K.J. McDaniels won.
He accepted the 76ers’ required tender – a one-year, unguaranteed, minimum-salary contract – rather than a low-paying, partially guaranteed four-year deal.
Then, he cashed in this summer with a three-year, $10 million contract from the Rockets.
But he still couldn’t escape the reach of the NBA’s system geared toward giving teams strong control over their young players.
When McDaniels initially agreed to terms with Houston, reports conflicted whether the final season was a player option. Turns out, it’s a team option.
Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:
Houston’s big advantage is not being able to get out of paying McDaniels $3.48 million in 2017-18. With the salary cap skyrocketing, it’s very unlikely McDaniels would be worth less than that.
The big advantage is the potential to make McDaniels a restricted free agent in 2017 by declining the option. If he completes the contract, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent in 2018.
Would the Rockets rather hold matching rights on McDaniels in two years or get a potentially cheap year of service from him?
They’ll have the option, and it’s a nice choice to have.
Once again, a good deal for Houston looks even better.