Yet, Seth Curry found an escape despite being a restricted free agent last summer.
The Kings rescinded Curry’s qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent and sign a two-year, $5,926,410 contract with the Mavericks. With the early returns in Dallas looking promising, how did Sacramento let him go so easily?
Kings TV play-by-play announcer Grant Napear:
That was pretty nice of the Kings and, I believe, also a miscalculation on their part.
If Sacramento knew Curry wasn’t in its long-term plans, OK, make his life easier and rescind the qualifying offer. But he’s a talented 26-year-old point guard who could help with Darren Collison suspended.
Instead, the Kings signed older Arron Afflalo, Garrett Temple and Matt Barnes to higher salaries than Curry got. We don’t know who else Sacramento was targeting, but forcing Curry to sign an offer sheet then not matching it was always an option. The Kings could have kept their options open longer – and maybe even wound up with a more valuable player in Curry if other targets passed.
He had some leverage as a free agent – far more than Cousins and Gay, who are under contract – but Curry’s restricted status could’ve helped Sacramento more than the team demanded. Remember, the Kings had Curry’s matching rights because they gave him his best contract offer last year. I don’t think they owed him this favor – unless they were set on not matching regardless.
There is value in appeasing agents. Relationships matter.
Having quality young talent on affordable contracts matters more, though.