Monday, December 21st was officially the last day of the 2020-21 offseason and acted as the deadline for team moves in some aspects. All rosters had to be finalized by 5 PM Central. More importantly, rookie scale extensions also had to be agreed upon. All the players who didn't sign any such deal will now be entering NBA free agency next year, albeit as restricted ones.
NBA Free Agency 2021: Potential stars that missed out on new deals
A lot of cash was splashed around on Monday. The likes of OG Anunoby, Markelle Fultz, Luke Kennard, and Derrick White all signed multi-year contracts. But beyond this frenzy, several notable names including lottery picks from the 2017 draft failed to land extensions. All those guys will now be hoping to prove their worth this season to earn their payday in NBA free agency next year.
Let's look at five such names now.
#5 Zach Collins
Revered by the Portland Trail Blazers' fans after what was a solid 2018-19 season, Zach Collins was expected to take a huge leap last year. But a slew of shoulder and foot injuries allowed him to feature in only 11 games.
There still isn't a fixed timeline on when Collins will return and the Blazers have acquired several forwards in the process as a safety measure. It's rather evident that the former Gonzaga player will have to deliver over the course of the upcoming campaign if he wants to be recruited in NBA free agency next year.
#4 Jarrett Allen
Jarrett Allen was expected to be the Brooklyn Nets' long-term solution for the center spot until they signed DeAndre Jordan in NBA free agency in 2019. Jordan is likely to be the preferred starter over Allen, but the reason behind the Nets not opting to extend the 2017 draftee's contract could purely be a financial one.
The Brooklyn Nets are already over the luxury tax threshold and any contractual commitments will only reduce their financial flexibility. They can always decide to bring Allen back via restricted NBA free agency in 2021. And there's no reason not to, considering he averaged 11.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 2019-20.