Reports surfaced on Thursday that point guard Shane Larkin will be opting out of his deal with the Brooklyn Nets.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports that Shane Larkin will opt out of his $1.5 million contract. This leaves the Brooklyn Nets with Jarrett Jack as their only point guard currently under contract.
Shane Larkin is opting out of his contract with the Nets, per sources. He'll be an unrestricted free agent. He had a $1.5 mil player option.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 2, 2016
Larkin was one of four Nets’ free agents last summer who signed 1+1 deals, a guaranteed year with a player option in the second. He’s also the only one likely to re-sign this summer.
Andrea Bargnani was waived, while Thomas Robinson and Wayne Ellington fell short of expectations. It’s already been reported that Robinson is expected to opt out as well and it’s hard to imagine Ellington not following suit.
Larkin’s situation post-opt out is different from the others. The Nets are desperate for point guard help. After Jack went down with a torn ACL last season, Larkin stepped into the starting role and performed better than anticipated.
The 23-year-old in his third season out of Miami averaged 7.3 points, 4.4 assists, and 1.2 steals on a slash line of .442/.361/.776.
On a per-36 minute basis, his numbers jump to 11.6 points, 7.0 assists, and 2.0 steals.
Larkin’s not a starter by any means nor is he the long-term answer at point guard. He can however be a solid backup behind a better player.
Jack’s contract isn’t fully guaranteed for the 2016-17 season and with a salary of $6.3 million the Nets would be smart to part ways with the veteran. He’s a better fit on a different team, but Larkin belongs in Brooklyn.
Shane Larkin might opt out of his deal but that doesn’t mean he won’t be back with the Nets in 2016-17.