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Toronto Raptors Bet On Terrence Ross With A 3-Year Extension

The Toronto Raptors have gambled on the development of Terrence Ross by signing the young wing to a lucrative three-year extension reported at $10.5 million per season.

As reported by Ben Golliver of SI.com, Ross and the Hornets Jeremy Lamb were the only players on rookie contracts signing at the deadline on Monday night.

After Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Damian Lillard, John Henson and 2011 holdover Jonas Valanciunas reached lucrative extensions earlier this summer, Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb and Raptors guard Terrence Ross were the only players to ink rookie extensions in the hours before Monday’s deadline.

That sends the rest of the 2012 class, including lottery picks Andre Drummond, Bradley Beal, Dion Waiters, Harrison Barnes and Meyers Leonard, on the path towards restricted free agency next summer.

Signing Ross is the NBA equivalent of a preemptive strike ahead of a rapidly rising salary cap and pending restricted free agency next summer. While no one would/should argue the price paid for Ross’ signature is high based on his production and the salary cap during the recent past, just about every NBA general manager has some very real fears about what could happen next summer with the cap set to rise by about $20 million. Ross’ deal could look cheap after what is sure to be a very tense free agency period in each of the next two summers.

Extending a young player who is still in the relatively early stages of their development always entails some significant risks for both parties. However, both parties are genuinely hoping Ross blossoms in his new role coming off the bench.

The move signals the Raptors commitment to Ross this season. Players signed to rookie extensions while they are still under contract are almost untradeable because of the poison pill provision in the CBA.

For those who justifiably feel $10.5 million is just too much to bet on Ross, one needs to remember that with the increased TV revenues coming into the NBA over the next two seasons, a $10 million per year contract next season and beyond is comparable to a $6 million per year contract of a year ago. Maybe that helps? It certainly explains why NBA GMs have been struggling with the contract demands of their players.

Press Release:

RAPTORS SIGN ROSS TO CONTRACT EXTENSION

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have signed forward-guard Terrence Ross to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.

“Terrence has shown growth with each season,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “We are excited that he will be part of what we are building in Toronto. He is a great teammate and has worked hard to become one of our best shooters.”

Currently in his fourth season with the Raptors, the 24-year-old Ross has averaged 9.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and made 377 three-pointers in 239 career games. Ross tied the franchise record with a 51-point outing January 25, 2014 against the Los Angeles Clippers at Air Canada Centre. He also set career highs for field goals made (16), three-pointers made (10), free throws made (9) and minutes played (44) in that game.

Ross was selected eighth overall by Toronto in the 2012 NBA Draft and averaged 6.4 points and 2.0 rebounds, making 65 three-pointers, in 73 games his rookie season. He followed that with career highs of 10.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 81 games. He also posted career bests in three-point field goal percentage (.395) and three-point field goals made (161) in 2013-14.

Last season, Ross appeared in all 82 games averaging 9.8 points and 2.8 rebounds with 145 three-pointers as the Raptors won a franchise-best 49 games. In 11 career playoff appearances, he has averaged 5.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 24.1 minutes.

The Portland, Oregon native has represented Toronto twice in the Sprite Slam Dunk during All-Star Weekend. He won the 2013 event in Houston and was a member of the winning team along with Washington’s John Wall and Indiana’s Paul George at the 2014 contest in New Orleans.