DENVER — Ronnie Brewer played the first game of his fourth NBA season Wednesday night not knowing what the fifth, or those beyond, will hold.
Will he be back with the Jazz in 2010-11?
Will he be elsewhere?
Must he wait until next summer to find out?
With the NBA's deadline of Saturday for extending the contracts of rookies drafted in 2006 looming overhead, Brewer went into Wednesday's 2009-10 regular-season opener at Denver not knowing what to think.
In fact, Brewer said about an hour before Wednesday's game, talks had not even progressed to the point that an actual offer has been made.
"I'm really just focusing on ... beginning a new season and trying to start off on the right foot," he said.
"You're definitely hopeful, but, at the same time, I mean, with me, I don't really concentrate on it," added Brewer, who was drafted 14th overall — last in the lottery — out of the University of Arkansas. "If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I've still got a job to do trying to improve as a player — and that's pretty much my main focus."
As of Thursday, only four players from the '06 draft class — Toronto's Andrea Bargnani, who went No. 1 overall; Portland teammates LaMarcus Aldridge (second) and Brandon Roy (sixth); and Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha — had signed extensions.
Sefolosha, taken one spot ahead of Brewer at 13, agreed to what the Associated Press reported Wednesday night was a four-year deal, financial terms of which were not immediately known.
Just three others — Brewer, Boston point guard Rajon Rondo and Memphis small forward Rudy Gay — are considered possibilities to extend as well.
"Three guys got it, but, at the same time, I think a lot of guys, even if they don't get extensions now, I mean, their team is looking to re-up them — maybe at the end of the year, because a lot of guys are huge parts of (teams') plans," Brewer said before the Sefolosha signing.
Rondo (drafted 21st overall) reportedly was looking for top-five point money, a group comprised of New Orleans' Chris Paul, Deron Williams of the Jazz ($13.52 million), Phoenix's Steve Nash, Denver's Chauncey Billups and Baron Davis of the Los Angeles Clippers.
That means Rondo's seeking a deal worth at least $12.1 million, and the Celtics reportedly were balking at offering that sort of money even to someone who already has been the starting point on an NBA title team.
Gay, meanwhile, could be headed toward restricted free agency next offseason — as could several others taken high in '06, from No. 3 Adam Morrison (now with the Los Angeles Lakers) to Chicago's Tyrus Thomas (taken No. 4) to most of the bottom half of that year's draft.
Whether or not Brewer, who'll make $2,717,161 this season, does the same remains to be seen.
No agreement seemed imminent Wednesday, but there was no reason to believe the chances of one being reached were dead, either.
Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said again Wednesday that he's "had conversations" with Brewer's agent, Chicago-based Henry Thomas.
Thomas, who was in Miami on Wednesday, did not return a call seeking comment.
It's believed the Jazz perhaps are interested in extending Brewer at what they consider the right price, though it probably wouldn't be for the full five years permissible according to current collective bargaining agreement terms between the NBA and its players association.
Brewer — who started and scored 16 points in the Jazz opener versus the Nuggets on Wednesday night — definitely wants an extension now, but only if money matters make sense.
By not signing this week, he could try to enhance his value — and, at the time, potentially risk harming it — with his play this season.
"Security is cool, and I think that allows you play stress-free," he said.
"But, at the same time, I mean, as a player, you want to improve every year — and that's what I think I've been doing, and that's what I intend on doing this year, so if they (the Jazz) don't (extend him now) I'm just gonna try to have a better season than what I did last year."
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