NBA Player Option Decisions For 2017/18

A number of NBA contracts include player options in the final year. Those option years give the player the opportunity to either opt into the final year of his deal, finishing out his contract, or to opt out and hit the free agent market a year early.

A year ago, 29 veterans held player options on their contracts for 2016/17, and 26 of those players declined to pick up those options, choosing instead to enter free agency. The three players that exercised their options were Tim Duncan, Caron Butler, and Mo Williams — none of the three played a single NBA minute this past season.

In other words, if you had a player option on your contract last year, declining it was a no-brainer, unless you didn’t expect to land another contract. Even someone like Shane Larkin, who spent the season overseas playing ball in Spain, turned down a player option for that opportunity.

This year’s player option decisions will likely follow a similar pattern, with a few exceptions. Although the salary cap won’t make the same leap in 2017 that it did in 2016, there’s still plenty of money available out there for free agents, so guys with player options may turn them down in search of a longer-term contract that will pay more overall.

This year’s player options are detailed below. We’ll keep this list updated through the end of June to note the latest decisions.

Point Guards

Shooting Guards

Small Forwards

Power Forwards

Centers

* Note: Paul and Griffin have early termination options on their contracts. These aren’t technically player options, but practically speaking, they serve the same function.

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6 thoughts on “NBA Player Option Decisions For 2017/18

  1. GuruGray

    I think a lot of these players will end up opting in if they want to maximize their earning. I can’t see Wade getting more than $23 mil on the open market, so it just depends on his priorities. Other players like Gasol, McRoberts and Hawes aren’t likely to earn more than their player options. Greg Monroe is another player to watch

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    • Luke Adams

      It’ll be interesting to see what guys like Monroe/Wade do. Even if Monroe can’t land $17MM for 2017/18, maybe he could get a deal that pays $10-12MM annually over the next three years. Wade might not be able to find a team willing to pay him $23MM in 2017/18, but maybe there’s a team willing to offer $34MM over the next two years or something. Locking in that extra guaranteed money could be worth it, even if they end up taking a pay cut for next season — it’s not as if they’re in a really great position to improve their stock for 2018 if they stay where they are and play out their contracts.

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  2. Knicks Fan

    If I had to decide, Blake Griffin is a PF not a SF. If he wasn’t a PF, he’d be a C

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    • Luke Adams

      Whoops. I agree! Didn’t mean to list him as SF. He’s in the PF list now.

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