Today is the deadline for teams to make an offer of at least the minimum salary to this year's second-round picks. Those players would become free agents if their clubs fail to extend the required tender, but in most cases, the deadline is a formality. Twelve of the 30 second-rounders this year have already signed with their NBA clubs, while 11 have agreements with overseas clubs. That leaves seven unresolved cases, as we examine below.
Teams can perpetually retain the NBA rights to second-rounders playing overseas, and it's common practice for them to do so, particularly with players who hail from outside North America to begin with. Clubs can evaluate their second-rounders in summer league, but if they bring them to training camp, they lose the rights to those players if they cut them.
That can make the tender deadline a little tricky, as Grantland's Zach Lowe examined last month. Second-round picks who sign with NBA teams usually wind up with some amount of guaranteed money, and sometimes get a salary greater than the minimum, so teams can try to push them to sign overseas by making only the one-year required tender. But a second-rounder who is determined to play in the NBA immediately can force a team's hand by accepting the tender, thus daring the club to cut him and forfeit his rights.
Further complicating matters is the growing trend of long-term deals for second-round picks, tying them to their teams at cheap salaries for three and four seasons at a time. If the player pans out, he can become one of the league's most underpaid players, a la Chandler Parsons.
Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors touched on some of the second-rounders without a deal when he wrote about unsigned draft picks last month, but in light of today's deadline, here's an in-depth look at what we know about each of the seven 2013 second-round draft picks without a deal:
- Grant Jerrett, Thunder (40th overall) — We haven't heard anything about the former Arizona power forward since Oklahoma City acquired his rights from the Blazers at draft time. The Thunder are among the league's most secretive organizations, so perhaps the club and player are quietly negotiating a deal. Eight of the nine second-round picks taken ahead of Jerrett have NBA contracts, though the Thunder hold the rights to the only one who doesn't: Alex Abrines, who'll remain overseas. Jerrett averaged 10.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game for the Thunder's summer league team.
- Marko Todorovic, Rockets (45th overall): The Rockets acquired Todorovic via trade from the Blazers, too, and he's also stayed out of the news since then. He's under contract with FC Barcelona after signing a three-year deal last summer, so perhaps the pact either doesn't include an NBA out, or the NBA out is set at a prohibitive price. He didn't play in summer league.
- Raul Neto, Jazz (47th overall): It appeared shortly after the draft as though Neto wouldn't join the Jazz this season, and he said in July that he'd probably spend the year playing in Spain. GM Dennis Lindsey spoke highly of Neto last month, but it remains undecided where he'll be for the 2013/14 campaign. Neto put up 3.7 PPG and 3.0 APG in 16.2 MPG during summer league.
- Ryan Kelly, Lakers (48th overall): The Lakers were reportedly expected to sign Kelly, However, he missed summer league while recovering from multiple foot procedures, and the team doubts he'll be ready when camp starts, as Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com wrote this week.
- Romero Osby, Magic (51st overall): The Magic have made their required tender, and there's mutual interest in reaching an agreement that would bring him to camp this fall. He notched 11.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 21.1 MPG in summer league.
- Lorenzo Brown, Timberwolves (52nd overall): Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities has twice reported that Brown will likely go to camp and compete for the team's final regular season roster spot. He produced 8.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 19.1 MPG in summer league action.
- Janis Timma, Grizzlies (60th overall): There's been no news on Timma since the Grizzlies made him the final pick of the draft. Luke wrote last month that the Grizzlies didn't have much room on their roster for him, but since then, they've traded Tony Wroten and waived Fab Melo, trimming the roster to 15, with only 13 guaranteed deals. The Latvian small forward wasn't too impressive in summer league, scoring just 2.5 PPG on 20.8% shooting in 13.9 MPG.