Shane Larkin has decided to opt out of his contract this summer, turning down his player option for 2016/17, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). Larkin’s option with the Nets would have paid him $1.5MM next season — instead, he’ll hit the open market in search of a new deal.
Larkin, the 18th overall pick in the 2013 draft, has played for three different teams since entering the league, spending a season apiece in Dallas, New York, and Brooklyn. In 2015/16, he set new career highs in PPG (7.3), APG (4.4), and FG% (.442), among other categories.
While it appears that Larkin could be on his way to joining his fourth team in four years, it sounds like he would prefer to find a home that’s not just a short-term stop. Back in April, before he had made a decision on whether or not to exercise his player option, Larkin told reporters that he doesn’t want to “play a 10-year career with eight different teams.”
“I just turned 23, so I’m still young,” Larkin said. “Being able to get with a team on a two-year deal or three-year deal saying, ‘This is what we want you to be. We want you to spark our offense, push the tempo, be this guy and this is what we feel you can do for the team,’ then that’s perfect. Whether I’m a starter or whatever, it’s cool either way.”
Larkin figures to consider plenty of factors in free agency this offseason – notably his annual salary and his role – but it sounds he like he’ll favor suitors who are willing to offer him a multiyear contract and potentially view him as a part of their future.
Because he only has three years of NBA experience under his belt, Larkin will be eligible for restricted free agency — the Nets would have to submit a qualifying offer worth $1.875MM if they want the flexibility to match any offer for the point guard.