The NBA's supermax contract, introduced in the latest collective bargaining agreement, hasn't played out exactly the way owners and players expected.
Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and John Wall are the only four players who have signed a supermax. It has worked out well for Curry and Harden along with their respective teams. The situation for Westbrook and the Thunder is a bit more mixed, while the Wall extension has been disastrous for the Wizards due to his injuries.
Damian Lillard is expected to sign a supermax this offseason. Bradley Beal and the Wizards appear to still be uncertain on both sides on a supermax, should he qualify.
The Kings and Bulls traded DeMarcus Cousins and Jimmy Butler, respectively, ahead of the possibility of them signing a supermax.
Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis have requested trades before possibly signing a supermax.
"I mean, the players that are eligible, frankly, are players that are going to get paid, and they're going to have any number of alternatives," Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, told ESPN. "It hasn't hurt them. It was something that they were able to secure and they were interested in getting it, and it was going to be a tremendous advantage in terms of just the amount of money.
"But I still don't see a downside. The only downside is to the extent that people absolutely believed that it was a slam dunk way to keep their guys. And it just isn't. And if they doubted it, they can now take a look at Anthony [Davis] and see, 'Oh, wow, there is no way.'"
In putting an extension back in play, teams are able to gauge whether they can retain players.
"Part of the goal in 'early-ing' up the discussion was that those players then wouldn't reach the end of their contracts and, frankly, surprise teams by then announcing they were leaving," Adam Silver said at his annual news conference last month. "The fact that a player left the market doesn't mean it was a failure, because at least in those cases the teams got value."