1:50pm: Garcia says he’s yet to make a final decision about his player option for next season, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (Twitter link).
9:37am: Francisco Garcia is planning to opt out of his contract with the Rockets and seek a new, multiyear deal, sources tell Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. The move would be no surprise, since Garcia, who played a significant role off the bench much of the season for Houston, was set to make the minimum salary on his player option next season. Still, Haynes hears from two more sources that Garcia will prioritize long-term security over a raise as he canvasses the market for a new deal.
The swingman averaged 5.7 points in 19.7 minutes per game over 55 regular season appearances for the Rockets, but his minutes dried up in the playoffs. He saw 18 minutes in Game 1 against the Blazers, four minutes in Game 2, and sat for the rest of the series as D-League refugee Troy Daniels seized much of his playing time.
The Rockets have full Bird rights on the Aaron Goodwin client, so they appear to have the inside track. Garcia is probably in line for more than the minimum, but securing a deal that lasts three or more seasons would require him to either find a team with cap space or a club willing to commit at least part of its mid-level exception to him if he were to leave the Rockets. There’s also a decent chance Houston will renounce its Bird Rights to Garcia to clear cap space in the pursuit of Carmelo Anthony or another marquee free agent. Garcia figures to sign later in July, once the more attractive free agents come off the board, but even if he settles for another two-year deal for the minimum, as he did last offseason, that would at least give him a bit more security than opting in for one more season would have.