Mo Evans took a look at the free-agent market this summer and decided his $2.5 million salary in 2010-11 is the best deal for him.
Evans confirmed a WSB-TV report that he has exercised his contract option for next season. Evans made $2.5 million in 2009-10.
“There are not a lot of teams out there giving away contracts,” Evans said. “I’m satisfied with my deal even though it’s undervalued. I’m still going to go out and do my job.”
Evans’ decision means Atlanta will have limited cap flexibility this summer.
If Evans had opted out and the Hawks lost and/or renounced their other free agents, they could have cleared roughly $8.1 million in cap space. Now, depending on the amount of the salary cap and the value of cap exceptions, they likely will be limited to using their mid-level, bi-annual and minimum-salary cap exceptions to sign free agents.
Evans, 31, signed with the Hawks in 2008. He appeared in 79 games last season as the first wing player off the bench and averaged 5.7 points in 16.7 minutes per game while being used primarily as a defensive specialist.
Evans periodically grumbled about inconsistent playing time under former coach Mike Woodson. He said he hopes there will be more opportunities for playing time under the next coach, who is expected to be named this week.
More than that, though, Evans said he made a business decision.
“It’s a tough market for players out there,” Evans said. “The owners are having a tough time with it. The players are going to be in a tough market with so many players available. I’m not going be one of those guys searching for what I already have.”