A lot of jargon is thrown around during NBA offseasons, including the term max contract. Last summer, there was a debate about whether the New York Knicks should sign RJ Barrett to a max deal worth a projected $185 million over five years.
Ultimately, the Knicks signed Barrett to a four-year extension worth up to $120 million. It will kick in at the start of the 2023-24 season, and the 23-year-old isn’t set to enter free agency until 2027.
So, what is a max contract?
What is a max contract in the NBA?
Outside of a supermax contract, a max contract is the most money an organization can spend on a player.
Teams can offer 25% of their salary cap to players in the league for six or less years. That number increases to 30% for players in the NBA for seven to nine years and 35% for players in the league for 10+ years.
Do the Knicks have a max contract player on their roster?
If the Knicks had signed Kevin Durant in 2019 free agency and he had remained on the team to this point, he would’ve been the only player on the roster on a max contract. Once Durant agreed to sign with the Nets, there was a rumor floating around that the Knicks weren’t willing to sign KD to a max, which he said he didn’t believe.
New York doesn’t have a max contract player on the roster and is coming off a fifth-place finish in the East, which speaks to how successful the front office has been. The Leon Rose regime has been smart financially, which wasn’t typical of Knicks front offices in the past.