The NBA offseason has officially gotten underway for all but two teams in the league, meaning discussions are becoming more focused on how to improve for next season, rather than looking back on what went wrong this year. One of the biggest pieces of the offseason involves which players will get, or are worth, supermax deals from their team, leading Stephen A. Smith to create his own list of players worthy of a supermax deal.
Supermax contracts allow teams the ability to pay their best players more money in order to incentivize these players to not test the open market and stick with their current team. Not every player qualifies for these sorts of deals, which makes them a bit of a rarity. So with the offseason only just getting underway, Smith outlined a surprising list of five players he believes are deserving of supermax deals, headlined by Stephen Curry and LeBron James.
Stephen A. Smith's list of NBA players that are worthy of a supermax 🤑
1. Stephen Curry
2. LeBron James
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
4. Luka Doncic
5. Jayson Tatum
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 31, 2023
While Curry and James are certainly still good players, it's a bit confusing to see Smith would hand them supermax deals over any other player in the NBA. Curry is 35, while James is 38, and these deals tie up players to huge money for long periods of time. While they are good now, they may not necessarily be the case by the time these deals are up.
Handing out this sort of deal to young stars like Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum makes more sense, because they will likely remain extremely productive throughout the entirety of the deal. Either way, it doesn't seem very likely that any of these guys will be receiving a supermax extension this offseason anyways, but this is certainly an odd list from Smith.