The 2011 NBA free-agency period is set to begin in earnest on December 9. Restricted free agents (RFAs) like Marc Gasol and Jeff Green will be looking to score big paydays either through signing an offer sheet from a new club or staying with their current squad if an offer is matched or an agreement is made upon a qualifying offer.
It will be fascinating to see how the NBA's newly negotiated collective bargaining agreement will impact the pursuit of RFAs. If the league's salary cap is reduced or if owners force their general managers to adhere to stricter budgets due to a more punitive luxury tax, RFAs may not get the lucrative contracts they are hoping for. Their current employers may be able to find bargains in re-signing them to modest extensions. Here are the 10 best RFAs who find themselves in that delicate position.