Gerald Henderson Exercises Player Option with Hornets: Latest Details, Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 3: Gerald Henderson #9 of the Charlotte Hornets shoots against the Indiana Pacers during the game on April 3, 2015 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. 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 2015 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets announced Wednesday that shooting guard Gerald Henderson officially decided to exercise his player option for the 2015-16 NBA season.  

Spotrac notes Henderson will make $6 million in the final year of the contract before potentially hitting the market as an unrestricted free agent next summer. Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer noted the interesting timing of the decision:

The Hornets traded Lance Stephenson to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes on Monday.

Although Henderson started 72 games following Stephenson's arrival last offseason, his minutes hit a four-year low in a more crowded backcourt. The trade should allow the reliable perimeter defender to bounce back with an added five minutes or so per game next year, barring further additions.

The 27-year-old Duke product averaged 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in his sixth season with the organization. His shooting percentages—44 percent for his career, including 31 percent from beyond the arc—remain an area of concern, though.

Agreeing to one-year deals, whether it be by exercising options or via free agency, will likely be a common theme this offseason. That's because the salary cap is expected to jump markedly next summer as the league's new television money comes into play.

Henderson should play a prominent role for the Hornets next season. It gives him the opportunity to post career-best numbers and then hit the market with a chance to score a big contract next summer since he's still in the middle of his peak seasons.

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