As the summer of money for the Draft Class of 2004 winds down, only three members of the 2005 class have received extensions so far:
- #1 pick Andrew Bogut got $60 million over 5 years from the Bucks (plus $12 million in potential incentives)
- Deron Williams and Chris Paul both got max deals for 4yrs with player options for both (about $64 million right now, but could change with annual cap calculations).
McHale and Co. have until October 31st (essentially two months from now) to sign Shad, or else he'll become a restricted free agent after this season. Until that date, the Wolves can add up to 5 years onto his deal and up to the max in amount (about $15.4 million for Shad next year). As always, see Larry Coon's FAQ for more detail.
Shad's obviously not a max player and the extensions given thus far don't provide a basis for comparison with what Shad could reasonably expect. He's in the same position most 1st round picks find themselves in at the end of their scale contract: cash in early for security, or hold off and bet you're market rate will go up.
While his perimeter scoring is something the Wolves have needed the past few seasons, with Mike Miller on board and a presumably healthy Foye in the backcourt, McCants may find his scoring role diminished in comparison to last year. Given his high self-confidence, however, I fully expect Shad to hold off for free agency next year.
But what does that mean for the team's overall cap situation? If McCants got a deal slightly above the MLE at about ~$6 million per year, that would put a noticeable crimp in any free agency plans being laid out for '09 or '10. Not to mention that Randy Foye will be up for a pay raise for 2010.
The Wolves may end up having to choose between Shad or a free agent. Shad's a quality player, but my gut (been wrong before) tells me that the Wolves would rather get a shot at a free agent than sinking $6 to 8 million per year into Shad.