Before Free Agency 2016, 26 players decided to opt out of their contracts and hit the market. Only three of them remain unsigned and two (James Anderson and Shane Larkin) took deals in Europe. How did the decision to decline their player options work out for the other 21? In general, pretty good. In some cases, flat-out awesome.
Only one of those signed a deal for a smaller amount of money in 2016-17: Brandon Bass. Three will receive the same salary: Quincy Acy, David West and Derrick Williams. It was mostly great business for the rest, with free agents often landing contracts that will pay them multiple times the salary they were supposed to make this season.
Had all those 26 players opted in, they would have combined for $143 million in NBA salaries in 2016-17. The 21 who have already signed deals will actually make $228 million this year in the league. Keep in mind LeBron James, JR Smith and Thomas Robinson are still out there, so that number is bound to grow significantly (especially thanks to LeBron).