The Philadelphia 76ers just secured their starting small forward for the next four seasons. Robert Covington and the team are finalizing a deal that will pay him $62 million over the span of the extension. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, League sources have said that 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo and Covington’s representatives with CAA Sports expect the deal to be signed by the end of the week.
Included in the deal is a renegotiated salary for the current 2017-2018 season, as he will now make an additional $15 million this year on top of the $1.57 million. The next four years moving forward will see Covington receive roughly $47 million over that duration.
The up-front payment by the 76ers in this deal gives the team more flexibility moving forward in free agency. The team will have $25 million in cap space this summer, which will allow the team to pursue another player worthy of a max contract to add to their up-and-coming young team.
Robert Covington is currently in the midst of the best year of his career, and has shown major improvement in almost every part of his game. Through 13 games, he is averaging 16.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. The most notable part of his game thus far this year has been his three-point shooting, as he has been shooting a blistering 50 percent from three this season on 7.4 attempts per game.
Covington’s offense and ability to stretch the floor isn’t even the most appealing part of his game. Known as one of the premier defenders in the NBA, Covington has been pestering his opponents on that end for two years now. Last season, he led the league in deflections per game, and this season he ranks third in the league among those who have played in more than one game. Another testament to Covington’s stellar play is that, according to ESPN, he ranks sixth in the NBA in real plus-minus.
After going undrafted out of Tennessee State in 2013, Covington has become a feel-good story in the league because of how hard he worked to get to where he is today. He started his career on the Houston Rockets’ D-League affiliate, and was picked up by former 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie in 2014.
As the longest-tenured player on the Philadelphia 76ers, Robert Covington has seen the lowest of low-points with this team, and will stick around to hopefully help the team continue to improve into future contenders.
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]