Carrick Felix Rumors

Team Options And Restricted Free Agency

April 3 at 3:32pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Every rookie scale contract in the league, by rule, includes a pair of team options. Otherwise, team options are rare. NBA clubs prefer the flexibility of non-guaranteed seasons instead, since they allow the team to cut ties with the player at any point before the leaguewide guarantee date of January 7th. Team options must either be exercised or declined before the NBA’s calendar flips over on July 1st. (Rookie scale options must be exercised or declined on October 31st the year before the option season would begin.) Players, too, can benefit from the greater flexibility of a non-guaranteed contract, since they can earn a portion of their salary if they remain on the roster for a partial season.

Still, a growing number of free agents are signing contracts with team options. Of the 13 existing NBA contracts that include team options for future seasons and aren’t rookie scale deals, 11 have been signed since this past July. A handful of those contracts last four seasons, and there’s a compelling reason for teams to structure deals that way for second-round picks and undrafted players.

Chandler Parsons is Exhibit A. The Rockets haven’t informed Parsons about whether they intend to decline his option, worth about $965K, for next season, as Parsons tells Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Under most circumstances, Houston’s decision would be a no-brainer. Parsons has far outperformed his deal, signed after the Rockets took him in the second round of the 2011 draft, and having him for an additional season at a cost of less than $1MM would give the team one of the league’s best bargains. What makes his case so intriguing is that undrafted players and second-round picks, like Parsons, can be restricted free agents if their contracts end before their fourth seasons. So, the Rockets could decline their option and have the right to match other teams’ offers for their small forward. Houston wouldn’t have that right in 2015 if the team exercised its option on Parsons, who’d become an unrestricted free agent when his contract ends after 2014/15.

The team option gives Houston a choice that a non-guaranteed season wouldn’t. If 2014/15 were a non-guaranteed year for Parsons, rather than an option year, the Rockets could only make him a free agent this summer if they waived him, and he’d be an unrestricted free agent, and not a restricted one, if he cleared waivers.

Three other teams did deals this year that mimic the Parsons contract, and it’s not surprising that the Sixers are one of them. GM Sam Hinkie was the executive vice president of basketball operations for the Rockets when they signed Parsons. Philadelphia signed two undrafted rookies this season to four-year contracts with a team option in the fourth year. The contracts for Brandon Davies and Hollis Thompson, just like the one for Parsons, aren’t fully guaranteed in the seasons leading up to the option. Davies signed his deal without any guarantee at all, while Thompson received a tiny partial guarantee of $35K for this season.

Neither Davies nor Thompson has guaranteed salary on his respective option year. That means that the Sixers could pick up their options and still cut ties with them before opening night without owing them any money that year, just as with a regular non-guaranteed season. Parsons has a partial guarantee on his salary next season. If the Rockets and Sixers exercise their options, those contracts will become just like any other deal that isn’t fully guaranteed. The only difference will be that their teams will have had a chance to make them restricted free agents, a valuable resource in case the player, as Parsons did, blossoms into a sought-after commodity.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey and his disciple aren’t the only ones who’ve caught on. Former Cavs GM Chris Grant signed Carrick Felix, the 33rd overall pick in the 2013 draft, to a four-year deal with a team option in the final season. In Felix’s case, the only non-guaranteed money is in the third year, and the fourth year is fully guaranteed providing the Cavs exercise their option. Hawks GM Danny Ferry, Grant’s former boss in Cleveland, produced the latest iteration of this trend when he pried 2013 second-rounder Mike Muscala from his Spanish league contract in February to bring him stateside. Muscala’s four-year deal is 50% guaranteed next season but henceforth completely non-guaranteed, and that includes the fourth-year option season.

Not every team has the flexibility to make four-year offers. Teams need either cap space or a portion of the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception to sign rookies for four years. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more contracts like these in the future, especially if the Rockets use their team option on Parsons this summer and other teams hesitate to give him an offer. Teams may become more hesistant to use their full mid-level on veteran free agents so they can leave room to sign one or two intriguing young players to four-year deals.

