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Guide to 2017 contract options, qualifying offers

John Schuhmann

John Schuhmann

Before free agency officially tips off at midnight ET on Saturday morning, players and teams had to make decisions on contract options, qualifying offers, and contracts that were either partially or non-guaranteed. Here’s the low down on who’s staying and who could be going.

Player options

These players had an option in the final year of their contract. If they exercised it, they were in for one more year. If they declined it, they become free agents Saturday morning.

Exercised (under contract for one more year)

Spencer Hawes (MIL)

Josh McRoberts (MIA)

Greg Monroe (MIL)

Dwyane Wade (CHI)

Declined (free agents)

Aron Baynes (DET)

Dante Cunningham (NOP)

Dewayne Dedmon (SAS)

Kevin Durant (GSW)

Danilo Gallinari (DEN)

Langston Galloway (SAC)

Pau Gasol (SAS)

Rudy Gay (SAC)

Gordon Hayward (UTA)

David Lee (SAS)

Kyle Lowry (TOR)

Luc Mbah a Moute (LAC)

C.J. Miles (IND)

Paul Millsap (ATL)

Willie Reed (MIA)

Marreese Speights (LAC)

Dion Waiters (MIA)

Early termination options

Early termination options are the opposite of a player option, where you have to exercise the option to become a free agent.

Exercised (free agent)

Blake Griffin (LAC)

Declined (under contract for one more year)

Chris Paul (HOU)

Team options

Here, the decision lies with the team. If they exercised the team option, they keep the player for another year. If they declined it, they allowed him to become a free agent.

Exercised (under contract for one more year)

Robert Covington (PHI)

Yogi Ferrell (DAL)

Jerami Grant (OKC)

DeAndre Liggins (LAC)

David Nwaba (LAL)

Declined (free agents)

Lavoy Allen (IND)

K.J. McDaniels (BKN)

Dirk Nowitzki (DAL)

Ramon Sessions (CHA)

Christian Wood (CHA)

Note: Wood could have been a restricted free agent, but the Hornets didn’t issue him a qualifying offer either (see below). So he’s unrestricted.

Qualifying offers

Some players were eligible for restricted free agency. This group includes 2013 first round draft picks who had their third and fourth-year options picked up and just completed their rookie contract, as well as other players who have played three or fewer seasons in the league.

Restricted free agency allows the team to match any offer the player receives from another team. But in order to have that right, the team must have issued the player a qualifying offer by Friday night. If a qualifying offer wasn’t issued, that player is an unrestricted free agent instead.

The qualifying offer is binding as a one-year contract. If the player signs it, he’s under contract for next season. He could also sign an offer sheet from another team (which his team would have the ability to match), and he and his team could agree on a new, multi-year contract. The team also has the ability to rescind the qualifying offer going forward.

Issued (restricted free agents)

Ron Baker (NYK)

Bojan Bogdanovic (WAS)

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (DET)

Cristiano Felicio (CHI)

JaMychal Green (MEM)

Tim Hardaway Jr. (ATL)

Joe Ingles (UTA)

Joffrey Lauvergne (CHI)

Alex Len (PHX)

Nikola Mirotic (CHI)

Shabazz Muhammad (MIN)

Nerlens Noel (DAL)

Kelly Olynyk (BOS)

Mason Plumlee (DEN)

Otto Porter Jr. (WAS)

Andre Roberson (OKC)

Jonathon Simmons (SAS)

Tony Snell (MIL)

Alan Williams (PHX)

Not issued (unrestricted free agents)

Bobby Brown (HOU)

Reggie Bullock (DET)

Trey Burke (WAS)

Michael Carter-Williams (CHI)

James Michael McAdoo (GSW)

Ben McLemore (SAC)

Damjan Rudez (ORL)


The following players have been waived so that their contracts didn’t become guaranteed (or fully guaranteed) and have been added to the free agent list

Arron Afflalo (SAC)

Jordan Hill (MIN)

Anthony Tolliver (SAC)

The following players were waived on Friday and will be free agents if they’re not claimed by another team by Sunday…

Isaiah Canaan (CHI)

Mike Dunleavy (ATL)

Festus Ezeli (POR)

Darrun Hilliard (LAC) – Waived Thursday

Gerald Henderson (PHI)

Maurice Ndour (NYK)

Rajon Rondo (CHI)

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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