October 31st was the deadline for NBA teams to sign fourth-year players currently on a rookie scale contract to a contract extension and forgo the chance of that player hitting restricted free agency next summer. Paul George, John Wall, and DeMarcus Cousins were the most richly rewarded among those who locked up extensions in advance of the deadline, as all three reached deals for the max. Notable players who did not sign an extension with their team were Eric Bledsoe, Avery Bradley, Gordon Hayward, Greg Monroe, Evan Turner, and Greivis Vasquez. Assuming their teams tender qualifying offers, these players will become restricted free agents next year.
The teams these likely restricted free agents are on will have the right of first refusal for anyone bidding on them next summer. For a few of these players, the bidding seems to be plentiful. Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report quoted an opposing GM saying the “Jazz had better lock up Hayward”. (Twitter link) Jason Jones of the Sacrament Bee tweets the Kings “love” Vasquez. Lon Babby, president of the Phoenix Suns basketball operations, told Matt Petersen of Suns.com the Suns would “do everything we can to make sure [Bledsoe] is happy.”
Which of these players do you think will benefit most from becoming a restricted free agent next summer? Who do you think stands the best chance of getting a max deal?