Hornets forward Marvin Williams has exercised his player option for the 2019/20 season, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). With that option locked in, Williams is now on track to reach unrestricted free agency in 2020, and will earn $15,006,250 next season, per Basketball Insiders.
Williams, the second overall pick in the 2005 draft, is coming off another solid season in which he averaged 10.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1.2 APG with a .422/.366/.767 shooting line for Charlotte.
A forward like Williams, who can guard multiple positions and knock down three-pointers (.378 3PT% since joining the Hornets in 2014), would probably do reasonably well on the open market. However, the former UNC standout is entering his age-33 season and almost certainly wouldn’t match his $15MM option salary in free agency.
Williams said in April during his exit interview with reporters that he intended to pick up his option, so today’s news doesn’t come as a surprise. Two Hornets veterans – Williams and Bismack Biyombo – have now officially opted in for 2019/20, adding approximately $32MM to the club’s commitments for next season.
The Hornets are currently carrying about $81MM in guaranteed salaries, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist still seems like a good bet to pick up his own $13MM player option. If he does, it would push team salary above $94MM without taking into account a new deal for Kemba Walker, limiting Charlotte’s ability to significantly upgrade its roster whether or not Walker returns.
Williams will become the eighth veteran this spring to officially exercise a player option, as our tracker indicates.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.