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The Remaining Restricted Free Agents

Most of this offseason's restricted free agents saw their contract statuses resolved fairly quickly, either agreeing to offer sheets with a new team or re-signing with their original clubs. A handful of free agents that started the summer as restricted also became unrestricted, after their teams decided to withdraw qualifying offers. But two players remain restricted free agents, unable so far to sign an offer sheet with a rival team or work out a deal with their own teams.

The deadline for rescinding qualifying offers had passed, so neither the Cavaliers or Hawks are unable to withdraw their QOs to Alonzo Gee or Ivan Johnson, respectively. As such, Gee could accept his one-year, $2,695,391 offer any day now, and Johnson could do the same with his one-year, $962,195 offer.

Presumably, both players are still trying to negotiate larger, multiyear deals with their respective clubs or land an offer sheet from another team, viewing the qualifying offers as fallback options. While there's no sense of urgency from a player's perspective yet, that could change later this month — under the new CBA, October 1st is typically the date by which a player has to accept his qualifying offer, unless the two sides agree to extend that deadline. The deadline could be pushed back as late as March 1st, though presumably neither the team or player would want to put off contract talks that long.

So what are the most likely scenarios for the two restricted free agents still left on the market? At this point, it's unlikely either player secures an offer sheet. Teams don't have the money to spend that they did earlier in the offseason, and if there was significant interest for either Gee or Johnson, you'd have to think they'd have signed something long before September.

It appears very likely that Gee and the Cavs will eventually agree to a multiyear deal — a couple weeks back, we heard that the two sides could be nearing a three-year agreement, but that it may not be finalized until closer to training camp. Presumably, negotiations about guaranteed years and money are still ongoing, but it doesn't seem like Gee will be forced to accept his one-year QO.

Johnson's contract situation isn't quite as clear. We've heard next to nothing on the Hawks forward this summer, but the fact that Atlanta appears to have left its qualifying offer on the table means the team has at least some interest in bringing him back. I'd guess Danny Ferry and the Hawks don't view the 28-year-old as a crucial long-term piece, so they may be reluctant to sign him for more than his qualifying offer, since it would mean dipping into their bi-annual exception. Johnson's representatives could point out that using the BAE this summer shouldn't be a problem for the Hawks, since Atlanta will be well below the cap next offseason and will likely forfeit the BAE for 2013/14 anyway. We'll see which side cracks first, but I wouldn't be surprised if Johnson accepted his QO later this month.

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