Restricted free agent: If you don't sign quickly, you're probably in trouble

Restricted free agent: If you don't sign quickly, you're probably in trouble

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Restricted free agent: If you don't sign quickly, you're probably in trouble

Over the past five offseasons, numerous contracts have been dolled out to restricted free agents. Per our research, 89 in total, to be exact.

After taking a close look at each of those deals, and various variables – such as time waited until the contract was agreed upon, as well as average length and size of said deals – a few things stood out.

For one, the players who waited longer than 10 days before signing their new contracts saw a massive drop in worth of their deals.

From the 2013 offseason through 2017’s free-agency period, 17 of the 34 contracts agreed to after July 10 (or, 10 days after the annual start of free agency) were for a total of $10 million or less. Meanwhile, 21 of the 55 contracts agreed to before July 10 were worth at least a grand total of $50 million.

For soon-to-be free agents like Jabari ParkerRodney Hood and Marcus Smart , that stat is of utmost interest.

Although it’s common to see rival teams swoop in and sign restricted free agents to offer sheets, thus forcing incumbent organizations to pony up to keep their guys, that wasn’t the case with the two biggest restricted free agent deals signed over the past five offseasons.

The largest contract signed in that span was Andre Drummond’s with the Detroit Pistons, which was a monstrous five-year, $130 million agreement. The second largest contract from that time frame was Bradley Beal’s five-year, $128 million agreement with the Washington Wizards.

Neither player had signed an offer sheet with anyone else, meaning both the Pistons and Wizards were bidding against themselves.

Overall, the average contract agreed upon or signed within at least 10 days of the start of free agency was on average for 3.6 years and $41.9 million.

In contrast, players who signed contracts after the 10-day mark saw the value of their deals plummet: the average deal signed after that cutoff was worth around 2.4 years and $17.2 million.

If we change the relevant scope from 10 days to five, the numbers get even more jarring.

Players who agreed to deals within five days of the start of free agency received contracts worth, on average, 4.1 years and $52.4 million. Those who waited past day five signed deals worth 2.6 years and $21.3 million.

One obvious rebuttal may be: Of course the restricted free agents who signed right away got larger contracts – they’re usually better players!

That’s really not the case, though, considering some of the names signed on the very first night of free agency include Joe InglesTony Snell and Kyle Singler.

What’s more, even if we expand our scope and look at the players signed before and after the 15-day mark, the contrast remains vast.

Players signed before that cutoff averaged 3.4-year, $38.7 million deals; those signed after that averaged 2.4-year, $18.3 million deals.

As with any study such, however, we should note there were a few outliers.

Namely, after a tumultuous 113-day holdout back in 2015, Tristan Thompson received a five-year, $82 million contract from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Another Rich Paul client, Eric Bledsoe also held out for a bigger deal and ended up getting paid handsomely. After refusing to sign for 85 days, Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns agreed to five-year, $75 million contract on September 24, 2014.

Essentially, unless you’re a star-level talent like Bledsoe, or a pivotal piece to an elite team like Thompson, you’re in trouble barring an early contract agreement in restricted free agency.

