The Los Angeles Lakers have extended a qualifying offer of $1 million to Ryan Kelly, making him a restricted free agent going into July 1, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Kelly was the Lakers' second-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, going 48th-overall to Los Angeles.
Kelly played significant minutes for the Lakers, mostly through the second half of the season. He averaged eight points and three rebounds per game through his rookie year. The Lakers gave him time on the floor and were able to develop and examine his game up-close, but also assigned him to the Los Angeles D-Fenders throughout the regular season.
The selection of Julius Randle definitely pushed Kelly "back" in the depth chart, but his skill set is best served as an off-the-bench three-point threat. Kelly can accept the qualifying offer and return to the Lakers, or he can decline it and sign an offer sheet elsewhere. Los Angeles can match any offer sheet he signs.
It's hard to imagine a league where there's a market willing to pay Kelly much more than what he'll receive for the qualifying offer. In other restricted free agency news, the Lakers did not offer wingman Kent Bazemore the $1.1 million qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent.