We’ve seen multiple players make this calculation in recent years: Opt out of the last year of a contract to take less money the next year, but secure more guaranteed money overall in a long-term deal. Some players are willing to take security (and more long-term guaranteed money) over the short-term gain.
Thaddeus Young may be next up for that.
Young, 29, is seriously contemplating declining his $13.7 million player option for the 2018-19 season and becoming an unrestricted free agent, league sources told ESPN….
Young’s decision on whether to exercise his player option is rooted in searching out a longer-term contract in the prime of his career this summer. Young’s value with the Pacers and elsewhere has been buoyed by his ability to guard multiple positions, a benefit in the evolving NBA game.
If Young opts out of the Pacers and into a tight free agent market, he will take a paycut of a few million next season. How much less remains to be seen, but a few million most likely.
But if he can get three years at around $36 million total, that may be worth it to him.
It’s not an easy call. Have a big season in 2018-19 and his free agent payday next summer — when many teams will have more money to spend — could net him another healthy payday. However, an injury or an off-year for whatever reason could hurt his value much further.
Young has until June 29 to decide and let the Pacers know his plans.