When the Sixers’ new two-year, $13.1MM deal with Spencer Hawes becomes official, it will make NBA history. Hawes will be the first player ever to re-sign with a team after accepting a qualifying offer from the same team the year before. Hawes is already in select company as one of only 14 players ever to accept a qualifying offer, the one-year tender teams must make to players coming off their rookie contracts in order to retain the right to match offers from other teams. Usually, qualifying offers are merely the starting point for negotiations, if that.
A player to whom a qualifying offer has been made usually either signs an offer sheet with another team or re-signs with his original team for an amount significantly greater than the qualifying offer. When a player accepts the qualifying offer, it’s usually a signal he’ll soon wind up elsewhere, as it ensures a quick path to unrestricted free agency.
There’s been an increase in the number of players accepting qualifying offers under the new collective bargaining agreement, as five of the 14 players ever to accept them have done so since this past December. While there’s no specific language in the CBA that would encourage this, it may indicate that players and agents feel teams will be less willing to hand out lucrative contracts with a more punitive luxury tax looming. For the three players who signed their qualifying offers in December, it could simply be an effect of the condensed free agency period following the lockout, as Michael Lee of The Washington Post alluded to when Nick Young signed his qualifying offer from the Wizards last year.
In any case, here’s the list of all 14 players who’ve accepted qualifying offers and, where applicable, information on what happened next:
- Luke Harangody signed the Cavaliers’ qualifying offer of $1,054,389 on 7/3/12.
- Darius Morris signed the Lakers’ qualifying offer of $962,195 on 7/2/12.
- Nick Young signed the Wizards’ qualifying offer of $3,695,857 on 12/19/11. He was traded to the Clippers 3/15/12, and agreed to sign for one-year, $6MM with the Sixers on 7/6/12.
- Marco Belinelli signed the Hornets’ qualifying offer of $3,377,604 on 12/13/11.
- Spencer Hawes signed the Sixers’ qualifying offer of $4,051,024 on 12/10/11. He agreed to re-sign with the Sixers for two years, $13.1MM on 7/4/12.
- Raymond Felton signed the Bobcats’ qualifying offer of $5,501,196 on 9/23/09. Signed with the Knicks for two years, $14.56MM on 7/12/10.
- Ben Gordon signed the Bulls’ qualifying offer of $6,404,750 on 10/1/08. Signed with the Pistons for five years, $58MM on 7/8/09.
- Robert Swift signed the Thunder’s qualifying offer of $3,579,131 on 9/11/08. Has not signed another NBA contract.
- Mickael Pietrus signed the Warriors’ qualifying offer of $3,470,771 on 10/1/07. Signed with the Magic for four years, $21.2MM on 7/10/08.
- Melvin Ely signed the Bobcats’ qualifying offer of $3,303,813 on 10/2/06. He was traded to the Spurs on 2/13/07, and agreed to sign for two years, $1,893,739 (minimum salary) with the Hornets on 9/13/07.
- Vladimir Radmanovic signed the Sonics’ qualifying offer of $3,166,155 on 9/19/05. He was traded to the Clippers on 2/14/06, and agreed to sign for five years, $30.247MM with the Lakers on 7/12/06.
- Stromile Swift signed the Grizzlies’ qualifying offer of $5,993,105 on 9/30/04. Signed with the Rockets for four years, $22.4MM on 8/2/05.
- Michael Olowokandi signed the Clippers’ qualifying offer of $6,061,214 on 9/23/02. Signed with the Timberwolves for three years, $16,226,100 on 7/17/03.
- Rasho Nesterovic signed the Timberwolves’ qualifying offer of $2,436,813 on 8/25/02. Signed with the Spurs for six years, $42MM on 7/16/03.