From the moment the season ends, contract decisions loom for players (and teams) across the NBA and, even in the early stages of the off-season, choices have reportedly been made. First, Dallas Mavericks wing Wesley Matthews reportedly elected to opt in to his massive player option for the 2018-2019 campaign. As of Wednesday morning, it appears that Indiana Pacers guard Cory Joseph will follow suit.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Joseph will pick up a $7.95 million option for the upcoming campaign, completing a four-year, $30 million contract originally signed by the Canadian guard with the Toronto Raptors. Unlike Matthews’ decision, Joseph’s option wasn’t necessarily an automatic pick-up. Still, securing nearly $8 million to remain in a positive situation is the safe and potentially optimal decision for a player of his on-court makeup.
In 82 games this season, the 26-year-old guard averaged 7.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game and provided solid shooting (35.3 percent from three) and defensive contributions for the overachieving Pacers. It remains to be seen as to what Indiana may do with their available free agent capital, especially with non-guaranteed money for players like Darren Collison and Bojan Bogdanovic. If nothing else, though, the Pacers will have a capable and versatile guard to deploy at a reasonable price and that provides stability for the team’s backcourt.