TNT's David Aldridge reported Sunday night that Arron Afflalo has decided to opt out of the final season of his contract. Instead of accepting a guaranteed $7.75 million salary, he will become an unrestricted free agent. Marc Stein originally reported Afflalo's intent to opt out on May 1st. Aldridge also reports that he believes the Blazers are interested in re-signing Afflalo.
Per sources, G Arron Afflalo expected to opt out of '15-'16 ($7.75M) to become UFA. Obv key for Portland 2 re-sign w/Wes Matthews rehabbing.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 22, 2015
Afflalo was acquired from Denver by Portland in a high-profile trade deadline transaction, as an attempt to shore up the Blazers' bench rotation for a playoff run. One week after his arrival, starting SG Wesley Matthews went down with a torn Achilles Tendon, forcing Afflalo into the starting lineup. As he struggled to find his role on the team, he suffered an arm injury April 9th against the Golden State Warriors. He hurriedly returned for the playoffs, but was ineffective against the Memphis Grizzlies, eventually pushed to the bench by the emergence of sophomore guard CJ McCollum. Portland lost the series in five games.
After the playoff exit, Ryan A. Chase wrote about Afflalo's short, disappointing season in Portland.
After averaging 16.5 and 18.2 points per game in Orlando from 2012-14, Afflalo's production declined last season. He averaged 14.5 points in Denver prior to the midseason deadline trade to Portland. He averaged 10.6 points on 41% shooting during his regular-season stint in Portland, but only 1.7 points on 16.7% shooting in the playoffs.
The Blazers maintain the Bird Rights to Afflalo, and can still re-sign him if both parties can find agreement. However, he represents an $11.625 million cap hold for the Blazers until he signs with another team, or the Blazers renounce his rights.
Free agency opens at 9pm Pacific Time on June 30, but only for discussions and unofficial agreements; signings cannot become official until July 9th.