As we explained a year ago when the 2011/12 regular season ended, new details of the league's Collective
Bargaining Agreement have slightly modified the usual process for restricted free agency. The qualifying offers teams extend to potential restricted free agents are now based, in some instances, on a newly-defined "starter criteria."
The CBA describes a "starter" as either starting 41 games or
playing 2,000 minutes in a season, and rewards players for meeting those
criteria. If a player achieved one of those benchmarks in the season
prior to his free agency, or averaged one of those benchmarks in the two
seasons leading up to his free agency, his qualifying offer will be
affected as follows:
- A top-14 pick who does not meet the starter critera will receive a
same qualifying offer equal to 120% of the amount applicable to the
15th overall pick.
- A played 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.
Because the 2009 class of first-round picks will be hitting restricted free
agency this season, the 2009/10 rookie scale will dictate the qualifying
offers received. Using RealGM's rookie scale chart for 2009, we can calculate the qualifying offers as follows:
- 120% of the amount applicable to the ninth overall pick is $4,531,459.
- 120% of the amount applicable to the 15th overall pick is $4,135,391.
- 100% of the amount applicable to the 21st overall pick is $2,785,146.
So which players will be affected by this new rule this summer? Using our list of free agents (restricted FAs are marked with R),
the above calculations, and the starter criteria, this offseason's
modified qualifying offers are listed below. Teams will have to offer
these free agents a one-year contract worth the listed amount to make
them restricted -- otherwise they'll become unrestricted and can freely
sign with any club.
Top-14 picks who failed to meet the starter criteria and will now be eligible for a QO of $4,135,391 (previously anticipated QO in parentheses):
Players picked between 10th and 30th who met the starter criteria and will now be eligible for a QO of $4,531,459 (previously anticipated QO in parentheses):
- Brandon Jennings, Bucks ($4,330,469)
- Gerald Henderson, Bobcats ($4,267,426)
- Jeff Teague, Hawks ($3,469,568)
- Darren Collison, Mavericks ($3,342,175)
- Byron Mullens, Bobcats ($3,293,976)
Other free agents with three years or less in the NBA who met the starter criteria and will be eligible for a QO of $2,785,146:
- None. Although restricted free agents like Nikola Pekovic (Timberwolves) and Tiago Splitter (Spurs) also met the starter criteria, both players are already in line for higher QOs because they were signed to larger deals using cap space (Pekovic) or the mid-level exception (Splitter).
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld shared a few updates on extension-eligible players in his NBA AM column this morning, and also tweeted a few notes about the Rockets' options in free agency next summer. Let's dive right in and round up the highlights....
- James Harden and the Rockets will almost certainly reach an agreement on a five-year extension today or tomorrow. It's just a matter of whether it will be for the true max or slightly below that.
- If Tyreke Evans, who won't be extended this week, struggles early in the season, he could become a trade candidate for the Kings.
- According to Kyler, Brandon Jennings' camp is seeking an extension worth $9-10MM annually, which the Bucks aren't interested in. Those numbers are a little surprising to me -- I'd think the Bucks wouldn't mind a deal in that neighborhood, while Jennings would be seeking something closer to the max.
- The Sixers and Jrue Holiday don't appear headed for an extension this week. Kyler says Philadelphia's offer was worth about $8-9MM annually.
- The "broad strokes" are there for an agreement between Ty Lawson and the Nuggets. Now it's just a matter of working out the final value of the contract.
- The odds of Taj Gibson and the Bulls reaching an extension agreement today or tomorrow are about 50/50 at best.
- The Hawks have told Jeff Teague that he's still part of their long-term plans, but the team wants to maintain flexibility next summer, so he won't be extended now. The Bobcats have a similar stance with Gerald Henderson and Byron Mullens.
- In a series of tweets, Kyler says the Rockets are unlikely to be serious players for Josh Smith in free agency next summer, unless they trade for him. The fifth year that the team holding Smith's Bird Rights will be able to offer could be a dealbreaker, according to Kyler, who adds that the forward appears happy with the Hawks for now.
