Players eligible for rookie scale extensions who don’t sign one can end up taking one of several paths, but for most such players from the 2014 extension-eligible class, their paths led to different teams. Only four of the 12 players who failed to sign rookie scale extensions when they were eligible last year are still with the same team. Five of the 12 were traded before the end of the 2014/15 season, and three escaped via free agency.
Still, money followed stability. The three 2014 extension-eligibles who reached restricted free agency this past summer and signed the most lucrative contracts did so with the same teams they failed to come to terms with last fall. The wait for Tristan Thompson and the Cavs to reach a deal was especially lengthy, but he ultimately came back to Cleveland.
This year, 15 players could have signed rookie scale extensions but didn’t, a group that includes Andre Drummond and Bradley Beal, who seem like strong bets to remain on the Pistons and Wizards, respectively. It also includes Evan Fournier, who rejected a four-year, $32MM extension offer from the Magic, as Shams Charania reported this afternoon, and whose future is murkier. Indeed, evidence from the past year suggests that Fournier and others like him shouldn’t get too comfortable with their surroundings. Here’s a look at how each player who was eligible for a rookie scale extension in 2014 but failed to sign one fared in free agency this summer.
- Kawhi Leonard, Spurs — Re-signed for five years, $94.343MM.
- Jimmy Butler, Bulls — Re-signed for five years, $92.34MM.
- Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers — Re-signed for five years, $82MM.
- Reggie Jackson, Thunder — Traded to Pistons in February; re-signed with Pistons for five years, $80MM.
- Enes Kanter, Jazz — Traded to Thunder in February; signed four-year, $70.06MM max offer sheet with Blazers; Thunder matched.
- Brandon Knight, Bucks — Traded to Suns in February; re-signed with Suns for five years, $70MM.
- Tobias Harris, Magic — Re-signed for four years, $64MM.
- Iman Shumpert, Knicks — Traded to Cavaliers in January; re-signed with Cavaliers for four years, $40MM.
- Cory Joseph, Spurs — Signed with Raptors for four years, $30MM. (The Spurs made a qualifying offer but withdrew it.)
- Derrick Williams, Kings — Signed with Knicks for two years, $8.998MM. (The Kings elected not to make a qualifying offer.)
- Bismack Biyombo, Hornets — Signed with the Raptors for two years, $5.755MM. (The Hornets elected not to make a qualifying offer.)
- Norris Cole, Heat — Traded to Pelicans in February; re-signed with Pelicans for one year, $3.037MM (qualifying offer).