Reigning Superbowl MVP Patrick Mahomes just inked a 10-year contract extension. Do the San Antonio Spurs have any players worth locking in for a decade?
There’s not a comparable modern-day NBA player to Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In his first season as a starter, Mahomes threw for 5,097 passing yards and 50 touchdowns en route to an NFL MVP trophy before winning a Superbowl in his second season. The only NBA player to have such success early in his career is San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan.
If the Spurs had the chance, I’m sure they’d sign Duncan to a 10-year contract like the Chiefs did effective yesterday. This deal made Mahomes the highest-paid NFL player in history with a 10-year deal worth $503 million. Contracts with massive durations like this don’t make sense often as injuries and circumstances often change the projected of a team or player. However, ensuring that Mahomes remains in Kansas City until he’s 34 is a no-brainer for the reigning champions.
This made me wonder: Are there any San Antonio Spurs players who’d be worth locking in for 10 years? This isn’t a playoff team right now, which transforms the context of the prompt, but there are some potential All-Stars who have a chance to do great things in this league.
Patrick Mahomes– 24 years old– Super Bowl LIV Champion (MVP)– 2018 AP NFL MVP– 2018 AP Offensive Player of the Year– 2018 AP 1st-Team All-Pro– 2-Time Pro Bowler– 2019: 11-3, 4,031 pass yards, 26 TD, 5 INT, 105.3 rating– Career: 9,412 yards, 76 TD, 18 INT, 108.9 rating
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) July 7, 2020
Veteran players aren’t eligible as they aren’t likely to have 10 years left. Locking into 10 years of DeMar DeRozan from ages 30 through 40 is a death sentence for the future outlook of the organization. That’s an automatic no-go, but the young players do bring up some interesting conversations beginning with the Spurs’ best sophomore, Lonnie Walker IV.
Walker is an exciting two-way wing with scoring instincts and ambition that make him a great fit for the Spurs’ organization, but he’s not Patrick Mahomes. Imagine All-Star Luka Doncic wins the MVP this year and a championship next year at 22-years-old. In that case, it might make sense for Mavs owner Mark Cuban to offer a 10-year deal. Walker is still a work in progress who has to prove himself to head coach Gregg Popovich and persevere from a lengthy injury history.
So Lonnie is out, but what about the other young stars: Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Jakob Poeltl? I’m disqualifying the rookies because we simply haven’t seen enough of them to make a statement about contract extensions, but we’ve seen plenty of these three. Murray inked a team-friendly four-year extension this offseason, but a 10-year commitment is a lot for a player coming off of an ACL tear who hasn’t jumped into All-Star contention just yet.
Poeltl is a magnificent rim defender, but committing to 10 years of a center in 2020 isn’t a smart idea for any team. I wouldn’t commit to 10 years of the best players at that position: Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, or Karl-Anthony Towns. None of them have proven that they can be a league-leading player or the best on a championship team, which sealed the deal for Kansas City in deciding to offer that decade long deal to Mahomes.
— NFL (@NFL) July 6, 2020
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The player who’d make the most sense on a 10-year deal is White. He doesn’t have injury concerns, he’s gotten better every year and he’s one of the most underrated two-way players in the league. White doesn’t rely on athleticism to be an impactful player, so he should age well into his mid-30s as a nifty playmaker and three-level scorer.
Even with that being the case, it wouldn’t make any sense to pay White for what he can be as opposed to who he is. With Patrick Mahomes, there’s no telling how far his legend can grow. He’s 24-years-old with more accolades than most quarterbacks could ever dream of. Committing to him long-term only brings clarity and prosperity to the Kansas City Chiefs whereas the Spurs just don’t know what this core will turn into.
Of active NBA players, the only few I think could be worth 10-year extensions are Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum. There are arguments to be made for Doncic, Embiid, Towns and Zion Williamson but besides that, it’s hard to say. There are players who I would’ve signed to 10-year deals when they were 24—LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard, but they’re all too far into their careers to make that kind of commitment.
Patrick Mahomes is a one-of-a-kind athlete and it makes sense that he’s being rewarded as such.