LA Clippers' JaMychal Green Declines Player Option, Will Become Unrestricted Free Agent
The first domino of the LA Clippers' offseason has fallen.
Reserve forward JaMychal Green has reportedly declined his player option for the 2020-2021 season, making him an unrestricted free agent. Green's option was worth just over $5 million.
Fortunately, this doesn't necessarily mean that Green won't be returning next season. Rather, this could be the first step toward signing a long-term contract with the Clippers, where he's played some of the best basketball of his NBA career.
The floor-spacing big was one of LA's most consistent players off the bench this season, posting averages of 6.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in just under 21 minutes per game. Green also attempted a career-high 3.8 three-pointers per game in 2019-2020, converting at a 38.7% rate.
He was particularly effective in the postseason, bringing his three-point percentage up to 43.5% and outperforming teammate Montrezl Harrell on the glass. Had he played more in LA's second-round series with the Denver Nuggets, there's a chance the Clippers would have gone on to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
Performance aside, Green's skillset is another factor that will make him a desirable free agent. It's hard to come by a better outside shooter and rebounder at his price, and rival contenders could force the Clippers to bump Green's annual salary up by a few million if they wish to retain him.
If LA is unable to bring him back, the franchise may have a hard time finding a worthy replacement. Aron Baynes and Frank Kaminsky can both rebound and stretch the floor, but neither player is as efficient as Green.
Green has taken a pay cut to play with the Clippers in the past, so perhaps he could be going the same route again. But he's worth much more than the $5 million he declined, and it would be hard to blame him for cashing out.