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 Parker, Rodney 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 Ingles, Tony 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_.
Business, Top, Andre Drummond, Bradley Beal, Eric Bledsoe, Joe Ingles, Kyle Singler, Tony Snell, Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards