Recap Of 2023/24 Rookie Scale Option Decisions

Decisions on rookie scale options for the 2023/24 season were due on Monday — any team that wanted to exercise a third- or fourth-year option on a player for next season was required to do so by October 31.

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 2023/24 team option had it exercised by Monday’s deadline. The players who had those options declined will now be on track to reach unrestricted free agency during the summer of 2023, 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 ’23/24 salary is now guaranteed and he won’t be eligible for free agency until at least 2024.

Declined options:

Note: These players will become unrestricted free agents in 2023.

The Jazz’s decisions on Azubuike and Bolmaro weren’t major surprises. Both players weren’t considered locks to make the regular season roster during the preseason, and Utah is prioritizing cap space for the 2023 offseason. Azubuike and Bolmaro have failed to establish themselves as reliable rotation players so far, logging just 264 and 257 total NBA minutes, respectively.

The Magic’s decision on Hampton was a little more unexpected, given that he was one of the centerpieces of the team’s Aaron Gordon trade with Denver in 2021. Hampton has flashed some scoring and play-making abilities since arriving in Orlando, including making 35.0% of his three-pointers last season, but it seems he’s no longer a key piece in the Magic’s long-term plans.

These three players remain under contract for the 2022/23 season. They won’t be able to receive starting salaries worth more than their declined options when they reach free agency in 2023.

Exercised options:

Fourth year:

Note: These players will become eligible for rookie scale extensions in July of 2023. If they’re not extended, they’ll be on track for restricted free agency in 2024.

Third year:

Note: Teams will have to make fourth-year option decisions for 2024/25 on these players by October 31, 2023.

For a team-by-team breakdown of this year’s rookie scale option decisions for the 2023/24 season, along with full stories on each decision, you can check out our tracker.

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