It’s unlikely that Thompson, Davies, Felix or Muscala will ever become as valuable as Parsons is, and there’s a decent chance that their teams will waive them long before the option year comes around. Still, the Rockets, Sixers, Cavs and Hawks had nothing to lose, and neither would any team that does a similar deal. It’s a smart play that can look even smarter over time.

ShamSports and Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ were used in the creation of this post.

Odds & Ends: Pelicans, Cavs, Bennett, Wade

January 26 at 10:04pm CDT By Zach Links

Pelicans owner Tom Benson bought in to the NBA at the right time, writes Jimmy Smith of the Times-Picayune.  The Pelicans, purchased for $338MM by Benson in April 2012, are now worth $420MM.  It wasn’t an attendance boost that helped fill out Benson’s wallet even further but rather the new Collective Bargaining Agreement which is more owner-friendly than the previous one. More from around the league..

  • The Cavs announced that they have recalled Carrick Felix and Sergey Karasev from the D-League.  Both players were recalled and re-assigned to the Canton Charge last week but are back in the fold with the varsity squad today.  Felix has played in nine games for the Charge this season, averaging 11.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.4 steals in 28.7 minutes per game.  Karasev has appeared in six games for the Charge and is averaging 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28.8 minutes per game.
  • Meanwhile, NBA executives are stumped as to why the Cavs won’t demote Anthony Bennett, tweets Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.  The No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft picked up yet another DNP-CD tonight.
  • In today’s mailbag, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel wonders if Dwyane Wade might take a financial sacrifice for the Heat by opting out and re-working his deal.  Instead of taking $40MM over the next two seasons, Winderman suggests a five-year, $60MM deal for the veteran.

Odds & Ends: Stuckey, Teague, D-League

January 23 at 5:49pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Considering his expiring contract and recent stellar play, Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey could be a hot commodity on the trade market soon, especially for teams looking to add bench scoring or create some cap flexibility this summer, writes Brendan Savage of MLive.com. Despite the likelihood of being included in discussions as we inch closer to the February trade deadline, Stuckey insists that he’s strictly focused on playing basketball:

“Nah, I don’t think about that,..Whatever happens, happens. I’m here to play basketball. I’m a Detroit Piston right now…I have no control over that. My agent will take care of that. It’s up to the organization, what they want to do and what they’re looking at. I don’t think about it at all. I just try to come out every night and compete and try to win.”

Here’s more from around the league this evening:

  • Newly acquired Nets guard Marquis Teague said he wasn’t shocked about being dealt from the Bulls and admitted that he didn’t fit well with the style of former coach Tom Thibodeau“It just wasn’t clicking with Thibs the right way… trying to figure out the system was kind of tough for me. The way they play isn’t really my style, so it’s kind of difficult for me. But I’ve got a new start now, so I’m just looking forward to the future” (Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York).  
  • As per the team’s official website, the Suns have assigned Archie Goodwin to the Bakersfield Jam.
  • The Cavaliers recalled Carrick Felix and Sergey Karasev from the Canton Charge earlier today (Twitter link).
  • According to Gino Pilato of DLeagueDigest.com, former University of Miami forward Kenny Kadji has entered the NBDL player pool and will likely receive a claim from a D-League team.
  • Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun believes that if the Raptors sign Vince Carter as a free agent this summer, it could help the team’s perception with other free agents who may question why the franchise hasn’t honored its most decorated star.
  • ESPN’s Marc Stein forecasts the makeup of the 12-man Team USA roster which will compete in this year’s FIBA World Cup. Of the 28 names listed in the USAB’s national team player pool, Stein believes that 10 of them appear to be realistic locks (barring injury), leaving an interesting race for the final two spots.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post. 

