David Lee Reportedly Declines Contract Option with Spurs, Will Enter Free Agency

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2017

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 5: David Lee #10 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Houston Rockets in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 5, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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San Antonio Spurs forward David Lee reportedly declined his $2.3 million player option for the 2017-18 season on Thursday and will become an unrestricted free agent, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania

A 12-year veteran, Lee spent the 2016-17 campaign with the Spurs after he latched on with the reigning Southwest Division champions on a low-cost deal last summer. 

The 34-year-old proceeded to play 18.7 minutes per game in a rotational role behind LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol, averaging 7.3 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 59.0 percent from the field. 

In those limited minutes, Lee maintained an above-average player efficiency rating (18.4) for the 12th straight season, according to Basketball-Reference.com

"You watch how efficient Spurs' teams are on the floor, and how each guy fills a role, and it's really special when it works out the right way," Lee said, according to the San Antonio Express-News' Mike Finger. "That was something I was looking forward to coming here and discovering. And what you see is what you get."

With a successful trial run in the bag, Lee will attempt to use his short stint with the Spurs as proof he can contribute in a meaningful capacity for another squad moving forward. 

A big raise may not be in the cards since Lee's prime has passed him by and he's still something a defensive liability, but he has the face-up tools and post skills necessary to carve out a defined niche on a title contender.