Players Who Can Earn Higher Qualifying Offers

The stretch run of the season matters a lot to members of this summer’s free agent class. But the effect of what happens between now and the end of the regular season will perhaps be more well-defined for Trevor Booker, Brian Roberts and Jordan Crawford than anyone else. That’s because all three have a chance to trigger the league’s starter criteria and boost the value of their qualifying offers.

Teams must extend qualifying offers to their restricted free agents to reserve the right to match offers that other teams might make. Without a qualifying offer, a restricted free agent becomes an unrestricted free agent. For most players, the amounts of their qualifying offers are set in stone, and they’re usually determined by draft position. Whether or not the starter criteria come into play depends on whether or not a player logs at least 2,000 minutes or 41 starts during the season prior to his free agency, or hits those benchmarks over the average of the final two seasons before he becomes a free agent. Here’s what’s at stake:

  • A top-14 pick who does not meet the starter criteria will receive the same qualifying offer equal to 120% of the amount applicable to the 15th overall pick.
  • A player picked between 10th and 30th who meets the starter criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to 120% of the amount applicable to the ninth overall pick.
  • A second-round pick or undrafted player who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to 100% of the amount applicable to the 21st overall pick.

These four players have already triggered higher qualifying offers for this summer:

  • Avery Bradley, Celtics ($4,677,708) — would have been $3,581,302
  • Greivis Vasquez, Raptors ($4,677,708) — would have been $3,203,780
  • Isaiah Thomas, Kings ($2,875,131) — would have been $1,148,163
  • P.J. Tucker, Suns ($2,875,131) — would have been $1,148,163

Conversely, three will likely see their qualifying offers reduced:

  • Ekpe Udoh, Bucks ($4,268,609) — would have been $5,962,377
  • Ed Davis, Grizzlies ($4,268,609) — would have been $4,361,788
  • Patrick Patterson, Raptors ($4,268,609) — would have been $4,319,474

Booker, Roberts and Crawford are toss-ups, as we explain here:

  • Trevor Booker, Wizards — This appears to be the most intriguing case. Booker could be in line for a higher qualifying injury because of Nene‘s injury. Booker has been starting in his place, and if he makes 10 more starts over Washington’s final 14 games, his qualifying offer increases from $3,420,443 to $4,677,708. Nene is already in the middle of his original four-to-six week timetable for a return, so if he comes back anytime soon, Booker will end up with the lower qualifying offer.
  • Brian Roberts, Pelicans — An injury also affected Roberts’ case. He became the starter at point guard when Jrue Holiday went down with injury in January, and with Holiday lost for the season, it looks like Roberts will make the 41 starts needed to raise his qualifying offer from $1,115,243 to $2,875,131. He’s seven starts shy, and the Pelicans have 15 games left.
  • Jordan Crawford, Warriors — He’d have to average 28.5 minutes over the last 12 games for the Warriors, or start half of those contests. Both are long shots, but if he accomplishes either, his qualifying offer would escalate from $3,206,867 to $4,677,708.

Basketball Insiders and ShamSports were used in the creation of this post.

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[…] Chuck Myron looked at players who can earn higher qualifying offers. […]


[…] free agents, and the value of his qualifying offer surged from $1,115,243 to $3,450,156, as we detailed. It’ll be interesting to see if that prompts New Orleans to decline to make that qualifying […]


[…] agent this summer (Twitter link). It’ll be worth $3,450,156, as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors explained last […]


[…] He averaged a career-low 3.4 points per game this season, and while his qualifying offer is lower than it would have been, since he didn’t meet the starter criteria, $4,268,609 still seems too much to lay out for […]


[…] the starter criteria caused his qualifying offer to jump from $1,115,243 to $3,450,156, as I explained. It also means there’s a much greater disparity between the QO, which will be his cap hold if […]


[…] as a restricted free agent, the team announced. The offer is for one year at $2,875,131, as I explained this spring, but it will likely serve only as a placeholder for Thomas, who can command a long-term […]


[…] this season. Vasquez, who has played well as both a starter and backup in his short career, triggered an increased qualifying offer of $4.7MM. Patterson, a steady rotation big who excels as a […]


[…] he met the starter criteria, which boosted the amount of his qualifying offer to $2,875,131, as Hoops Rumors’ Chuck Myron […]


[…] The Grizzlies have passed on making a qualifying offer to Ed Davis, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Davis was reportedly a favorite of former CEO Jason Levien, but with Zach Randolph having agreed to an extension, it appears that Davis isn’t quite as highly valued in Memphis as he once was. His qualifying offer would have been worth $4,268,609, a slightly smaller amount than he was originally in line for, as I explained. […]

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