The Spurs have exercised their 2014/15 options on Kawhi Leonard and Cory Joseph, the team announced via press release. It’s the fourth-year option for both, meaning they’ll be eligible for extensions to their rookie-scale contracts next summer. Leonard will earn close to $2.9MM in 2014/15, while Joseph will see a little more than $2MM, as our rookie contract option tracker shows.
The move to pick up Leonard’s option is a formality, since he quickly established himself as a key part of the franchise’s future in his first two seasons in San Antonio. I had the decision on Leonard as a “no-brainer” when I looked at pending rookie options last month, but I listed Joseph as “on the bubble.” The 29th pick in 2011 has appeared in only 57 games over his first two seasons combined, though he did serve as the team’s backup point guard for the majority of the playoffs last year, averaging 3.0 points and 1.2 assists in 9.6 minutes per contest.
The moves add nearly $5MM to San Antonio’s payroll for next season, bringing the total amount of the team’s commitments to about $33.5MM. That number is deceptively low, as I pointed out earlier this month, since it doesn’t include $9MM in non-guaranteed salary for Tony Parker and a $10MM player option for Tim Duncan.