How Pelicans’ Trey Murphy III signed $223.65M extension this offseason


The New Orleans Pelicans endured an unfortunate, untimely injury season but once again fell short in the NBA playoffs. Now, the front office is urgently looking to the future to field another Western Conference contender for the 2024-25 season. With a lack of high-end free agent talent and a weak draft class, contract extensions and trade market manipulation are top priorities for executive vice president David Griffin.

Griffin said the front office will work with a sense of urgency this offseason but is in no rush to act. The current “moderate” market for Brandon Ingram has time to heat up. The Pelicans also have until Oct. 21 to sign Trey Murphy III to a rookie-level contract extension. The 17th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft has transcended non-lottery status, but by how much? ClutchPoints analyzed CBA and laid out a number of different possible offers.

The 100% maximum salary agreement with the CBA is capped at 8%

This is the most Trey Murphy III will earn on a rookie-level extension. This is going to be a tough ask, but any agent worth their commission must use this guide as a starting point. Murphy may even want a player option for a fifth season. If he achieves that feat, it will be easier for him to opt out and receive All-Star bonuses. If the Pelicans were willing to make such an investment, it’s doubtful they would offer a player option.

  • 2025-26: $38.75 million
  • 2026-27: $41.04 million
  • 2027-28: $44.32 million
  • 2028-29: US$47.86 million
  • 2029-30: US$51.68 million
  • Total: $223.65 million

100% highest level, COL increased by 4%

This option allows Murphy to start at the highest level, but the cost of living is a modest 4% higher than last year. The Pelicans showed a little goodwill by giving Murphy status at the highest level. Murphy made some concessions on the fee increase so the team could build a contender if the roster becomes more expensive. Again, it’s hard to see player options being part of such an agreement.

  • 2025-26: US$38.75 million
  • 2026-27: US$40.31 million
  • 2027-28: $41.92 million
  • 2028-29: US$43.59 million
  • 2029-30: $45.33 million
  • Total: $209.9 million

The highest level is 95%, increased by 5%

Now we begin to compromise. Murphy is arguably a player below the top level right now. Other 2021 NBA Draft lottery picks will be nowhere near fetching much more in the next trade. Josh Giddey (6th), Jonathan Kuminga (7th), Franz Wagner (8th) and Davion Rice Davion Mitchell are good examples of players who have to accept what the market gives them instead of asking for a max deal. Management can propose this structure in good faith because they know $200 million is hard to turn down.

  • 2025-26: $36.8 million
  • 2026-27: US$38.64 million
  • 2027-28: $40.57 million
  • 2028-29: $42.59 million
  • 2029-30: US$44.72 million
  • Total: $203.32 million

The highest level is 90%, increased by 8%

Now this is where the hard bargain begins. Management must lock down Murphy to maintain positive political capital among the fan base. The sharpshooter may not get paid much less, but he will still feel slighted. As the maximum percentage decreases, player options become more likely.

  • 2025-26: US$34.87 million
  • 2026-27: US$36.72 million
  • 2027-28: US$38.88 million
  • 2028-29: US$41.04 million
  • 2029-30: US$44.33 million
  • Total: $195.84 million

Bobby Marks special price plus 8%

For deals worth less than $155 million, it’s probably not worth calculating. However, ESPN Insider and Sports Business Class head coach Bobby Marks gave Murphy III a starting salary as low as $22 million. Any offer that low would almost certainly come with a player option on the final year of the deal.

  • 2025-26: $25 million
  • 2026-27: $27 million
  • 2027-28: $29.16 million
  • 2028-29: US$31.49 million
  • 2029-30: US$34.01 million
  • Total: $146.66 million

Trey Murphy III knows Pelicans have bright future

There was no trace of frustration in Murphy III’s voice during the exit interview. He’s not shy about taking credit for making some franchise history, nor is he selfish in looking forward to a new deal.

“I think overall, it’s been a good season… winning 49 games is not an easy thing in the NBA. If we make it to the Eastern Conference, we’ll be the third seed,” Murphy III said. “Obviously, we wish it had a different ending, but the overall team success is good. I was able to contribute to that as well, and it was the first time I had a serious injury, so coming back from that injury is something I have to deal with. things.

The player affectionately known to fans as “Trigga Trey” will seek a fair deal from the Pelicans, no more, no less.

“Obviously, we’re going to try to do what’s best for me and the Pelicans. I hope we can accomplish something, but at the end of the day, it’s not about money. I want to play basketball…” Murphy said. “I’m not going to act like it’s not about money at all, that would be stupid of me. It’s an opportunity to have generational wealth and do something for my family that I couldn’t do. Obviously it means a lot, But I’m not desperate for money to the point where I think I’m selfish, let me put it that way.

No offense, but Marks may need to shake some coaches’ seats. Murphy III is already too good and has too much room for improvement to not bet on the 23-year-old. It would also be difficult for his agent to ask for a salary in 2025-26 close to Brandon Ingram’s current cap hit of just over $36 million for 2024-25.

The Virginia alum still needs to improve his ball-handling, passing, rebounding and defense to reach the same level as the former NBA All-Star. A Five-year, $175 million deal That seems to be the middle ground given the rising ceiling and Murphy III’s potential.





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