“What is up with teams not locking up their young players? Warriors didn’t lock up Biedrins. And players like Okafor, Ben Gordan, Deng, and Iguodala. Are teams that concerned about the salary cap these days? Or are these players just not worth the money their draft slot warrants them? Or are the agents asking too much?
With the w’s having the cap flexibility and the number the free agents, do you see them going after Deng and Iguodala?” – manhattanproj
The trend is to wait it out. Because of restricted free agency, teams have learned not to bid against themselves and end up paying more.
For instance, the Warriors didn’t extend Andris Biedrins. So, he’ll be a restricted free agent. Now, the current market will be determined how much he’s worth, not past markets, not his agent, not Biedrins.
Biedrins’ barometer was Chris Kaman and Tyson Chandler’s contract. If the Warriors paid him that kind of money before Biedrins hit the market, how would they know that’s what he’s worth? What if the market for big men isn’t so high next year, and they can get him for $40 million? They’ll save $10-15 million. If he is indeed worth $50 to $55 million, they won’t lose anything because restricted free agency allows them to match whatever. It’s a win-win situation for the team.
The only risk is that he’ll be worth more than they could’ve signed him for this year. If Biedrins has an all-star season, or some other team falls in love and makes some crazy offer, he may command $60 to $65 million, and the Warriors would have lost some $10 million more by not signing him last year. But that’s a risk more teams are willing to take because the fact is, only two or three teams each off season have enough cap room to sign players to a big contract. How many teams will have the cap room to pay Andris $11 million next year? Not very many, and that helps the Warriors. If someone does offer that much, the Warriors can match. If you just play the percentages, it is overwhelmingly a smarter move to wait and let players become restricted free agents.