Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has picked up his 2019/20 player option, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). The move ensures that Kidd-Gilchrist locks in his $13MM salary for next season, putting him on track to reach unrestricted free agency in 2020.
Kidd-Gilchrist’s decision doesn’t come as a surprise. The former second overall pick is coming off a down year in which he averaged 6.7 PPG and 3.8 RPG in a career-low 18.4 minutes per contest. Having started all but four of 357 career games for the Hornets heading into the season, he came off the bench for 61 of his 64 contests this past year.
Kidd-Gilchrist is also currently recovering from a surgical procedure which he underwent last week to address a chronic groin strain. The 25-year-old is expected to be ready to return to action in time for training camp, according to the Hornets.
[RELATED: NBA Player Option Decisions For 2019/20]
In total, those three options tack on about $45MM to Charlotte’s team salary for next season, increasing the club’s total guaranteed commitments to $94MM+. That figure doesn’t include new contracts for free agents like Jeremy Lamb, Frank Kaminsky, or – most notably – Kemba Walker.