Amir Coffey, arguably the biggest bright spot this past season for the Los Angeles Clippers, has received a $2.1 million qualifying offer from the team, according to Keith Smith of Spotrac, therefore making Coffey a restricted free agent this offseason.
The LA Clippers tendered a $2.1M qualifying offer to Amir Coffey to make him a restricted free agent on July 1, a league source tells @spotrac.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 29, 2022
Coffey, 25, is fresh off of a season in which he played in 69 of the team’s 82 games, starting 30 of them. Coffey finished with career highs across the board as he averaged 9.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists and shot 45% from the field.
The biggest impact Coffey made came in January as he averaged 13.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and produced a 65.6 True Shooting Percentage, outstanding marks for a player on a two-way contract. The Clippers went 8-9 in January, but without Coffey’s incredible play it likely would have been much worse. It ultimately kept their season afloat.
The qualifying offer means that Coffey is now a restricted free agent, thus allowing the Clippers to match any offer he may receive on the open market. The Clippers also possess Bird Rights on Coffey and can go over the cap, which they are already, to retain him.
Coffey has improved in his three years with the Clippers after going undrafted in 2019. Los Angeles inked him to a two-way contract shortly after that year’s draft and he’s paid dividends ever since. Prior to his breakout in 2021-22, Coffey saw action in 62 games over his first two seasons with the Clippers.
When talking to reporters in mid-April after the end of the Clippers’ season, president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank waxed poetic about the journey that Coffey has had during his time in the league:
I think Amir deserves a lot of credit. You think about his journey, undrafted, going through the G League two years, had a challenging Summer League. Comes in on a two-way, and like — Amir has shown he’s a rotation player in the NBA. For him to step in, regardless of the role of starter, off the bench, you’re really happy.
I literally could pick out all the different happy moments I have for each of our guys, but we’re really just proud of Amir because, like I said, it wasn’t an easy path. There were things that we thought would happen [that] didn’t happen. Like he stayed the course. You love to see that.
The development of Coffey over the last three years, and especially the last two, could be seen as a major feather in the cap of player development guru Shaun Fein, whom the Clippers brought over from the Brooklyn Nets prior to the 2020-21 season.
Coffey had his two-way contract converted to a guaranteed deal by the Clippers on March 26. The Clippers had until June 29 to make a decision on whether or not to extend Coffey a qualifying offer.