Jerryd Bayless made the decision Sunday to exercise his player option and return to the Memphis Grizzlies instead of testing the free agency waters. While it can be a difficult decision at times for players who have that choice, fortunately for Bayless, he elected to return.
Last season with the Grizzlies, he shot the ball at 41.9 percent overall and averaged 8.7 points in 22 minutes per game — ideal statistics for a player with his job description. The argument for Memphis on why they may have hoped he opted out is that they could likely have found similar production for less money via free agency.
Bayless is scheduled to earn $3.1 million this year and probably would not have commanded as much from another suitor on the open market. Not only is Bayless earning a higher paycheck, he could receive more playing time this year if the Grizzlies lose out on Tony Allen, who will hit the market soon.
At only 24, Bayless still has tons of time to improve — even though he is a five year veteran — seeing as he entered the league as a 20 year-old. This season he will surely be playing for a job next year as he will be an unrestricted free agent in the all-important free agency of 2014.
It will be up to him to determine his value, especially if he receives a bit more time. Earning over $3 million to be more of a rotation player isn’t too shabby but considering his age he could be playing for a lot more come next season.