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.
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.
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.
Naturally, Knicks fans went into a frenzy trying to decipher the young All Star’s comments. ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski did his best to explain that Williamson’s answer is “something to watch” over the next the few years. “I think it’s something to watch down the road,” Wojnarowski told Mike Greenberg in an appearance on Get Up! on Monday. “I think if you follow Zion Williamson closely, he doesn’t just talk to talk. He’s pretty particularl with what he says and when he says it… Listen, he’s a long way away from free agency. He’s only in his second year in the NBA. But, I think with the way that the Knicks have been rejuvenated, the success you’re seeing them have here in the short term anyway, I don’t think it was completely by accident… I think we all know with New York, if you have a competent product on the floor, if that team is run well, Madison Square Garden and New York is a place that players should want to play. We’ll see how New York is able to carry that forward to a time where it’s a more timely conversation with players like Zion Williamson.”
September 16, 2021 | 8:36 pm EDT Update
Keith Smith: The Shanghai Sharks have signed former NBAers Jimmer Fredette and Noah Vonleh. This will be Fredette’s 5th season with Shanghai. He last played in the NBA in 2019 with the Phoenix Suns. Vonleh was briefly with the Brooklyn Nets last season. This is his first season with Shanghai.
NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo was in Greece for a meeting with the country’s prime minister Thursday and a special ceremony to bestow Greek citizenship on his mother Veronica and younger brother Alex. Antetokounmpo, who led the Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA championship in July, attended the ceremony at the official residence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The 26-year-old Antetokounmpo was born in Athens, the son of Nigerian immigrants. He was granted Greek citizenship in 2013, allowing him to travel to the United States and join the Bucks later that year.
“We always felt Greek, but now we have an official stamp and we are happy,” Antetokounmpo told reporters after the ceremony. “Alex and my mom are Greek citizens now.” Antetokounmpo also traveled to Greece in August with his brother Thanassis, carrying the Larry O’Brien NBA championship trophy. He took the trophy to the ancient Acropolis in Athens to celebrate with members of his family.
September 16, 2021 | 8:07 pm EDT Update
Keith Smith: Cleaning up some loose ends on TPEs for the Boston Celtics… The Celtics used the Daniel Theis $5M TPE to acquire Kris Dunn in the three-team deal with the Hawks and Kings. That leaves Boston with five current TPEs. Those TPEs and expiration dates are in the next tweet. 1/2
Keith Smith: Current Boston Celtics TPEs: $17,142,857- Evan Fournier – expires 7/18/22 $9,720,900- Tristan Thompson – expires 7/7/22 $5,096,479- Kemba Walker – expires 5/17/22 $500,000- Moses Brown – expires 6/27/22 $370,564- Jeff Teague – expires 2/11/22 Reminder: TPEs cannot be combined together! 2/2
McGee signed a one-year deal for a reported $5 million with the Suns after winning Olympic gold with Devin Booker in Tokyo. With Dario Saric recovering from a knee injury suffered in the NBA Finals, McGee will play a key role as a backup five to Deandre Ayton. “I feel like my game definitely helps Deandre Ayton in a major way just for the veteran leadership alone,” said McGee, 33, a three-time NBA champion who enters his 14th NBA season averaging 7.8 points on 57.1% shooting, 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks for his career. “Also when he gets into foul trouble and having that veteran big to come in that’s 7 foot, block shots, defend, rebound and does all the intangibles that a real big man does,” McGee continued.
“Every big man that has ever played with Chris Paul has done well,” McGee said. “I just feel like Chris Paul is definitely the head of the snake and he’s definitely going to lead us to the finals again.”