June 17, 2021 | 3:32 pm EDT Update
Monte Poole: Warriors rook James Wiseman, rehabbing after meniscus surgery, on chances of offseason workouts with Kevin Garnett: ‘We should. I’m getting better rapidly, at a high rate. I’m getting better each day because I’m taking care of myself. It should still happen. For sure.’
There never was a time when it made financial sense for a star player to bypass a maximum extension or contract for the qualifying offer and it still doesn’t. In fact, the practice isn’t even common around average players just so they can enter unrestricted free agency and play elsewhere.
Since restricted free agency has been implemented, there have been few cases of players demanding trades from teams that drafted them, namely Steve Francis with the Vancouver Grizzlies and Danny Ferry with the Los Angeles Clippers. However, with the value of qualifying offers increasing significantly, and player empowerment breaking new barriers each season, it’s no surprise that public discourse over the possibility of a premier player utilizing the qualifying offer has gotten louder.
The one success story of a player who signed his qualifying offer to gain his freedom is Greg Monroe. In 2014, he came off a strong season with the Pistons meeting his previous season’s statistical averages. After four years in Detroit, he wanted a fresh start elsewhere but his restricted free agent status complicated that.
Without much leverage to get out, Monroe signed his one-year qualifying offer. In 2015 he became an unrestricted free agent and signed a three-year maximum deal worth $49.9 million with Milwaukee. His qualifying offer was worth $5.5 million while the first-year salary of a maximum contract he could’ve received in 2014 was roughly $10 million more.
Signing the qualifying offer can be very disadvantageous to players too. Williamson has a strong chance of qualifying for the designated rookie maximum extension over the next two seasons. If he signs his $17.6 million qualifying offer and then decides he wants to re-sign with New Orleans on a long-term deal afterward, he wouldn’t be eligible for the designated rookie maximum extension anymore. His is currently projected at $211.5 million over five years. Eligible players must begin the contract in their fifth season, but he can still sign for the normal 25 percent maximum contract with them. Meanwhile, signing his qualifying offer and signing a maximum contract with a new team would net him $148.3 million over that same five year span.
Powerful moment from NBA player Meyers Leonard … who choked backed tears while addressing a group of Jewish kids at a temple in Florida, as he explained his regret for using an anti-Semitic slur back in March. The 29-year-old took the mic at Boca Raton Synagogue over the weekend … and began by saying, “I owe everybody, truly, a sincere apology.”
Leonard apologized and vowed to educate himself about why the slur is dangerous and offensive … and it’s pretty obvious he’s been putting in the work. At least, according to Rabbi Efrem Goldberg … who spoke glowingly about Meyers at Sunday’s event — praising him as a good dude and a “great friend of the Jewish community.” Rabbi Goldberg told the crowd, “Over the last 3 months, I’ve gotten to know Meyers off camera and off the court … I’ve gotten to know what’s in his heart and who he is.” “Meyers has learned a lot about the Jewish community … meeting with Holocaust survivors and reading books about Jewish history.”