If he’d been more proactive the prior offseason, he apparently would have been far better off.
He turned down a four-year, $40 million extension before the 2016-17 season. Sources say Muhammad believed a strong year plus a crazy flow of free-agency money would lead to him commanding as much as $20 million per season in his next deal.
This is a consequence not having cap smoothing in 2016, when the salary cap skyrocketed under new national TV deals. Many players expected huge windfalls, but only 2016 free agents took the biggest advantage.
Muhammad probably wouldn’t have gotten $20 million annually if he were a 2016 free agent. But he likely would have gotten far above the minimum.
Unfortunately for Muhammad, the cap environment has changed. It’s probably too late for the 25-year-old to ever recoup the money he passed up.
In a league that especially values 3-point shooting and defense from wings, Muhammad does neither well. His overall game has fallen off this season, and he has fallen out of the rotation.
Muhammad has a minimum-salary player option ($1,795,015) for next season. He ought to at least consider exercising it.