PLAYER YEAR DAYS TILL DEAL CONTRACT TERMS
Cristiano Felicio 2017 0 Four years, $32 million
Joe Ingles 2017 0 Four years, $52 million
Tony Snell 2017 0 Four years, $46 million
Bradley Beal 2016 0 Five years, $128 million
Jordan Clarkson 2016 0 Four years, $50 million
Matthew Dellavedova 2016 0 Four years, $38 million
Andre Drummond 2016 0 Five years, $130 million
Evan Fournier 2016 0 Five years, $85 million
Jimmy Butler 2015 0 Five years, $95 million
Jae Crowder 2015 0 Five year, $35 million
Draymond Green 2015 0 Five year, $85 million
Brandon Knight 2015 0 Five years, $70 million
Kawhi Leonard 2015 0 Five years, $90 million
Khris Middleton 2015 0 Five years, $70 million
Kyle Singler 2015 0 Five years, $25 million
Iman Shumpert 2015 0 Four years, $40 million
Tyreke Evans 2013 0 Four years, $44 million
Avery Bradley 2014 2 Four years, $32 million
Tarik Black 2016 3 Two years, $12.85 million
Dwight Powell 2016 3 Four years, $37 million
Patrick Beverly 2015 3 Four years, $25 million
Tobias Harris 2015 3 Four year, $64 million
Otto Porter 2017 4 Four year, $106 million
Harrison Barnes 2016 4 Four years, $94 million
Seth Curry 2016 4 Two years, $6 million
Patrick Patterson 2014 4 Three years, $18 million
Pablo Prigioni 2013 4 Three years, $5.9 million
Andre Roberson 2017 5 Three years, $30 million
Reggie Jackson 2015 5 Five years, $80 million
Kyle O’Quinn 2015 5 Four years, $16 million
Cory Joseph 2015 5 Four years, $30 million
Chris Copeland 2013 5 Two years, $6.1 million
Kelly Olynyk 2017 6 Four years, $50 million
Langston Galloway 2016 6 Two years, $10 million
Tyler Johnson 2016 6 Four years, $50 million
Joe Ingles 2015 6 Two year, $4.5 million
Tim Hardaway Jr. 2017 7 Four years, $71 million
Bojan Bogdanovic 2017 7 Two years, $21 million
Allen Crabbe 2016 7 Four years, $75 million
Dewayne Dedmon 2016 7 Two years, $6 million
Festus Ezeli 2016 7 Two years, $16 million
Marcelo Huertas 2016 7 Two years, $1.6 million
Boban Marjanovic 2016 7 Three years, $21 million
Gordon Hayward 2014 8 Four years, $63 million
Alan Williams 2017 9 Three years, $17 million
Troy Daniels 2016 9 Three years, $10 million
Enes Kanter 2015 9 Four years, $70 million
Mirza Teletovic 2015 9 One year, $5.5 million
Chandler Parsons 2014 9 Three years, $45 million
Greivis Vasquez 2014 9 Two years, $13 million
Tyler Hansbrough 2013 9 Two years, $6.4 million
Joffrey Lauvergne 2017 10 Two years, $3.2 million
Tim Frazier 2016 10 Two years, $4.1 million
Meyers Leonard 2016 10 Four years, $41 million
Jeff Teague 2013 10 Four years, $32 million
Ron Baker 2017 11 Two years, $8.9 million
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 2017 11 One year, $18 million
Jared Sullinger 2016 11 One year, $6 million
Will Barton 2015 11 Three years, $10.6 million
Isaiah Thomas 2014 11 Four years, $27 million
Jonathon Simmons 2017 14 Three years, $20 million
Troy Daniels 2014 14 Two years, $2 million
Miles Plumlee 2016 18 Four years, $52 million
Kevin Seraphin 2014 18 One year, $3.8 million
KJ McDaniels 2015 19 Three years, $10 million
Troy Williams 2017 20 Three years, $4.8 million
Tyler Zeller 2016 23 Two years, $16 million
Dion Waiters 2016 25 Two years, $6 million
Shelvin Mack 2014 25 Three years, $7.3 million
Maurice Harkless 2016 26 Four years, $40 million
Gerald Henderson 2013 26 Three years, $18 million
Timofey Mozgov 2013 26 Three years, $14 million
Matthew Dellavedova 2015 27 One year, $1.2 million
Gary Neal 2013 27 Two years, $7 million
Brandon Jennings 2013 30 Three years, $24 million
Mike Scott 2014 32 Three years $10 million
Nikola Pekovic 2013 45 Five years, $60 million
Jeff Withey 2015 55 Two years, $2 million
Nerlens Noel 2017 56 One year, $4.1 million
Greg Monroe 2014 66 One year, $5.5 million
Shabazz Muhammad 2017 73 One year, $1.6 million
Norris Cole 2015 77 One year, $3 million
Alex Len 2017 81 One year, $4.2 million
Nikola Mirotic 2017 84 Two years, $27 million
Eric Bledsoe 2014 85 Five years, $70 million
Aron Baynes 2014 87 One year, $2.1 million
JaMychal Green 2017 89 Two years, $17 million
Tristan Thompson 2015 113 Five years, $82 million
Donatas Motiejunas 2016 184 One year, $618,000

You can follow Frank Urbina on Twitter @frankurbina_.

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