It is being reported that the Thunder have extended a qualifying offer to backup shooting Guard Daequan Cook, making him a restricted free agent.
Daily Thunder also reports that the qualifying offer is for about $3.1 million. If we refer to HoopsHype, we can see that the $3.1 million is minimum amount to which the Thunder could have signed Cook to protect their right of first refusal. Now, other teams still have the opportunity to make an offer to Cook, but the Thunder retain their right to match whatever else is offered. Given that Cook is a back-up shooting specialist, I doubt that other teams will be willing to go higher than his current offer, so it is likely Cook will remain in Thunder colors for at least one more season.
I think it is a smart move once again by Sam Presti, because he is showing his loyalty and commitment to a player who understands his defined role and filled it well. It also keeps last year's team together, giving them further confidence that what they lack is not talent but time together.
For a few quick refresher points on restricted free agency:
- Qualifying offers must be submitted before June 30.
- If a player accepts the qualifying offer, they are under contract for one full season, after which they become unrestricted.
- If a player does not accept the qualifying offer, he remains a restricted free agent but the original qualifying offer is off the table. Both parties are free to negotiate a contract after the qualifying offer ends.
- If another team decides to submit an offer sheet to Cook, it must be for at least two years.
- The Thunder would have the opportunity to match any offer sheet, but must do it within seven days. If they fail to do so, then the offer sheet becomes the player's new contract.
- If the Thunder did match the competing offer sheet, then their offer sheet becomes the contract.