With NBA free agency in 2021 approaching, teams must make important decisions on restricted free agents ahead of the 2021-22 season. The free agency period for 2021 will begin on August 2nd, with players signing new contracts only after the moratorium, which will remain until August 6th.
Players can sign offer papers from teams that have approached them as a restricted free agency. The original team, on the other hand, has the final say, since they can match the offer and keep the player or not.
Which restricted NBA free agents will likely re-sign with their current teams?
Seventy-seven players will head into 2021 NBA free agency as restricted free agents. The chances of all of them being re-signed by their teams are slim.
Salary cap space, positional needs, and fit with the team’s identity are some of the factors that will be considered before a deal is finalized. However, teams might exploit the sign-and-trade option, especially with players who have bird rights; others will be outrightly retained because of how valuable they are to the team.
On that note, let’s look at the top five restricted free agents that will likely re-sign with their current teams.
#5 Hamidou Diallo
The Detroit Pistons acquired Hamidou Diallo from the OKC Thunder in March 2021. In what seems like a rebuilding attempt, the Pistons are gunning for more athletic players, and Diallo fits the bill.
Although Diallo is a restricted free agent heading into the 2021 offseason, the chances of Diallo re-signing with the Pistons are fairly high. Troy Weaver, who was responsible for drafting the guard in the 2018 NBA Draft, sought Diallo out less than a year after he took over as the GM in Detroit.
Pistons have GOT to extend or re sign Hamidou Diallo!! That man gets to the rim effortlessly every time.— Branson Wagner (@Cudderisback41) April 9, 2021
Diallo had a decent run with the Pistons, averaging 11.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists despite starting only four of his 20 appearances. While his 3-point shooting will need to be better, his display of athleticism has been impressive. Given the chance, Diallo could be the ideal rotation player for the Detroit Pistons in the 2021-22 NBA season.
The Portland Trail Blazers included Gary Trent Jr. in a package to acquire Norman Powell from the Toronto Raptors on deadline day. Although he was having the best season of his career, the Trail Blazers traded him because of their impending cap issues.
Trent Jr. has been sensational since joining the Toronto Raptors. He has taken up a starting role and has more time to develop in a primary role. However, he became a restricted free agent as the 2020-21 NBA season ended.
This year was the coming-out party for Gary Trent Jr.— Sahal Abdi (@sahaIabdi) July 9, 2021
From starting in Rip City beside Damian Lillard, to the trade, to hanging 44 points in Cleveland and now to his future with the Toronto Raptors.
My piece on the season that was for @gtrentjr: https://t.co/F0mq9sHjbU
The decision to re-sign him should be a no-brainer for the Raptors. The talent is evident, as he averaged 16.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.3 assists. He has a decent perimeter shot and can help the Raptors spread the court for Pascal Siakim to go to work in the paint.
However, the most cogent reason for his re-signing would be his value long term. The guard is only 22-years-old and is impressive on offense and defense. He can continue to grow with the raptors and be one of the most lethal wings in the NBA.