NBA free agency can be pretty confusing at times, particularly with all of the different types of offers and contracts floating around, some real, some fake news and some just total fan fiction!
What are team options in the NBA? A team option allows a team to keep a player for another year after their contract has expired. As it is an option, the team does not have to extend the player’s contract.
A team option usually occurs at the end of the player’s contract. It gives the team to whom the player is contracted the option to extend that contract by one year. If the team does not want to exercise that option, the player will become a free agent and be free to talk to other teams.
Once a team exercises the team option on a contract, it cannot be revoked. In most normal contracts, you can only have one option year in a contract. This is different for rookie contracts as they will usually have two option years, usually the third and fourth in the contract.
What NBA players have team options in their contract?
There are quite a few NBA players who have had a team option exercised heading into the 2022-23 season. Some of the players who have had their team options exercised in the 2022 offseason include Shake Milton, Naz Reid and Hamidou Diallo.
A lot of the players who have a team option for the 2023-24 season are players under a rookie contract. It includes players like James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards and Lamelo Ball who are all still under their rookie contracts.
There are a few players with a team option who are not under their rookie contract. One of the reasons why the Clippers contract with John Wall has so much praise is because it includes a team option for the 2023-24 season, giving the team freedom depending on how Wall performs in the 2022-23 season.
There are a few more players not in their rookie contract who have team options coming up. The New York Knicks have a team option for Derrick Rose in the next season. The Pistons have an option on Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel for next season as well. They are commonly used by teams on players who are not superstars, with those players’ production not being guaranteed.
What is a player option in the NBA?
A player option gives the player the option to extend their contract with their current team by a year once the contract has expired. Usually, you will see this sort of option at the end of a multi-year contract. If the player decides not to take the option, they become an unrestricted free agent.
Much the same as a team option, there can only be one option year in a contract, unless that is a rookie contract. Most rookie contracts tend to include two option years. Same as the team option, a player option cannot be revoked once it is exercised.
Which NBA players exercised their player option
There were a few major superstars who had a player option heading into this offseason. Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook were two of the biggest names to exercise their player options this offseason, with some fans thinking they might have chosen to go through free agency instead.
Why would an NBA player decline their player option
There are two main reasons why a player would decline their player option. The first is that they don’t want to play for the team they are currently with. Players may think that they can get a better offer if they hit free agency or they just simply don’t want to play for the team they are currently with.
PJ Tucker is one of those guys recently, having declined his player option in the 2022 offseason so that he could move from the Miami Heat to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The other reason is that the players want to work out a better deal with the current team. James Harden was one of those guys this offseason. Harden chose to decline his $47.4 million player option in June so that he and the team could agree to a two-year, $68.6 million deal.
This deal includes a player option for the second year, but Harden declined the player option and renegotiated so that the Sixers had the cap space to sign PJ Tucker who himself declined a player option with Miami.
What is an NBA restricted Free Agent?
A restricted free agent is very similar to an unrestricted free agent. They are free to talk to and negotiate with teams on a new contract. Any team can sign a restricted free agent, but the original team has the right to match that offer. If they do match that offer, the player will stay with the original team.
There are a few different ways in which a player reaches restricted free agency. After the final year of a four-year rookie deal, the team that the player was under contract with has the first right to re-sign them.
If the player wants to sign for another team, the restricted free agent and the team will negotiate on an offer sheet. This offer sheet is then given to the player’s team, with the original team having two days to match the offer.
If they do not match the offer, then the player can move to the new team. If the team decides to match the offer, then the player will be under contract with his old team, just not under the contract of the offer sheet.
Who were restricted free agents this offseason
There were quite a few players reaching the end of their rookie deals this offseason (Summer 2022) and it created a few restricted free agents. Deandre Ayton was the headline name, but he signed a new deal to stay with the Phoenix Suns. Miles Bridges, Anfernee Simons and Nic Claxton were some of the other restricted free agents who had an offer issued. There were players like Donte Divincenzo, Kevin Knox and Mo Bamba who did not have an offer issued.