Central Rumors: Bulls, Green, Scola

January 22 at 5:44pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Bulls could take a couple of different paths regarding trade exceptions from Tuesday’s deal with the Nets. Chicago could absorb Tornike Shengelia’s $788,872 salary into the $2,025,000 exception they received in the Luol Deng trade, leaving that exception at $1,236,128 and creating a new exception worth the equivalent of Marquis Teague’s $1,074,720 salary. It seems more likely that they would leave the Deng exception alone and create a tiny $285,848 exception from the difference between Teague and Shengelia’s salaries, simply because a roughly $2MM exception is more useful than two exceptions worth about $1MM. Still, their choice remains unconfirmed. Here’s the latest from the Central:

  • Gerald Green isn’t upset with the Pacers for burying him last season or trading him over the summer, and says he has no intention of ever leaving the Suns, notes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
  • Luis Scola says the memories of his time with the Suns are painful, as Coro passes along in the same story. Scola nonetheless had concerns about how much of a role he’d have on the Pacers when the team traded for him this summer, observes Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star. Frank Vogel assured the longtime starter he’d be a major part of the team, and Scola appears content as a key player off the bench.
  • The trade talk surrounding Greg Monroe is starting to bother him, as he tells Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News. “It does, to be honest. We’re still trying to get things right, here,” Monroe said. “To see that stuff … I just focus on what we’re doing here. I’m here. If that changes, then I’ll move forward. If it never does, I’ll focus on playing these games and trying to win these games.”
  • The Cavaliers have assigned Carrick Felix and Sergey Karasev to the D-League, the team announced. It’ll be the fourth D-League stint this year for Felix, who just returned from the Canton Charge on Tuesday, and the third for Karasev.
  • No other NBA teams made an offer to Mike James, who jumped on a 10-day contract from the Bulls and harbors no ill will toward the team for waiving him earlier this season, as he tells reporters, including K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

Odds & Ends: Lakers, James, Felix

January 21 at 9:57pm CDT By Zach Links

There has been speculation that the Bucks could wind up leaving Milwaukee at some point as they’ve been unable to secure a new arena in the city, but Herb Kohl is working hard to make sure they stay put.  Kohl has been insistent that he is only seeking investment partners and doesn’t want to sell the team outright, but today we learned that there are four suitors with “serious interest” in buying the club from him.  There’s no word on a frontrunner, but one club is said to be comprised of local investors, which could give them an upper hand should Kohl have a change of heart and sell.  More from around the league..

  • The Lakers have had to rebuild on the fly before, but their current troubles will be tougher to fix, writes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
  • The Bulls brought Mike James back because he’s the candidate that coach Tom Thibodeau wanted more than anyone else, tweets Mark Deeks of Shamsports.com.  The Bulls re-signed the veteran after they traded one guard Marquis Teague to the Nets.  It’s not clear at this point if James got a ten-day pact or was inked for the rest of the season.
  • The Cavaliers have recalled Carrick Felix from the D-League, the team announced. The six-day stint was the third assignment to the Canton Charge for the 33rd overall pick in the NBA draft this past June.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Afflalo, Oden, Bennett

January 15 at 10:34pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Detroit’s “Big Three” of Greg Monroe, Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond haven’t been as successful as Joe Dumars anticipated writes Zach Lowe of Grantland. His offseason signing of Smith to a four-year, $54MM contract has resulted in a 16-22 record and has them currently sitting as the seventh seed in the weak Eastern Conference, just a half a game up on the Nets in the playoff race. This underachieving calls into question Monroe’s future with the team, with his contract set to expire after the season. The other alternative according to Lowe, is to try and find a taker for Smith, no easy feat considering the size of his deal. Smith said “It’s easy to use me as a scapegoat“, when speaking to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Zillgitt opines that improved shot selection from Smith would go a long way toward improving the team.

Some other notes from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel explores the idea of the Magic possibly trading Arron Afflalo. He says the main difficulty in making a trade is that teams want to get him for pennies on the dollar, and aren’t willing to sacrifice young players or draft picks, which would be the primary goal if a trade was made.
  • Greg Oden made his return to the hardwood this evening for the Heat, his first action since 2009, writes Joseph White of the Associated Press. His performance going forward will have a direct bearing on the possibility of the Heat signing Andrew Bynum.
  • The Cavaliers’ struggling number one overall pick, Anthony Bennett, stated he would be open to playing in the D-League, writes Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer. Bennett is averaging 2.4 PPG in just 10.4 MPG. His playing time doesn’t look likely to increase any time soon with the recent acquisition of Luol Deng. A stint in the D-League, and the chance to log some heavy minutes to get himself going might be just what Bennett needs. Despite Bennett’s willingness to take a trip to the D-League, and the Cavs having had discussions about the move, the team doesn’t have any immediate plans to send him, writes Jason Lloyd of Akron Beacon Journal.
  • The Cavaliers have assigned guard/forward Carrick Felix to the Canton Charge, their D-League affiliate, according to a press release. Felix played in six games for the Cavs this season, and averaged 1.5 PPG. In a previous three game stint with the Charge, he averaged 9.3 PPG and 5.3 RPG.

