LAS VEGAS -- Thanks to the NBA rookie pay scale, Charlotte Bobcats first-rounders D.J. Augustin and Alexis Ajinca are already signed and sealed.
Ninth pick Augustin and 20th pick Ajinca signed their contracts before the Bobcats' first practice, leading up to summer-league games starting Saturday on UNLV's campus. Under provisions of the collective bargaining agreement, they each get two seasons guaranteed, each with team options for the following two seasons.
Based on the scale provided by the NBA, point guard Augustin will make more than $3.7 million those first two seasons. Center Ajinca, a former French pro, will make more than $2.1 million under the same scale.
With most contract terms defined by the rookie scale, there's little to negotiate, so first-round picks typically sign quickly after the draft. The Bobcats have yet to sign second-round pick Kyle Weaver, and might use summer-league games to evaluate his NBA potential.
• EARN YOUR KEEP: Augustin got a lesson in risk-taking at the Bobcats' first practice Monday. He tends to dribble along the sideline, where it's easier to protect the ball from defenders. Assistant coach Phil Ford wants him in the middle, where he can exploit more of the court.
"It's more dangerous out there,'' Ford joked of dribbling in the middle of the court, "That's why they're paying you all that money.''
• IMPRESSIONS OF BROWN: Forward Adam Morrison said Brown's gravitas as a Hall-of-Fame coach has to help.
"Coach Brown likes to teach and his reputation speaks for itself,'' Morrison said. "We're a young team -- we need that.''
• HERE AND THERE: Morrison, out all last season following surgery on his left knee, is being held out of scrimmages. But he moved well in non-contact drills, and didn't need a knee brace...
Among the free agents on the summer roster, center Jackie Butler never reported and forward Donnell Harvey was delayed by a family emergency. Several Bobcats veterans -- Jason Richardson, Raymond Felton, Gerald Wallace and Sean May -- might participate in some practices this week, but won't play in summer-league games...
It was clear from Brown's first practice that he prioritizes advancing the ball quickly to maximize options within the 24-second clock: "We need to get the ball foul line-to-foul line faster than anybody!'' Brown yelled, later adding, "Once you get the ball from (sideline to sideline), the game is easy.''