New Orleans Pelicans

Report: Anthony Morrow to Opt out of Contract with New Orleans Pelicans

Apr 12, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Anthony Morrow (3) reacts after a shot  during the first half against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 29, 2014

Anthony Morrow wasn't content making just over $1.1 million in 2014-15. 

Rather than pick up his player option and remain with the New Orleans Pelicans, the 28-year-old shooting guard is opting to test the waters of free agency, via HoopsHype.com's Jorge Sierra. He's coming off a season in which he played just under 19 minutes per game, averaging 8.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists while shooting 45.1 percent from beyond the arc. 

It's easy to sit back and wonder why he'd make such a decision, especially when the collective bargaining agreement has forced so many teams to be more careful with their finances. 

But the answer is contained within that stat line. 

Morrow deserves to be playing over 20 minutes during the average contest, and he's never going to receive that type of playing time while calling NOLA home. If he does re-sign, it'll at least be for a higher paycheck. After all, a healthy Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Austin Rivers make for quite the crowded backcourt, and Pierre Jackson could eventually be added to the mix as well. 

On top of that, the 2-guard has the resume necessary to find a new home if he desires such a change in locale. 

If you aren't going to be a star in the Association, it's best to find a niche and hone that singular skill as much as possible. That's exactly what Morrow has done with his three-point shooting. 

He's knocked down over 40 percent of his attempts from downtown in four of his six professional seasons, and this last one, while it wasn't the most impressive campaign he's submitted, was pretty darn good. According to Basketball-Reference.com, only five players shot over 45 percent from beyond the arc while taking at least 2.5 attempts per game in 2013-14:

  • Troy Daniels (in only five games)
  • James Jones (extremely limited playing time)
  • Kyle Korver
  • Mike Miller
  • Anthony Morrow

That, in a nutshell, is why he's willing to test the market. 

"His performance this past season, likely earned Morrow, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer by opting out of the last year of his contract, a much bigger payday than the $1.145 million he is scheduled to make next season," wrote Nakia Hogan for The Times-Picayune

Apr 6, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Anthony Morrow (3) reacts after missing a shot late during the fourth quarter of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. The Blazers won the game 100-94. Mandatory Credit:
USA TODAY Sports

Chances are he'll get it. Shooters are valuable, especially when they have a track record like Morrow's.

"We just have to see what happens," the sniper said in early May, courtesy of Hogan. "Whatever happens, you just have to of course be loyal. I can't really control that. Whatever happens, happens."

Well, he's taken the first step. 

Now he'll find out what happens during the summer. 

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