The Charlotte Hornets and guard/forward Jeremy Lamb are reportedly close to a three-year deal worth $21 million to beat the deadline for contract extensions.
ESPN reported that both sides were finalizing the deal Sunday night and both poised to agree on the new contract before the Nov. 2 deadline. Players in the fourth and final year of their rookie contracts can agree to contract extensions before that deadline or hit restricted free agency after the 2015-2016 NBA Season.
Lamb, who was the 12th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets, was acquired by the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the infamous trade that brought James Harden from OKC to Houston.
Lamb played with the Thunder from 2012 to 2015 but never had a big role with the team centered on Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. In three years in Oklahoma City, he averaged 7.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in just 15.7 minutes of action on the floor. Lamb was traded by Oklahoma City to Charlotte in the 2015 offseason.
Lamb’s extension comes on the heels of the decisions of Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons) and Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors) not to sign a deal before the deadline and both will explore free agency. Both will be restricted free agents, meaning they can sign with any other NBA team but their respective teams can choose to match those offer sheets and retain their services, most likely for the long-term.
Lamb’s decision to stay in Charlotte was widely expected as the Hornets are expected to give him meaningful minutes this season and for the duration of the deal. In two games so far this year, Lamb has averaged 10.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 16.5 minutes per game.