Monday was the leaguewide cutoff for teams to exercise their 2016/17 rookie scale options on any eligible players. If a team passed on exercising its option on a player, that player will now become an unrestricted free agent next summer, instead of a restricted free agent, as would have been the case if the team had exercised the option and allowed the player’s contract to run its full course. Any team that declines a rookie scale team option will only be permitted to re-sign that player for no more than the option amount next offseason, a rule in place to prevent teams from circumventing the salary cap to funnel higher paydays to star young players after two or three seasons. You can see the full list of players who were eligible this fall, as well as the status of their options here:
This brings me to the question/topic for today: Which rookie scale team option that was exercised prior to this year’s deadline was the biggest surprise, and why?
These rookie scale options are bargains for the teams in most instances, and as a result franchises will usually exercise them, even if the player hasn’t quite lived up to his potential during his time in the league thus far. But there are cases where it may be evident that a player isn’t cut out for the NBA, and the team may be better served to decline the option and move on. Browsing the list of eligible players linked above, were there any who fell into the latter category whose team may have been better served to have cut its losses and declined that player’s option? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.