Young french point guard Elie Okobo profiled as a first-round talent, to be taken anywhere in the second half of the first round.
But when Okobo, just under 21 years old, said he didn’t want to be stashed in Europe for another season or two, playoff-level teams passed on him and he dropped all the way to the Suns at the top of the second round.
First round picks get four-year rookie contracts, with the first two years guaranteed at over $1 million each, followed by team options in years three and four, all with annual raises.
Second round picks are not guaranteed anything by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Most second round picks don’t get any contract, while some get two-way contracts to spend most of the year in the G-league (a la 59th overall pick George King).
But recently, NBA teams have been giving some of these players contracts that look just like a first-round pick’s deal looks. The Warriors have done it the last two years with Patrick McCaw and Jordan Bell.
Two years ago, the Suns gave 32nd overall pick — second pick of the second round — Tyler Ulis an equivalent of a first-round contract, just at a slightly lower amount than the #30 pick. Ulis’ contract had the first two years guaranteed, followed by two team options.
Last year, they gave 34th overall pick Davon Reed a similar four-year deal, with the first year fully guaranteed, but then the second year partially guaranteed (50%).
This year, it appears they are giving Elie Okobo the same kind of contract.
The Phoenix Suns and No. 31 overall pick Elie Okobo of France have agreed on a four-year, $6M rookie deal, league sources tell Yahoo. Okobo's deal will be guaranteed in first two seasons, with team options on Years 3 and 4.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 24, 2018
The Suns won’t comment on the terms or the veracity of this report until the new league year starts on July 1.
The Suns did, however, confirm that Okobo is expected to be with the Suns for summer league.