NBA Roundtable

Azubuike Will Not Opt Out

In Free Agency, General NBA on March 20, 2010 at 1:03 am

Matt Steinmetz reports

Had a chance to talk to Warriors forward Kelenna Azubuike a couple of days ago, and asked him about next year’s player option worth $3.3 million.

Azubuike is finishing the second year of a three-year contract worth approximately $9 million, and can forgo the final year at $3.3 million if he wants. Back in 2008, Azubuike signed an offer sheet with the L.A. Clippers, but the Warriors matched.

No surprise, and I figured as much, but Azubuike indicated he’s virtually certain to exercise the option and return to the Warriors in 2010-11 rather than become an unrestricted free agent.

“That’s the logical thing to do,” said Azubuike, who entered 2009-10 with a career scoring average or 10.4 points per game in three seasons. “I’m leaning toward a certain way – coming back.”

Azbuike also acknowledged that the season-ending injury he sustained back in mid-November (torn patellar tendon, left knee) “definitely affected things,” as far as becoming a free agent.

This is a good decision for Azubuike. He should use next season to prove his fitness and then try for a bigger contract then.

If Azubuike can regain his best form, then he’ll receive a pay rise in 2011.

Meanwhile, the Warriors get to retain a very good role player at a good price. That should help them next season.

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