The NBA’s rookie scale extension deadline came and went on Monday evening at 6 p.m. ET, and a number of players from the 2018 Draft class cashed in. Max deals were handed out this offseason to Trae Young, Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Michael Porter Jr., with others like Mikal Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr. landing major deals as well.

There were some notable names that didn’t get extensions, most surprising being Deandre Ayton, along with Collin Sexton not coming to terms with a deal in Cleveland. Still, there were some others who were able to get a deal done before the deadline on non-max level contracts, which isn’t always the easiest thing to workout. Non-max rookie deals require the team and player to be seeing eye-to-eye on value, something that’s rare for a player entering their fourth season in the league who isn’t viewed as a max player by both parties.

Three players worked out deals in the final hour that will bolster the rosters of a trio of playoff contenders this season.

Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks: 4 years, $65 million

Huerter’s emergence in the postseason for the Hawks was a major catalyst for their run to the conference finals, and he was rewarded with a $65 million deal. For the Hawks, it ensures that they lock up another core piece long-term after already doling out extensions or new deals to Trae Young, John Collins, and Clint Capela this offseason.

Huerter averaged 11.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game last regular season, and came up big in key moments for the Hawks in their playoff run. With him, De’Andre Hunter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic on the roster, the next very interesting decision for Atlanta will be the future of Cam Reddish, who could end up as the odd man out on the wing eventually.

Landry Shamet, Phoenix Suns: 4 years, $43 million

Everyone but Ayton got paid in Phoenix, and that will only fuel the drama around the Suns big man heading into the season. After trading for Shamet this offseason, they clearly wanted to lock him up long-term, handing out a near $11 million per year deal for the sharpshooter who has some very real questions about playoff viability after the way his tenure in Brooklyn ended. That said, Monty Williams is a big fan having coached him for a year in Philly as a rookie, and it’s clear Phoenix sees him as a rotation piece for a hopeful title contender.

Grayson Allen, Milwaukee Bucks: 2 years, $20 million

A similar deal to Shamet’s, just with two fewer years, the Bucks lock Allen in for the next three years after dealing for him this offseason.

Allen has become a quality 3-and-D wing, and for a team that wants to bolster its depth in that area, it makes sense to bring him in and sign him up long-term. How much Allen helps comes playoff time remains to be seen as rotations shorten, but there’s value in having players who can bring regular season depth even for contenders. On top of that, the Bucks learned last year that having additional help on the wing is never a bad thing after having to make their title run without Donte DiVincenzo.


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