The Golden State Warriors have reportedly picked up the third-year option for Jacob Evans III. The news first came from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
The deadline to pick up the option was today, so the Warriors didn’t make things official until the final day to do so, which is pretty standard practice. With the option picked up, Evans will be on next year’s roster, barring a trade.
Half a year ago, it may have looked like the Warriors would ultimately decline Evans’ third-year option. The young wing had a very rough rookie season, and there were questions about his long-term fit with the team.
But by the time deadline day came around, it was all but certain that Golden State would pick up the option. With Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala gone, the Warriors are not the powerhouse they once were, and are no longer in a position to fill out the roster with ring-chasing veterans. And with max contracts for Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and D’Angelo Russell, Golden State doesn’t have any money going forward to recruit free agents for anything other than minimum contracts and the mid-level exception.
More than anything, however, is Evans’ clear development. He showed marked improvement in Summer League, and looked like an entirely new player in preseason and to start the year. He performed very well in the Warriors opening day loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, and had carved out a role in the rotation prior to straining his left adductor earlier in the week.
Evans’ contract next year will be for roughly $2 million, according to Spotrac. This time next year, the Warriors will again have a choice to make with Evans, regarding his fourth-year option, which would be for roughly $3.6 million.
Had Golden State declined the option, Evans would enter free agency in the offseason.