In a move that shouldn’t come as a surprise, Andrea Bargnani has informed the Knicks that he intends to exercise his player option and opt in for next season, Marc Stein of ESPN.com has reported. This news was also confirmed by Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link). Bargnani had until Wednesday to make this official.
Bargnani joins Amar’e Stoudemire in exercising his option to remain with the team. Bargnani is set to make $11.5MM next season, after pulling in a salary of $11,862,500 during the 2013/14 campaign. During his first season in New York, Bargnani only appeared in 42 games, averaging 13.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 1.1 APG in 29.9 minutes per game.
The Knicks appeared to play better with Bargnani out of the lineup, evidenced by their record of 15-27 when he was healthy, versus going 22-18 after he suffered a season-ending elbow injury. The team also scored 6.8 points more per 100 possessions when Bargnani was on the bench compared to when he was on the court. On defense, they gave up one fewer point per 100 possessions when Bargnani was playing compared to when he was on the bench. Overall, the Knicks were 7.9 points better per 100 possessions without Bargnani on the floor.