John Jenkins, Shane Larkin, Nemanja Nedovic, Austin Rivers and Thomas Robinson are the five players who began preseason on rookie scale contracts and saw their teams decline their 2015/16 options, setting them up for unrestricted free agency next summer. That’s not quite as many as last year, when teams turned down their options for 2014/15 on six players signed to rookie scale pacts. In any case, the move is almost never a positive sign for a player’s value, and none of the half dozen who saw their options declined last year wound up with a new NBA contract of equal or greater value in the offseason.
Chris Singleton was the only one of those six players who finished last season with the team that declined his option, and he and the Wizards parted ways in the offseason, when he signed with the Pacers. MarShon Brooks, Jimmer Fredette, Jordan Hamilton and Jan Vesely were all involved in midseason trades last year after their options were declined, while the Hawks waived Jared Cunningham in February. Cunningham, Fredette, Hamilton and Singleton signed minimum-salary deals with NBA teams in the offseason, but Indiana cut Singleton’s non-guaranteed pact before opening night. Brooks and Vesely signed overseas this summer, meaning only half of the six who saw their options declined remain in the league.
Here’s what happened with each player during the offseason:
- MarShon Brooks (Celtics) — Playing in Italy
- Jared Cunningham (Hawks) — Signed with the Clippers for one year at the minimum salary. The contract is non-guaranteed.
- Jimmer Fredette (Kings) — Signed with the Pelicans for one year at the minimum salary.
- Jordan Hamilton (Nuggets) — Signed with the Raptors for one year at the minimum salary and claimed off waivers by the Jazz. The contract is partially guaranteed for $25K.
- Chris Singleton (Wizards) — Signed with the Pacers for one year at the minimum salary and waived before opening night. The contract was non-guaranteed.
- Jan Vesely (Wizards) — Playing in Turkey
There were also a pair of players this year who were waived before the October 31st deadline for their teams to make decisions on their options, just like last year. The results from 2013 portend divergent paths for Arnett Moultrie and Marquis Teague, who hit waivers shortly after having been traded last month. Here’s what happened to the two players with rookie scale team options who were released before last year’s deadline:
- Kendall Marshall — Signed with the Lakers for two years at the minimum salary and claimed off waivers by the Bucks this past offseason. Both years of the contract were non-guaranteed, but the Lakers kept Marshall past last year’s leaguewide guarantee date, and the Bucks guaranteed this season’s salary.
- Royce White — Signed with the Kings to a pair of 10-day contracts in 2013/14. Remains unsigned for 2014/15.