Last season, the Charlotte Hornets were one of the most improved teams in basketball, posting a record of 43-39 and returning to the postseason.
Although the development of younger players like point guard Kemba Walker and the hiring of a new head coach, Steve Clifford, had a lot to do with their success, the biggest reason they found themselves in the playoffs was the play of big man Al Jefferson. In the offseason, the Hornets signed Jefferson to a three-year, $41 million deal that he can opt out of after two years. That means Jefferson can become a free agent in 2015.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders explains Jefferson could opt out of the final year of his deal and look for one more big day if he has another season like he did last year.
Jefferson recently chosing Charlotte in free agency bodes well for a new long-term deal, however with Jefferson’s season last year he might be in line for a hefty new deal and that becomes a question mark for the Hornets on whether they’ll go to near max for a player who will turn 30 this season.
If Jefferson posts another All-Star worthy campaign like last season, the odds are very good he’s hitting free agency in July, if only to cash in again.
Jefferson averaged 21.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 50.9% from the field and 69.0% from the free throw line last season.
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