The Brooklyn Nets have declined to pick up guard Sergey Karasev’s fourth-year option, which will make him a free agent at the end of the year.
The news was first reported by Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops.
Brooklyn Nets will NOT pick up Sergey Karasev's $2.5 million team option for the 2016-17 season, league sources tell Sheridan Hoops.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) November 2, 2015
The team had until 5 P.M. Monday to decide whether or not to pick up the option, and declining to will make Karasev an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
There’s an added wrinkle. Because the Nets declined Karasev’s option, they would only be able to offer him a contract up to the value of that option — a one-year deal around $2.5 million. That’s written into the CBA so teams can’t circumvent rookie contracts by declining an option early and then re-signing that player to a big deal. That likely won’t apply to Karasev, who’s played just two minutes in the team’s first three games.
The Nets acquired Karasev before the 2014-15 season in a three-team trade that also netted them current starting point guard Jarrett Jack. Karasev played in 33 games (16 starts), averaging 4.6 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 16.8 minutes per game before his season was cut short by a devastating knee injury in March. So far this year, Karasev has played just two minutes in one game.
The 6’7″ forward was drafted 19th overall in 2015. ESPN scout Fran Fraschilla said Karasev had “top five-to-seven” talent in that draft.