The 2022 NBA Free Agency hasn't yet finished. And, with the Kevin Durant's requested trade and the Kyrie Irving's possible trade to the Los Angeles Lakers ending with the two staying for the 2022-23 NBA season with the Brooklyn Nets, there will be more eyes for the other big names available in the market.
Another player who recently agreed to a new deal was LeBron James, who signed a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, but with a player option for a fourth season in LA. Another player who took his player option was Russell Westbrook, but the team wants to trade him.
However, there are other players who opted out from theirs. For example, James Harden, Bradley Beal, and PJ Tucker. Sometimes a player decides not to took his deal because they want more money or they want a longer deal. However, the question about what the player option is still remains.
What does the player option means in the NBA?
According to the NBA's official website, a player option grants the player the power to decide whether to stay for another year or become an unrestricted free agent. If a player has a three-year contract with an option for the fourth season, that means if the option is exercised, the contract extends through the fourth season.
If the option is not exercised, then the contract ends after the third season. The player, then becomes an unrestricted free agent. Once an option is exercised it cannot be revoked; meaning the player can’t change their mind of the option once they exercise it.
Conditional player options are not allowed, which means the option cannot be contingent on something like number of games played, team wins or scoring average. There can be only one option year, except in the case of rookie-scale contracts. For rookie-scale contracts for first-round picks, those contain a team option before both the third and fourth seasons. Finally, option years cannot have a lower salary than the previous season.