Gerald Henderson will be back in Charlotte next season, according to reports from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Rick Bonnell at The Charlotte Observer. Henderson has agreed in principle to a three-year, $18 million contract that includes a player option in the third year.
For whatever reason, there wasn’t much interest in Henderson in restricted free agency, but the player option gives him some flexibility. He reportedly turned down a three-year, $21 million offer that didn’t include the opt-out. Those two years will give him the opportunity to expand his game a bit, drum up more interest around the league and take another shot in free agency if he chooses.
Henderson’s improved in every year, but at 25 years old, we’re likely seeing something close to the finished product. Last season was a bit of a mixed bag: While he showed significant improvement on his three-point shooting, it was still relatively poor at 33 percent. He also took a noticeable step back in his play around the rim, shooting 54.5 percent in the restricted area after averaging 64.2 percent in his previous two years.
Still, those are relative nitpicks when you consider his versatility, defense and overall production. He responded to heavier playing time after the All-Star break, averaging 18.9 points on 46 percent shooting, four rebounds and 3.4 assists in 35.8 minutes a game. His ability to slide over to small forward also gave the team some flexibility in their lineups, allowing them to play smallball with Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions in the backcourt. $6 million a year seems like a very good value for the Bobcats, especially since shooting guard is a relatively shallow position league-wide.
Charlotte still needs to round out the roster; according to ShamSports, they’ve spent around $54 million of their $58.6 cap figure. They have just 12 players under contract, so they’ll likely use that remaining money to shore up their frontcourt and pick up another point guard. The Bobcats have gone into the season with just 14 players on the roster before, so don’t be surprised if they do that again. It allows the team to take on contracts in trades and address any holes in the roster mid-season.