Franz Wagner's massive deal with Magic puts Vassell contract into perspective

Magic forward Franz Wagner signed a massive rookie extension, showing that the San Antonio Spurs chose the right time to extend Devin Vassell
Phoenix Suns v San Antonio Spurs
Phoenix Suns v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

NBA money is only getting thicker by the day. This season, a record 60 players will be making 30+ million annually, and just a few years ago, LeBron James was the only player to have an annual salary of 30 million. Now, that number is getting handed out with no remorse, and there's a new young stud to join the list of names earning a pretty penny this year.

Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner agreed to terms with the Magic for a massive rookie extension worth up to 270 million dollars. The deal caused some chatter about being "overpaid," and the enormous salary made Devin Vassell's deal age like fine wine.

The Spurs extended Devin Vassell at the right time

Devin Vassell earned his extension at the beginning of October 2023, just before the season, worth up to 146 million dollars. Many at the time of the signing said it was an overpay from Pop and the front office, as the former Florida State guard had yet to contribute to significant winning basketball.

While the Magic and Franz are coming off their first playoff series since 2020, the Spurs have been in their rebuilding phase. Now that they have their franchise cornerstone in Victor Wembanyama—as Orlando has in Paolo Banchero—San Antonio is looking to make some noise in the Western Conference.

Putting team success aside, Vassell and Wagner recorded very similar stat lines last season.

Franz will be the second star next to Paolo as the Magic look to start rising in the Eastern Conference. He's going to be a core piece—he plays well around the basket and is a versatile, elite-level defender. But in hindsight, the two put up almost identical numbers last season, and now one is going to be paid $100 million more than the other.

With NBA money only getting higher, the Spurs made the right decision by extending Vassell last season with an annual salary of no more than $29 million. He made a sizeable leap last season, becoming a dynamic space creator and improving as a tough shotmaker. He will only get better throughout the next few years, and the Spurs will continue to benefit from the shrewd moves made by the front office in the process.