The NBA only contains five players on their “supermax” contract: Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry, Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard, Washington Wizards Russell Westbrook, and Houston Rockets James Harden and John Wall.
However, a seventh NBA star is seeking a similar extension. On Wednesday, it was reported that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert declined a standard maximum extension in hopes of receiving a supermax extension that would pay more than $250 million across five seasons.
However, this could be a decision that haunts both sides moving forward.
The contract Gobert is seeking would pay him roughly $50 million from ages 30-34. While there is room for negotiation, the lowest number he could accept for a designated-veteran-player extension would be $155 million. The difference between a standard maximum extension and the supermax is a 5% difference in salary cap (30% to 35%).
There is no doubt that Gobert is a star in today’s NBA: He has been named as an four-time All-Defense and three-time All-NBA talent, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and an All-Star.
Still, there is a chance that the Jazz don’t want to force themselves to take that kind of cap hit. If that’s the case, then they’re losing out on a player with the third-most defensive win shares (4.2) and fifth-most total win shares (10.7) last season.
At this time, the Jazz rank 22nd in the NBA in available cap space. Committing to Gobert on a supermax would result in their confidence that they can win an NBA Championship with Donovan Mitchell and Gobert as the nucleus of the team.