What’s going on in the Big 12 and beyond? I expand and explain every Sunday in Postscripts at Heartland College Sports, your home for independent Big 12 coverage.
This week, two former Big 12 basketball players got the bag, the Pac-12 got the delay and you get to see another great one-on-one interview moderated by our Pete Mundo.
The Value of Being an NBA First-Round Pick
When it comes time for Big 12 basketball players to declare early for the NBA Draft, I always write or say the same thing — if you’re not near certain to be a first-round pick and you still have eligibility remaining, you should stay in school.
Friday night offered a case study in why.
When I returned home from covering the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros at Globe Life Field, I was greeted by two tweets (or in this case ‘Woj bombs,’ as the kids like to call them) about NBA free agency.
The first was about former Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton. He landed a five-year, max contract with the Indiana Pacers which will be worth up to $260 million. Right after the news broke, Haliburton posted this tweet.
A few minutes later, I got another flash, this one on former TCU guard Desmond Bane. Guess what? He got a five-year max contract worth up to $207 million.
Now, they didn’t get this money just by being first-round picks. Both have emerged as tremendous players in the NBA. Bane has grown into one of the best 3-point shooters in the league and averaged 21 points last season. Haliburton was an All-Star last season and became the first player in NBA history to average 20 points and 10 assists while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range in a season.
That’s great stuff. And being a first-round pick put both in position to cash in.
There are just two rounds in the NBA Draft. First-round picks get guaranteed contracts. Second-round picks can, but they need a really good agent to get one. Aside from that perk, first-round picks usually get three-year deals that are guaranteed, which creates the salary scale. The third-year is an option year held by the team.
After that third year, teams can start making decisions about whether to extend players. There are qualifying offers which can be matched by other teams in restricted free agency. There is also the max deal. This deal is basically the maximum that a team can pay a player, based on service time, for five years.
It’s an expression of faith. That, more than anything is what Bane and Haliburton got on Friday night.
The Pacers see Haliburton as the future. The Grizzlies see Bane as a cornerstone to their franchise.
When you have that, you pay the price. You pay the max.
And without being first-round picks, neither would be in position for a deal quite like this.
Congrats to both. I enjoyed covering them and I’ll enjoy watching them for years to come.
This Week in “As The Pac-12 Turns”
The big news of the week — and the only news that mattered — came on Friday when the Pac-12 announced it was pushing back its own “deadline” to get a TV deal done to late July.
This came from a report Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, who wrote that Pac-12 administrators met on Friday and heard about “accelerated” progress on a TV deal.
I’m not sure how we’re defining “accelerated,” because this has been going on for nearly a year now. Yep, nearly a year.
Reportedly the league should have more to talk about on July 21 during their football media day, which would be great news for commissioner George Kliavkoff, who has basically been MIA since the start of the year. I’m sure he’d rather have something good to talk about instead of someone asking him why he didn’t go “shopping at the Big 12.”
Meanwhile, the Mountain West slammed San Diego State’s exit door shut, in terms of trying to execute a delayed departure for the Pac-12. I’ve heard some say the two will work something out. If I’m the Mountain West, there’s nothing to work out. There’s a charter and San Diego State owes them this amount if they try to leave this early.
Of course, if the Pac-12 had been smart enough to expand by now, then San Diego State would only be on the hook for the $17 million exit fee and be heading to the Pac-12 next season. But the Pac-12 wasn’t strategic enough to handle two things at once.
As for the Big 12, they’ll gather for their football media days the week before the Pac-12 and get to talk about stability for the first time in quite some time.
What a difference a year makes, right?
Catch up with Jamie Pollard
Our Pete Mundo is rolling with Big 12 interviews on our YouTube channel. Two weeks ago, it was Kansas athletic director Travis Goff. Last week it was FOX play-by-play maestro Tim Brando. This week it was Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard. The link to the interview is below.
Pete Mundo with Jamie Pollard at Heartland College Sports.
One thing that caught my attention. Pollard said he’s totally fine if the Big 12 stays at, well, 12 teams. Something tells me circumstances could talk him into budging on that.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard