JustPuked brought up a good question when he asked who is restricted and unrestricted on the Warriors’ roster. In fact, I just learned something by researching this. As most of you know, when a player is a restricted free agent, his team has the right to match any offer sheet he signs with another team. If the team matches, they keep the rights of the player. When a player is an unrestricted, he is free to sign with whichever team he chooses.
For clarification’s sake, here is a definition of restricted free agency, per CBA expert Larry Coon:
Restricted free agency exists only on a limited basis. It is allowed following the fourth year of rookie “scale” contracts for first-round draft picks. It is also allowed for all veteran free agents who have been in the league three or fewer seasons. However, a first round draft pick becomes an unrestricted free agent following his second or third season if his team does not exercise its option to extend the player’s rookie scale contract for the next season. All other free agency is limited to unrestricted free agency.
Based on this definition:
Andris Biedrins will be restricted
Monta Ellis will be restricted if the Warriors extend to him a qualifying offer by June 30. If they don’t, Ellis will be an unrestricted free agent (though the Warriors will have Larry Bird rights). But, chances are they will extend a qualifying offer.
Mickael Pietrus will be unrestricted. His restrictedness has expired.
Matt Barnes will be unrestricted. He has been in the league too long to qualify and he wasn’t a first round pick.
Patrick O’Bryant will be unrestricted. By choosing not to pick up his third-year option, they waived their rights to him after this season.
Kelenna Azubuike will be restricted, like Monta, if he declines to pick up his player option for next year and the Warriors extend a qualifying offer by June 30.