- Kyler expects the Rockets to take a similar approach to what they did this past offseason, pursuing restricted free agents and perhaps making a poison pill offer or two. Paul Millsap could also be a potential target, says Kyler (Twitter links).
As we await an evening preseason schedule that includes a pair of contests between Eastern teams (Pistons/Raptors and Bulls/Cavaliers), let's round up the latest links out of the Eastern Conference....
- Jrue Holiday, who is eligible for a contract extension this month, tells Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld that he thinks the 76ers are on the "right path" to title contention.
- The Heat haven't been involved in trade deadline deals in recent years, and Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel isn't expecting that to change this season. Winderman also addresses the Heat's two open roster spots in his latest mailbag.
- Byron Mullens is entering the final season of his rookie contract, and Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer believes he's exceeded expectations more than anyone else in Bobcats camp so far (Twitter link).
- At a Madison Square Garden promotion, Patrick Ewing told Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post that he's still hoping to coach an NBA team, whether it's the Knicks or another club, despite not being hired this offseason. "I’m just home, hanging out," Ewing said. "I do have coaching
[aspirations], but all the jobs are taken up right now. So I’m just
hanging out, relaxing and taking some time off and will try to come back
- Sam Smith fields a number of Bulls-related questions in his newest mailbag at Bulls.com.
may have to win back some of the fans in New Orleans this year after comments he made about his "heart" already being in Phoenix and not wanting the Hornets
to match after the Suns
signed him to an offer sheet. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo elaborates
on Gordon's thoughts throughout the free agency process and says that the Gordon is now committed to leading a young New Orleans team moving forward. Spears also says that the 6'3 guard has the ability to opt out after the third season and become an unrestricted free agent. Here's more of the miscellaneous tidbits what we've heard this evening..
- Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated sat down with Hawks forward Josh Smith, who appears to be happy with the direction the team is going in. In a separate piece, Amick discusses the impact that the Kings' acquisition of Aaron Brooks will have on Jimmer Fredette's future in Sacramento.
- Luis Scola talks about how excited he is to join the Suns (NBA.com report).
- On the Mason and Ireland show on ESPN LA, Chris Broussard said that Dwight Howard likes Los Angeles but still has his heart set on Brooklyn.
- Keith Langlois of Pistons.com does not think the team will use their amnesty this year (Twitter link).
- Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com tweets that Will Barton's deal with the Trail Blazers is guaranteed for two years with a team option in the third year.
- In an interview on NBA TV, coach Byron Scott said that the Cavaliers aren't desperate to add a veteran right now, and implied that he is ready to have his young players gain experience instead (Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio reports).
- Iliana Limón Romero and Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel write that Fran Vazquez has agreed to a two-year deal (with a third-year option) to stay with Unicaja Málaga of the ACB and Euroleague. The deal does not have an opt-out clause, which ultimately prohibits the 6'10 big man from leaving for the NBA and joining the Magic until 2014-15 at the earliest. Orlando used their 11th overall selection in 2005 to select the Vazquez and currently own his draft rights.
- Chris Haynes of CSNNW documentedDerrick Williams' thoughts on almost being traded to the Trail Blazers. The former 2nd overall pick of the Timberwolves says that the uncertainty had been giving him a "tough time".
- According to head coach Doug Collins, the 76ers have received multiple trade offers for Andre Iguodala and rookie Moe Harkless (Tom Moore of PhillyBlurbs.com tweets).
- Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld has the latest thoughts from Jermaine O'Neal, who says that he feels he has a lot left.
- Mike Trudell of KCAL-9 in Los Angeles tweets that Lakers owner Jim Buss likes Robert Sacre, the team's 60th pick of last month's draft. Buss added that he has a good chance to make the team.
- Tariq Lee of AZCentral.com writes about Charles Garcia's second opportunity to make it into the league with the Suns.
Congratulations are in order for the Heat, who beat the Thunder 121-106 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals tonight to clinch the 2011/12 NBA championship. LeBron James put up a triple-double, and was the unanimous choice for Finals MVP. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert took to Twitter and stopped short of recognizing James and the Heat, instead congratulating the Heat and Thunder for "an exciting Finals" (hat tip to Mary Schmitt Boyer and Jodie Valade of the Plain Dealer). With the season now at its end, the real fun begins, as full attention can be paid to next week's draft and the start of free agency soon thereafter. Here's some early offseason chatter:
- Andy Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles.com rounded up Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak's comments today from the Mason & Ireland Show on 710 ESPN. Kupchak echoed the sentiments of Jim Buss, the team's executive vice president, who believes the team will retain its core players and still be successful.
- Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld tries to read between the lines of Buss' recent remarks, concluding that the team's most significant moves may involve the acquisition of complementary veterans like Brandon Roy and Rashard Lewis, assuming both are available.
- Luol Deng is drawing plenty of interest from around the league, tweets Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio. Earlier today we heard the Warriors could be interested in acquiring the Bulls small forward.
- The Associated Press confirms (via ESPN.com) that a toe injury will keep Bobcats center Byron Mullens from playing for Britain in the Olympics this year.
The Magic formally introduced new GM Rob Hennigan today, and the former Thunder assistant GM received a thorough vetting from the central Florida media. Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel writes about Hennigan's analytical, "Moneyball" approach and wonders whom he'll hire to coach the team. Fellow Orlando Sentinel writer Mike Bianchi says the 30-year-old Hennigan could age quickly, given the drama surrounding Dwight Howard. John Denton of Magic.com looks at the path Hennigan took to get to his new position, and the tasks that lay ahead. Clearly, Hennigan will be judged first on what he does with Howard, whether that means keeping him or turning him into assets or cap space that can help the team in the future. There's plenty of news concerning Hennigan's opponents in the Southeast Division as well.
- Mike Ozanian of Forbes.com says the Heat is on the verge of a long-term local broadcast rights deal worth between $80MM and $100MM a year, but the report is being denied by the team, according to a tweet by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and Fox Sports, as Ben Golliver reports on CBSSports.com.
- Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post has a roundup of Heat players who could retire after the Finals.
- Tom Ziller of SBNation.com writes that the deal the Wizards made to acquire Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza reflects the team's feelings toward the new collective bargaining agreement. Ziller believes the team felt it wouldn't have been able to compete for elite players until the more punitive luxury tax kicks in for 2013/14, so it was content to go after middling veterans like Okafor and Ariza.
- The Wizards summer league coaching staff will include Maurice Evans and Roger Mason Jr., two free agents who played for the team this past season, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. That could be a signal that the two are planning to retire.
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer takes a look at the immediate impact new coach Mike Dunlap is having on the Bobcats' draft and offseason preparations. Bonnell also mentions that it's unlikely Byron Mullens will play for the British Olympic team this year.
Here are a few Wednesday afternoon odds and ends from around the NBA:
- Josh Powell, who was thought to be drawing interest from a handful of NBA teams, has decided to play in Puerto Rico, as he announced on his Twitter account. According to Sportando, Powell will play for Brujos de Guayama.
- Lakers legend Magic Johnson will become the face of Los Angeles Dodgers ownership, after his bidding group reached an agreement to buy the MLB franchise for a staggering $2.15 billion. Check out MLB Trade Rumors' story for more details.
- Current Laker Andrew Bynum stirred up some drama when he was benched following a misguided three-point attempt, says Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Bynum, who will have his 2012/13 option exercised by the team, didn't seem to have any regrets: "I guess 'don't take threes' is the message, but I'm going to take another one and I'm going to take some more, so I just hope it's not the same result."
- Kelenna Azubuike won't play a significant role on the Mavericks' 2011/12 squad, but Dallas intends to exercise its team option for next season, barring a setback, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com writes.
- Jonathan Abrams of Grantland.com takes an interesting look at the next step for an NBA player when he finds out he's been traded.
- Byron Mullens is becoming a larger part of the Bobcats' future plans, according to an Associated Press report (via NBA.com).
- The Warriors will re-evaluate Stephen Curry in two weeks to determine if he's ready to ready to return to action, the team announced today. There's been speculation that Golden State would prefer Curry not play this season, in part because the team would like to retain its top-seven-protected pick that's ticketed for Utah. Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group hears that Warriors management wouldn't mind Curry sitting out the season, though they'd be happy to have him return to the lineup if he's healthy.