Recap Of 2021/22 Rookie Scale Option Decisions

Decisions on rookie scale options for the 2021/22 season were due on Tuesday — any team that wanted to exercise a third- or fourth-year option on a player for next season was required to do so by last night.

As is typically the case, a huge majority of those options were picked up. Even for top picks, who are paid higher salaries due to the NBA’s rookie scale, those third- and fourth-year options are relatively team-friendly. So unless a player has fallen well short of his team’s expectations, it generally makes sense to lock in his salary for the following season at this point.

However, not every player with a 2021/22 team option had it exercised by Tuesday’s deadline. The players who had those options declined will now be on track to reach unrestricted free agency during the summer of 2021, assuming they’re not waived before then. At the end of the season, their teams won’t be able to offer them starting salaries that exceed the value of their declined options.

Listed below are the players who had their options turned down, followed by the players whose options were exercised. If a player had his option picked up, his ’21/22 salary is now guaranteed and he won’t be eligible for free agency until at least 2022.

Declined options:

Note: These players will become unrestricted free agents in 2021.

In addition to these four players who remain under contract for the 2020/21 season, three players who had rookie scale team options on their contracts for ’21/22 were waived during the offseason. Those players were Zhaire Smith (cut by Pistons), Dzanan Musa (Pistons), and Jacob Evans (Knicks). Their options were automatically voided once they cleared waivers.

Exercised options:

Fourth year:

Note: These players will become eligible for rookie scale extensions on August 2, 2021. If they’re not extended, they’ll be on track for restricted free agency in 2022.

Third year:

Note: Teams will have to make fourth-year option decisions for 2022/23 on these players next year (exact deadline TBD).

For a team-by-team breakdown of this year’s rookie scale option decisions for the 2021/22 season, along with full stories on each decision, you can check out our tracker.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Salary information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post.

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