Unless the Blazers extend Little this offseason, the 22-year-old will enter restricted free agency next summer with Portland able to match any offer sheet signed.
This week, the Dunc’d On podcast ran its annual mock rookie draft extension with Nate Duncan playing the role of Little/his agent and Dan Feldman representing General Manager Joe Cronin and the Blazers.
While both sides bandied multiple numbers around, they ultimately could not agree on a deal.
Duncan: I think we’re seeing guys of a similar ilk to Little getting in the very high teens so that’s what I’m looking for as well. Deandre Hunter and Grant Williams and also by the way I’m way younger than those guys and I also checked the stats on what I did last year, pretty good.
Feldman: In how many games played, we still have these injury concerns, we think you’re trending in the right direction. We’re open to an extension, we just going to be up front, we’re willing to pay you based on a little more than on what you’ve done, but it’s got to be somewhere in between, right?. You sound like you want to paid based on what you could do, so we were thinking of four years, $48 million.
Duncan: There’s no way that would be close. I understand I haven’t played as much as Hunter but also I’m three years younger than him, same thing with Grant Williams. There’s just a lot of potential there, the Blazers usually have paid to keep their own players. You’re a great development team and again I’m at a position where there’s always going to be a ton of demand in restricted free agency. I’m going to play a lot this year, you have to play me and for that sort of a player, that’s basically the Midlevel that you’re offering, I could probably miss half the year and get that.
Feldman: Oh, I don’t think that. How bout four years, $56 million.
Duncan - I’d like to do three years, I’d be willing to do three years, $48 million. That’s the final offer.
Feldman: I think we’re done.
Duncan: Only 22, I think someone would want to take a chance on him as well. The Blazers generally end up overpaying guys one way or another.
Danny Leroux: I could see Little being somebody who like everyone’s is surprised at what he gets in 2023, but not 2022.
You can listen to the discussion here, 69 minutes in.