The deadline for restricted free agents to receive extensions passed, and both Byron Mullens and Gerald Henderson went without new deals. It doesn’t go as a shocker. The Bobcats are probably playing the safe route and want to see how their players mix with Mike Dunlap going forward.
Mullens was impressive last year after being acquired by Oklahoma City, while Henderson has shown improvements season by season since being drafted. If both players have good seasons, they could be extended next summer in restricted free agency. The other option is a trade during the season, depending on where the Bobcats are at record-wise, and how the personel mixes this season. Pairing one of the players with an expiring like DeSagana Diop could bring something decent.
Around the league, players like Ty Lawson, Stephen Curry, Demar DeRozan and Taj Gibson all received lucrative four-year extensions. The most was given to Lawson at $48 million. I don’t think Mullens or Henderson could grab anywhere near that on the open market, even with a jump in their game.
Henderson could receive a deal similar to the four-year, $22 million contract signed by Courtney Lee from Boston. Mullens is a little tough to predict. If he makes a jump in his game, as a 23-year-old big man, developing as a stretch shooter, he could grab somewhere in the $30million range.
It’s another storyline to watch for this season, but it shouldn’t be a distraction. With or without an extension, there was going to be a lot on the shoulders of both Mullens and Henderson coming into this season.