On Wednesday, reports indicated that both Wesley Johnson and Austin Rivers would turn down their player options, opting out of their contracts with the Clippers. That left one Clipper, Cole Aldrich, with an option decision to make, and according to Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times, Aldrich has elected to opt out of his deal as well.
Aldrich, 27, only averaged 13.3 minutes per game in 60 contests for the Clippers last season, but was a decent depth piece for the club, averaging 5.5 PPG and 4.8 RPG with a career-best .596 FG%. Aldrich signed a two-year, minimum-salary deal with Los Angeles a year ago, with a player option on the second year of that contract.
Since that 2016/17 option is worth the minimum (approximately $1.23MM), there’s little to no downside for Aldrich in declining it. Even if he’s unable to find a team offering him a raise, he should certainly be able to land another minimum-salary contract, perhaps one that’s structured in a similar way to his last deal, giving him some flexibility to opt in or out again in 2017. With the NBA salary cap on the rise, it’s also possible Aldrich will find a team willing to pay him a little more than the minimum.
With Johnson, Rivers, and Aldrich all planning to opt out, the Clippers won’t have to carry those player options on their books when free agency begins in July. However, the team will continue to have cap holds for all three players until they’re renounced or re-signed. For his part, Aldrich has interest in re-signing in L.A., according to Turner.