How to keep Deandre Ayton? This is the first problem for the Phoenix Suns this summer. Compared with the free agency, Ayton, as a “restricted free agent” (RFA), has to face a series of uncertain factors. Disputes about the RFA system will be discussed every few years. Often once you fall into the “going and staying dilemma” of RFA, it is always easy to be unhappy, or one party is under financial pressure. As an example, Ayton discusses the difficulties with the current RFA.
If you want to know the team-oriented topics such as “Should the Sun keep people?”, please refer to Xiaotie’s “Teapot Storm or Falling Down? Deandre Ayton and the Sun’s Summer Homework”
What is restricted free agency? The biggest difference from ordinary free agents is that when a player reaches a contract agreement with another team, the parent team will be able to follow up the same contract content unconditionally. It usually appears at the end of the fourth year of a first-round pick, and the rest of the players on a three-year deal or less, or a two-way contract. For details, please refer to this note by josephhou: Talking about Restrict Free Agent
Competing RFA players will almost always open a “premium contract”
“Forbes” described the RFA market last year as “either a team pays a premium to keep an unsatisfied player, or they lose him outright, with no middle ground.”
If the Suns fail to reach a contract renewal agreement with Ayton before the opening of the free market, the team with salary space can open a contract to recruit. A price that would make the parent team feel heartbroken and unwilling to stay, forcing the Suns to give up Ayton.
The more famous cases are Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin. The former obtained RFA status after three seasons with the Rockets. At that time, the Mavericks made an offer of 46 million for 3 years, which is a large amount. The 30th highest salary, even surpassing James Harden in the same period, and the Mavericks succeeded in the end. Jeremy Lin was offered a 3-year 24 million offer by the Rockets. The wonderful thing is to use the terms and details to offer a “poison contract”. The first two years were only 5 million, and the third year’s salary surged to 13.8 million. With luxury tax Push Nick back.
There is also a special case. In the summer of 2016, the Nets served as a crazy big buyer. Due to the loss of a large number of draft picks in the previous transactions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Nets, who had no salary space, decided to pay more money to acquire young assets. Aiming at RFA players, I have successively offered Allen Crabbe 75 million for 4 years, and Tyler Johnson is 50 million for 4 years, both of which are not only significantly higher than the market, but also add 15% transaction compensation and player option, which is to strive for the parent team not to follow up. Although they didn’t get it in the end, the two contracts after the fact made the Blazers and Heat suffer a lot.
We can find that players who will get offers in the free market as RFA are basically at the level of “more than green leaves and less than stars”. The price tag will make the team hesitate, but the current system is not flexible enough.
If it is a relatively small coffee green leaf, it will lose its incentives in the market due to the cumbersome process of RFA (mentioned in the later paragraph). Top players such as Luka Doncic and Trae Young, who are on the same ladder as Ayton, are regarded by the team as the core of the reconstruction, and both the Eagles and the Mavericks have extended their contracts early.
Again, “sign first and then change” is the mainstream
In theory, a premium contract would be required to snatch an RFA player, but can Ayton get a four-year, $130 million offer? I think the probability is low, mainly because the competitive RFA is very unfriendly to the chasing party. In addition, only 5 teams have cap space this summer, and the real contenders are very limited, or there is no market.
Competing for an RFA player will have a “consideration period” comparable to the penalty for the bidding team. In order for the parent team to consider whether to follow up the contract, the bidder needs to wait 2 days to determine whether it can sign the player. In the past, there have been deliberate delays by the team, and procedures such as medical examinations have extended the consideration period to nearly a week. At this time, the salary space of the bidding team will be frozen, and the opportunity to recruit other players will be missed.
For example, in 2017, when the Nets offered Otto Porter Jr. a contract, ESPN wrote in a July 5 report that the Wizards had already stated that they would follow up, but it was not officially announced until July 9. God let the Nets have more than 20 million cap space unusable.
The “consideration period” is also a big disadvantage for Ayton. If it is not a team that is very eager for a center, it will definitely give priority to unrestricted free agents, and put RFA to the last consideration. The market money is limited, signing RFA players The bidder carries a disproportionate amount of risk, and more and more teams are reluctant to make an offer.