Predicting Future Max Contract NBA Stars

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Predicting Future Max Contract NBA Stars
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Only a handful of NBA players end up earning max contracts when they're either up for an extension or when they hit the open market as restricted or unrestricted free agents. 

It takes a special player to earn that much money. But fortunately, the Association doesn't exactly have a shortage of those. 

To be eligible for this article, a player must still be on his rookie deal. We aren't talking about guys like Stephen Curry or LeBron James who have already signed extensions (max for LeBron, sub-max for Curry) and will likely ink max deals when next eligible to do so. 

There's also no hard-and-fast rule about a player's current or projected level, as this is a naturally subjective process. 

For me, Chandler Parsons serves as the cutoff point. He's one of those guys who might develop into a star—especially if the 2013-14 season is any indication—but he's not going to be capable of carrying a team without the help of other superstar players. 

Additionally, a player must have already flashed enough potential.

For example, Trey Burke, Victor Oladipo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bradley Beal and Jonas Valanciunas are the leaders of the "We need to see more from you, but you've got us thinking" club. They don't quite earn featured spots, but they're getting close. 

That leaves us with only eight players. 

 

Note: All stats, unless otherwise indicated, come from Basketball-Reference and are current as of Dec. 20. 

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