Back in 2010, Sam Presti and Oklahoma City had an unusual situation because the Thunder possessed both cap space and a slew of talented rising stars still getting paid on bargain basement rookie scale deals. They knew eventually those players would get paid (one in Houston, but that story is for a different day), so the best way to spend that temporarily available space was in a way that had short-term costs and long-term benefits.

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Robert Covington doesn't bring as much excitement as Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons, but the structure of his contract extension could greatly impact the state of the franchise moving forward.

Robert Covington doesn't bring as much excitement as Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons, but the structure of his contract extension could greatly impact the state of the franchise moving forward.

MORE: Which teams could have big cap space in 2018?

What Presti and the Thunder did was give Collison a $6.5 million bump for the 2010-11 season and extended his contract for an additional $11 million and four years, adding four seasons and $17.5 million, but putting more than one-third of that money on the 2010-11 books.

The Sixers have a similar situation with about $15 million in salary cap space for this season and a desire to minimize their expenses for when Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz and their other young talent receive their own raises off rookie scale contracts. Collison’s 2010 contract inspired changes in the ensuing Collective Bargaining Agreement, but the Sixers front office can still follow that basic idea later this year.

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Robert Covington doesn't bring as much excitement as Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons, but the structure of his contract extension could greatly impact the state of the franchise moving forward. MORE: Sixers decline option on Okafor, but trade could be coming.

The Sixers and Robert Covington have agreed to a four-year extension worth million On this deal, he’ s a bargain for Philly, which could have nearly million in cap space available next season, according to Woj. Don’t freak over Jimmy Butler declining the Wolves’ contract extension yet.

Under the current rules, a renegotiated and extended player can have a 40 percent drop in their salary from the final renegotiated year to the first new season of the extension, which would be 2018-19 in this case. That means bumping Covington’s current salary all the way from $1,577,230 to $16,698,103 (the maximum allowed using Philadelphia’s current cap space) could open the door for a $10.02 million starting salary in 2018-19 and an overall four additional years and $50.4 million — $15.1 million added this season and $35.3 million in the four new seasons.

Of course, that is only the minimum contract value of a renegotiation and extension using this approach. Covington could say he wants more than $50 million in new commitments since that would be the same as a $12.6 million annual salary on the open market next summer, and he could make meaningfully more than that as a talented defender who can shoot 3-pointers (48.2 percent from deep through eight games this season).

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Robert Covington ' s contract extension could be key to Sixers ' future - Продолжительность: 8:39 US Sports News 11 просмотров. 76ers, robert covington finalizing 4-year contract extension , report says - Продолжительность: 1:07 Breaking News Sports 24 просмотра.

Report: Robert Covington , 76ers Finalizing Four-Year, Million Contract Extension . The Sixers and Robert Covington are reportedly finalizing a deal for million. According to Wojnarowski, the deal could be signed by the end of the week.

If the front office agrees, the Sixers could keep the 2017-18 component the same and simply add more money in future seasons, though that either reduces their summer of 2018 salary cap space, increases their eventual luxury tax bills or both. Depending on their motivations, they could follow the above structure and have the later years decline in salary, or have them increase to maximize 2018 cap space but make future seasons more expensive.

MORE: Sixers decline option on Okafor, but trade could be coming

The Sixers have something strong in their corner, too: security. While Covington would be an unrestricted free agent next summer and thus not artificially limited by the restricted system, there are simply not that many teams with significant money to spend in 2018.

On top of that, Covington has made less than $5 million in his career so far, and this deal would lock in truly life-changing money more than seven months in advance. He does not need to look far to see how quickly injuries can change a player’s financial prospects.

One significant factor in contract structure for those future seasons is how Philadelphia sees its 2018 cap space. Agreeing to a max extension with Embiid moves his cap hold from $18.3 million to a projected $25.3 million, trimming $7 million off the Sixers' July spending power. A new agreement with Covington would push his hold from about $1.5 million to that new number, meaning another $8.5 million reduction to the Sixers’ 2018 flexibility.

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The front office’s recent decision to decline Jahlil Okafor’s $6.3 million option made clearing space a little easier, but Philadelphia will need to decline to make Nik Stauskas a qualifying offer to make the most of its opportunities, especially since 2018 draft picks will eventually take a chunk out of their space. The Sixers will not know exactly how big a chunk until draft lottery night in May.

a man standing in front of a crowd: Sixers forward Robert Covington © (Getty Images) Sixers forward Robert Covington

Still, that eventual amount around $20-25 million should be enough for Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green or whomever else management prioritizes in free agency.

There could certainly be some potential negotiation that still needs to happen, but a significant reason a Covington renegotiation and extension has not happened yet is timing. Covington signed his current contract later in 2014 (Nov. 15th), so the third anniversary of the signing has not happened yet, and even if a deal is agreed to already, it cannot happen before then. That raises the possibility or even likelihood that both sides know what will happen and are simply biding time.

While Covington does not generate the excitement of Embiid, Simmons or Fultz, the Sixers front office could solidify their future with some creative accounting while still maintaining enough flexibility for another big difference-maker in free agency next summer.

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