1. Contract creativity
The new collective bargaining agreement allows teams to extend players on rookie-scale contracts to 5-year deals even if they aren't eligible for rookie max extensions. That would mean that San Antonio could sign Vassell to a 5-year extension and lock him up for a total of six seasons instead of five, including the final year of his rookie deal.
The Spurs taking advantage of a new CBA rule to extend a player that they really like for a longer period of time sounds like it is right up their alley. Even still, the sticker shock of signing a rising star to a big 5-year deal might make them think twice or not even consider it.
Would they really sign him to a 5-year, $135 million deal? It would certainly save them money in the long run, but they might decide against it. Vassell and his agent might also decline to be locked into a deal for that long, with the salary cap potentially rising as much as 10% a year after next season. Thus, it's likely that the Spurs attempt to sign Vassell to a standard 4-year extension, though signing him this summer gives them the opportunity for contract creativity.