Central Notes: Neal, Teague, Cavs

December 12 2013 at 5:37pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

This past offseason, the Spurs extended then-restricted free agent Gary Neal a qualifying offer worth about $1.1MM, which was significantly below the two-year, $7.5MM agreement he eventually reached with the Bucks. According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio-Express News, Neal believes he got a fair shake from Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford and understood that he wouldn’t be retained if he wanted more than what San Antonio was initially offering:

“I figured after three years, the Spurs benefitted me, and I benefitted the Spurs…But it’s a business. I kind of knew after Game 7 in the Finals, unless I signed a qualifying offer, I wouldn’t be back…I have no complaints…If (they didn’t give me the opportunity), they could have found another guy one of those summers to shoot 40 percent from three,..I thank Coach Pop a thousand times for that.”

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The rest of the league is confused why the Bulls aren’t willing to give Marquis Teague more playing time, tweets Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. Chicago reportedly dangled Teague in trade talks during the preseason.
  • The Cavaliers have recalled Carrick Felix, Sergey Karasev, and Henry Sims from the D-League, as per the team’s official website.
  • Pistons forward Gigi Datome is determined to play for the Italian national team next summer, whether it’d be during the FIBA World Cup or the Eurobasket Qualifying Round, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (hat tip to Tuttosport).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post. 

Odds & Ends: Collins, Augustin, Mavs, Cavs

December 11 2013 at 5:00pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Jannero Pargo‘s contract with the Bobcats became fully guaranteed when the team didn’t waive him yesterday, and A.J. Price passed his contract guarantee threshold with the Timberwolves this weekend. That means the rest of the players with non-guaranteed contracts won’t have their deals fully guaranteed unless they remain on their teams until the leaguewide guarantee date of January 10th. We’ll continue to track non-guaranteed contracts here until that date. Here’s more from around the league:

D-League Updates: Cavaliers, Roberson, James

December 9 2013 at 7:56pm CDT By Jonathan Nehring

Here is a look at some of the D-League moves around the NBA:

  • The Cavaliers have recalled both guard/forward Carrick Felix and center Henry Sims from their D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge. The rookie Felix has appeared in 3 games for the Cavaliers this season, averaging 5.0MPG and 1.3PPG. Sims has appeared in 6 games so far for Cleveland, averaging 1.7PPG in 5.8 minutes played per contest.
  • The Thunder have recalled rookie forward Andre Roberson from the Tulsa 66ers. While Roberson has only appeared in six games for the Thunder this season, he averaged 17.3PPG in his three starts with the 66ers.
  • Small forward Damion James has signed with the D-League Bakersfield Jam. James signed with the Nuggets in September but was waived prior to the start of the season. James has played two games so far with the Jam and has filled the stat sheet with 11PPG, 3.5RPG, and 1.5BPG in his short return tenure.

Cavs Notes: Sims, Felix, Shaw, Bennett

December 5 2013 at 4:30pm CDT By Zach Links

Here’s today’s look at the Cavs..

  • The Cavs announced that they have assigned center Henry Sims and guard/forward Carrick Felix to their D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge.  Sims has appeared in six games for the Cavs this season, averaging 1.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per game and Felix has appeared in three games, averaging 1.3 points in 5.0 minutes per game.  To keep up on all of this year’s D-League assignments, take a look at Hoops Rumors’ running list.
  • Bob Finnan of the Plain Dealer look at how Nuggets coach Brian Shaw nearly became Cleveland’s head man.
  • Former Cavalier J.J. Hickson can empathize with struggling No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and has some advice for him, writes Sam Amico of FOX Sports.