Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Boston Celtics guard Brad Wanamaker will not be issued a qualifying offer:
Boston has declined a qualifying offer to guard Brad Wanamaker, making him an unrestricted free agent, source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 19, 2020
By not issuing Wanamaker a qualifying offer, it means the NBA’s 2019-20 free throw percentage leader will become an unrestricted free agent. That wouldn’t preclude a return to Boston however, as noted by the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmeslbach:
Per source, although the Celtics declined to issue Brad Wanamaker a qualifying offer, there remains a chance that he could return to Boston, particularly if Hayward does not.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) November 19, 2020
Wanamaker was in his second season with the Celtics, following several years overseas. After being a deep bench player as an NBA rookie, he emerged as a key backup for Brad Stevens in his second year.
Wanamaker averaged 6.9 points per game in 71 games, mostly as a reserve. Wanamaker led the NBA in free throw percentage at 92.6%. He was also a solid ballhandler and defender in the backcourt.
Had Wanamaker received a qualifying offer, he could have re-signed with the Celtics for one-year and $1.8 million, or negotiated a new contract. As a restricted free agent, had Wanamaker reached terms on an offer sheet, Boston would have retained match rights.
Now, Wanamaker will be free to test the open market. Should he and Boston have interest in a return, the Celtics have Early Bird rights for the guard and could give him a bump in pay over the minimum salary he earned last season.