Kirilenko, Randolph, Gasol going for the max

Updated: July 23, 2004, 4:20 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
For those of you who believe that the NBA summer spending spree is about to end now that almost all of the top free agents are locked up -- think again. Lost in the midst of the flurry of signings and trades over the past week was a quiet six-year, $37 million contract extension for Shane Battier.

Battier, the sixth pick in the 2001 draft, will be the first in a long line of third-year veterans looking to cash in this summer before the current collective bargaining agreement goes away. Fears that contracts will become more restrictive, with fewer guaranteed years and smaller max ceilings, along with fears that the luxury-tax threshold may become smaller, are forcing agents into action.

"I think it behooves everyone to get something done now," Battier's agent, Lon Babby, told Insider. "For the player, it may give them their last chance at a long, guaranteed contract. For teams, it may be their last poker chip to lock-up a guy they want long term."

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer