9:40pm: While Reid doesn’t foresee Morrow agreeing to the minimum salary, he does believe that the free agent will give the Pelicans the first shot at signing him. (Twitter link)
JUNE 4TH 4:05pm: Morrow has yet to decide what to do about his player option, as his agent, Wallace Prather, tells John Reid of The Times Picayune. The Pelicans likely would attempt to retain Morrow with a more lucrative deal than his existing minimum-salary arrangement, Reid writes.
”We haven’t specifically sat down and discussed it with (Pelicans GM) Dell Demps yet, so we don’t have anything to say about it right now,” Prather said.
MAY 29TH: Sharpshooter Anthony Morrow will turn down his player option with the Pelicans and become a free agent this summer, a source tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype. The 28-year-old was set to earn nearly $1.146MM next season, but a bounce-back year behind the arc apparently has him confident he can earn more.
The six-year veteran hit 45.1% of his three-point looks this past season, more in line with the 44.7% accuracy from behind the arc that he displayed over his first three seasons. He only hit 37.1% of his long-range attempts in 2011/12 and 2012/13, leading the Perennial Sports & Entertainment client to sign two-year a minimum-salary contract with New Orleans last summer. The deal included clauses that would have made part of his salary non-guaranteed if he missed time because of back and hip injuries, but he played in a career-high 76 games this past season.
The Pelicans have about $54MM in commitments for next season, so Morrow’s decision preserves the team’s full flexibility beneath a projected $63.2MM salary cap. They can attempt to re-sign him using Non-Bird rights that would allow for a starting salary worth 120% of what he made this past season. I’d be surprised if Morrow doesn’t have his eyes on a larger raise than that, one which would force New Orleans to use cap space or another exception.