2018 Free Agency

Guide to 2018 contract options, qualifying offers

John Schuhmann

John Schuhmann

Before free agency officially tips off at midnight ET on Sunday 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)

Darrell Arthur (DEN)

Ron Baker (NYK)

Wilson Chandler (DEN)

Dewayne Dedmon (ATL)

Danny Green (SAS)

Wesley Johnson (LAC)

Cory Joseph (IND)

Enes Kanter (NYK)

Kosta Koufos (SAC)

Wesley Matthews (DAL)

Jodie Meeks (WAS)

Mike Muscala (ATL)

Austin Rivers (WAS) – Exercised option prior to trade to Washington

Iman Shumpert (SAC)

Jason Smith (WAS)

Milos Teodosic (LAC)

Garrett Temple (SAC)

Thaddeus Young (IND)

Declined (free agents)

Jamal Crawford (MIN)

Kevin Durant (GSW)

Rudy Gay (SAS)

Paul George (OKC)

LeBron James (CLE)

DeAndre Jordan (LAC)

Joffrey Lauvergne (SAS)

Kyle O’Quinn (NYK)

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.

Declined (under contract for one more year)

Carmelo Anthony (OKC)

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)

Richaun Holmes (PHI)

Aaron Jackson (HOU)

T.J. McConnell (PHI)

Nikola Mirotic (NOP)

Note: Mirotic’s option was picked up as part of the trade that sent him from Chicago to New Orleans.

Declined (free agents)

Nikola Jokic (DEN) – Restricted

Jordan Mickey (MIA)

Dirk Nowitzki (DAL)

Lance Stephenson (IND)

Joe Young (IND)

Note: The Nuggets declined their team option on Jokic, but because he has played just three seasons, they had the ability to issue him a qualifying offer and make him a restricted free agent (see below). That’s what they did. The Heat and Pacers could have done the same with Mickey and Young, but did not, so they’re each unrestricted free agents.

Qualifying offers

Some players were eligible for restricted free agency. This group includes 2014 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 Saturday 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 (the list below is as of June 30.)

Issued (restricted free agents)

Kyle Anderson (SAS)

Davis Bertans (SAS)

Nemanja Bjelica (MIN)

Clint Capela (HOU)

Dante Exum (UTA)

Yogi Ferrell (DAL)

Bryn Forbes (SAS)

Aaron Gordon (ORL)

Montrezl Harrell (LAC)

Rodney Hood (CLE)

Zach LaVine (CHI)

Patrick McCaw (GSW)

Raul Neto (UTA)

Jusuf Nurkic (POR)

David Nwaba (CHI)

Jabari Parker (MIL)

Julius Randle (LAL)

Marcus Smart (BOS)

Fred VanVleet (TOR)

Not issued (unrestricted free agents)

Bruno Caboclo (SAC)

Pat Connaughton (POR)

Malcolm Delaney (ATL)

Marcus Georges-Hunt (MIN)

Jonathan Gibson (BOS)

Traveon Graham (CHA)

Aaron Harrison (DAL)

Andre Ingram (LAL)

Amile Jefferson (MIN)

Damion Lee (ATL)

Doug McDermott (DAL)

Salah Mejri (DAL)

Shabazz Napier (POR)

Lucas Nogueira (TOR)

Elfrid Payton (PHX)

Nik Stauskas (BKN)

Noah Vonleh (CHI)

Travis Wear (LAL)


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 (or will be added once they’ve cleared waivers)…

Cole Aldrich (MIN)

Thomas Bryant (LAL)

Tyler Ennis (LAL)

Omari Johnson (MEM)

Shelvin Mack (ORL)

Tyler Ulis (PHX)

Two-way free agents

This past season was the first with two-way players that can go between the NBA roster and the G League. Some two-way players are still under contract for next season. Those that aren’t can be restricted free agents if they were on the NBA team’s active or inactive list for 15 or more days of the NBA regular season and if their team issued a qualifying offer.

Here’s a rundown of two-way free agents…


Ryan Arcidiacono (CHI)

Jabari Bird (BOS)

Markel Brown (HOU)

Torrey Craig (DEN)

Milton Doyle (BKN)

Isaiah Hicks (NYK)

Darrun Hilliard (SAS)

Derrick Jones Jr. (MIA)

Luke Kornet (NYK)

Malcolm Miller (TOR)

Xavier Munford (MIL)

Georges Niang (UTA)

Marshall Plumlee (MIL)

JaKarr Sampson (SAC)

Tyrone Wallace (LAC)

Derrick Walton Jr. (MIA)


Jamel Artis (ORL)

Anthony Brown (MIN)

Charles Cooke (NOP)

Jack Cooley (SAC)

Matt Costello (SAS)

P.J. Dozier (OKC)

Kay Felder (DET)

Daniel Hamilton (OKC)

Danuel House (PHX)

Demetrius Jackson (PHI)

Josh Magette (ATL)

Erik McCree (UTA)

Ben Moore (IND)

Marcus Paige (CHA)

Gary Payton II (LAL)

Alec Peters (PHX)

James Webb III (BKN)

Andrew White III (ATL)

C.J. Wilcox (POR)