Like fellow San Antonio Spurs teammates Danny Green and Rudy Gay, Joffrey Lauvergne will have to decide by June 29 whether to exercise his $1.6 million player option and return to the Spurs next season, or decline the option and become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
During the preseason last October, Lauvergne looked like he could carve a role for himself off the bench as the Spurs’ backup center. However, after suffering an early season injury, Lauvergne was never able to find a consistent place in the rotation as he finished the season playing in just 55 games.
During those 55 games, Lauvergne averaged 4.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 9.7 minutes. Last summer, Lauvergne signed a two-year veteran minimum deal with the Spurs that included a player option this summer.
If Lauvergne exercised the player option, he’d make $1,656,092 next season and then become an unrestricted free agent next summer at age 27. With Pau Gasol still on the roster and Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich playing more small ball with LaMarcus Aldridge at the 5, there’s still no certainty a role can be made next season for Lauvergne.
Should Lauvergne decline the player option, he’d look to see if he could get a bigger contract with another team, but, if he ended up settling for another veteran minimum offer, he’d be signing for $1,607,583, which would mean he would have lost $48,509 for the same deal he walked away from in San Antonio.
It’s unlikely to happen, but financially, it’s possible for the Spurs to re-sign Lauvergne up to $1.8 million annually on up to a four-year deal using his non-bird rights.
If Lauvergne’s market is in the veteran minimum range, one would guess he’d most likely decline his player option with the Spurs and see if he could try to find a slight pay raise elsewhere.
You can read about the restricted free agency of Kyle Anderson, Davis Bertans, and Bryn Forbes by clicking on this link.
Salary information via BasketballInsiders.com.