OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -Golden State point guard Baron Davis elected to become a free agent Monday night, opting out of the final year of his contract with the Warriors in a surprise move.
Davis had until Monday night to decide whether to turn down his $17.8 million contract for next season, the final year of a six-year deal. The Warriors didn't expect him to opt out of the deal despite little progress in the parties' long-term contract negotiation, but club spokesman Raymond Ridder said they received a letter from Davis' agent, Todd Ramasar, late Monday indicating his intentions.
Davis still could return to Golden State as a free agent, but his opt-out clause was his only bit of leverage in forcing contract talks with the Warriors before next summer. The former All-Star also is now free to negotiate with other clubs, possibly facilitating a sign-and-trade deal with Golden State.
Davis, a 29-year-old veteran, repeatedly has said he intended to return to Golden State, but he might be displeased by Warriors coach Don Nelson's recent declarations about giving more playing time to Golden State's young players, even at the expense of a few victories next season. Nelson reiterated his plan Monday at a news conference to introduce draft picks Anthony Randolph and Richard Hendrix.
Golden State also failed to improve its roster by using its $10 million trade exception this summer. The exception, which was acquired when the Warriors traded Jason Richardson to Charlotte last June, was due to expire on Monday night.
Davis averaged 21.8 points, 7.6 assists and 4.7 rebounds while playing in all 82 games last season for the Warriors, who finished with the best record in recent NBA history for a non-playoff team.
Davis led Golden State to the second round of the playoffs in 2007, breaking a 12-year postseason drought for the franchise. He added to that achievement by leading the Warriors' first-round upset of top-seeded Dallas.

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Suns vs. Lakers Pick Are the Phoenix Suns going to bounce back from a blowout loss last night to win tonight at the Los Angeles Lakers? Tip-off is at...
Thumbnail Pelicans vs. Nuggets Pick Is the total set high enough tonight when the New Orleans Pelicans play at the Denver Nuggets? Game time...
Thumbnail Trail Blazers vs. Kings Pick Are the Sacramento Kingsgoing to stay within the number as a home underdog tonight at 10PM ET versus the Portland Trail...
Thumbnail Knicks vs. Raptors Pick Are the host Toronto Raptors going to win another game decisively when they play the New York...

NBA Team Pages