2019/20 Rookie Option Decisions Due In One Week

Unlike player and team options on veteran contracts, which generally have to be exercised or declined by the end of June, rookie scale contracts include third- and fourth-year options that teams must decide on a year early. The deadline for those decisions is October 31, which means that clubs have one more week to pick up or turn down those rookie scale options for the 2019/20 season.

While several teams have already announced their rookie scale option decisions for 2019/20, there are 14 clubs that will need to decide one way or the other on those options within the next week.

Below, we’ve listed the outstanding rookie scale option decisions for 2019/20, sorting them by their likelihood of being exercised. The first list features options that are certain to be exercised, such as Ben Simmons‘ or Jayson Tatum‘s. The second list features the rest of the options, which may still be picked up, but aren’t necessarily locks.

Let’s dive in…

Locks to be exercised:

Not necessarily locks to be exercised:

Because rookie scale salaries are typically so affordable, many of the options that we don’t view as locks to be picked up will still be exercised. For instance, even if Labissiere barely has a role in the Kings’ crowded frontcourt at the moment, Sacramento doesn’t have much guaranteed money on its books for 2019/20 and may view a $2,338,847 cap hit for the big man as a worthwhile investment.

Still, many of the players in that second list don’t currently have sizable rotation roles, so teams will have to decide whether it’s worth it to continue trying to develop those players in 2019/20, or if it makes more sense to simply replace them with minimum-salary veterans. That could be an especially tricky question for teams that project to be over the luxury tax line next season — in those cases, every saved dollar matters.

For a full list of the rookie scale options for 2019/20, including the ones that have already been picked up, check out our tracker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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5 thoughts on “2019/20 Rookie Option Decisions Due In One Week

  1. Damian Jones is doing well as the Warriors starting center. Count him as a lock at $2.3MM.

    • Luke Adams

      I considered putting him in that group, but there was chatter throughout the offseason about that option being turned down, and the Warriors are one of those teams that will have to be pretty conscious of every role player’s salary due to tax concerns. I’d expect them to pick it up, but I don’t think a handful of good games makes it a lock.

    • Luke Adams

      He didn’t take any steps forward last season and he’s been out of the rotation so far this season. He’s still got enough upside that I expect them to pick it up, but if I’m going to call it a lock, I want to be 100% sure.

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