Restricted free agency behind the scenes: ‘It’s not really free agency’

By Michael Scotto

Following lucrative deals for Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Michael Porter Jr. and Robert Williams, other players also on rookie-scale salaries hope to sign extensions before the Oct. 18 deadline to avoid an undesirable situation: restricted free agency.

Among those are Suns center Deandre Ayton, Cavs guard Collin Sexton and Grizzlies center Jaren Jackson Jr.

When the sides fail to agree to an extension, negotiations between executives and agents often become heated during restricted free agency.

“I was threatened by the GM,” one NBA agent told HoopsHype. “He was going to tell my client that I was f—— up the deal. I told him, ‘My client is in the other room. Do you think he doesn’t know what our conversation is? We’re going back and forth right now. There’s no way that he’s going to think I’m f—— this up.'”

To get a sense of how restricted free agency works behind the scenes and more anecdotes like the one above, HoopsHype spoke with five total agents and executives.


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