Kevin Huerter, along with other members of the 2018 NBA Draft class (though notably not DeAndre Ayton, former first overall of the Phoenix Suns), agreed to a long-term deal ahead of Monday’s 6 PM ET deadline, staying with the Hawks on a four-year, $65-million extension. A huge contributor during Atlanta’s surprise playoff run last summer (he sunk the Sixers with a 27-point eruption in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semis), Huerter may have left money on the table by punting free agency, but the 6’7” guard out of Maryland isn’t sweating it.
“The NBA does a good job of making $100 million seem like not a lot of money. To the rest of the world, my friends, my peers, my family, even $1 million is a lot of money,” said Huerter, a career 11.2 point-per-game scorer in his three seasons. “I tried to keep that in perspective throughout the whole thing. It’s life-changing money.”
Well said. Players and agents haggle constantly about contracts, and rightfully so given the short shelf life of professional athletes (not to mention the tightwad owners who profit off them). Knowing your worth is one thing, but when you’re dealing with numbers this big, the difference in a few million or maybe an extra contract year is pretty negligible. Huerter may not be “Steph Curry rich,” but $65 million is still an obscene amount of money, that should, barring disaster, last the 23-year-old and his family for the rest of time.
While the allure of a fat paycheck is certainly a motivating factor for Huerter, it’s refreshing to see an athlete of his stature display this level of self-awareness, cognizant of his unconscionable wealth compared to the average human being.