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 decline the option and hit the free agent market a year early.
Several factors play a part in a player’s option decision. The value of the option salary is obviously crucial, as is the player’s performance in the season leading up to his decision. The state of the NBA’s salary cap also generally becomes a necessary consideration for players weighing their decisions.
If the salary cap is projected to increase only modestly, or if not many teams project to have cap room, a player may be inclined to take the guaranteed money rather than trying his luck on the open market. That could be the case for some players in 2021, as the cap may only increase by about 3% and most teams won’t have room available.
This year’s player options are listed below. This list – which can be found anytime under the “Hoops Rumors Features” menu on the right sidebar on our desktop site or on the “Features” page in our mobile menu – will be updated throughout the spring and early summer to note the latest decisions.
Each player’s decision date comes courtesy of ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Unless otherwise indicated, the player’s decision is due by August 1.
- Spencer Dinwiddie ($12,302,496): Opted out
- Decision due two days after the Nets’ final playoff game.
- Al-Farouq Aminu ($10,183,800): Opted in
- Isaiah Hartenstein ($1,762,796): Opted out
- Decision due by July 25.
- Josh Richardson ($11,615,328): Opted in
- Will Barton ($14,669,642): Opted out
- Decision due by July 17.
- JaMychal Green ($7,559,748): Opted out
- Decision due by July 26.
Golden State Warriors
- Kevon Looney ($5,178,572): Opted in
Los Angeles Clippers
- Kawhi Leonard ($36,016,200): Opted out
- Serge Ibaka ($9,720,900): Opted in
Los Angeles Lakers
- Montrezl Harrell ($9,720,900): Opted in
- Decision due by July 31.
- Bobby Portis ($3,804,150): Opted out
- Bryn Forbes ($2,454,002): Opted out
- Decision due by July 28.
- Chris Paul ($44,211,146): Opted out
Portland Trail Blazers
- Norman Powell ($11,615,328): Opted out
- Decision due by July 22.
- Derrick Jones ($9,720,900): Opted in
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Salary information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post.
12 thoughts on “NBA Player Option Decisions For 2021/22”
Several no brainer decisions in there, but there are some that are very intriguing. Kawhi Leonard is at the top of the list. I know he has immense talent, but should anyone be willing to pay more than $36MM a year for a guy that barely plays half your games?
Should anyone? Or will anyone? Not sure about your question, but someone definitely will pay him that on the open market if it’s not LAC.
I started with will, but changed to should. I know he WILL get it just for name value alone. NBA teams are not well known for being thrifty with their free agent money. But he is not worth that much in my opinion. The most important abilities are availability and durability and Leonard fails at both.
I mean, Hayward got 30M, he isn’t half as talented as Leonard and also only plays half his teams games, if that.
The Lakers are paying a broken down 36-year old LeBron $43M/year, so why wouldn’t anyone pay Kawhi (who’s 7 years younger) $36M+/year?
Of course— kawhi is a magic leprechaun bestowing titles.
Well this thread certainly declined from the OP.
Knicks should use $72 million cap room to sign free agents, then trade them at the trade deadline for future picks
Knicks can make offers to Portis and Harrell
Let’s make 4 years $32 million offer to Portis then trade him for 2 future Firsts later
If I were a Knicks GM, I treat all good free agents as Knicks property
The only path to compete for free agents is to overpay
Let’s “kill”the cheap owners who need to pay luxury tax
If the Lakers want to sign and trade Schroeder to Knicks for draft picks, just let Lakers know good free agents are Knicks property …
What do you mean, Lakers?
Portis for two future 1sts? What GM is making that trade?
He likes to think he’s a GM, so why not let him dream?
Silli is trying to channel World Wide Wes.
But he advised the Knicks the same thing his first days on HR… to sign many FAs to trade them for picks later. “Trade trade trade”. But nobody wanted the signed FAs… the tactic failed… until Thibs was hired.