Shane Larkin has taken his game to Spain, where he will play this season with Baskonia, also known by its sponsor, Laborel. He could have stayed with the Nets ... and in the NBA. He had $1.5 million player option that he discarded just before free agency began.
Does he regret opting out, Hoopshype's Jorge Sierra asked him last week.
"Not really. The situation in Baskonia is a better situation than Brooklyn knowing that they wanted to go in a different direction. I could have possibly been in a bad situation with the guards they drafted perhaps playing in front of me because the new management might want to see them play. That situation wasn’t ideal. I don’t feel any regret about my decision. Obviously, it’s not all about the money, but I’m playing for more money this year than I did last year and I’m playing in a good situation where I’m going to have a lot of people watching me play and seeing my improvement."
He's referring, of course, to the team's new GM, Sean Marks, and head coach, Kenny Atkinson when talking about "new management" and Isaiah Whitehead and Caris LeVert when talking about the guards who could have played ahead of him.
Larkin also suggested that the Nets losing ways -- and their spate of injuries -- hurt his chances of security a new contract in the NBA this summer.
"In Brooklyn, we lost a lot of players to injuries and we just didn’t play as well as we should have. I feel whatever you do individually in years like that, even if my numbers were solid across the board, it doesn’t matter. Because you lost so many games, your market goes down. People just overlook you. If you look at my numbers and those of multiple backup guards in the NBA who receive multi-milion dollar deals… If you put them up against each other, my numbers were better or very similar. The fact that my teams didn’t do so well in the regular season, that kind of hurt my market value and it hurts your reputation as a winner."
In fact, Larkin was so disappointed in what happened that he dumped his agent.
Larkin averaged 7.3 points and 4.4 assists in 78 games, shooting only 44.2 percent overall and 36.1 percent from deep.
Of the four Nets with player options this summer, Andrea Bargnani was bought out before the season ended while the three others opted out. Larkin is playing in Europe, Wayne Ellington got a better deal in Miami and Thomas Robinson still hasn't found work . In fact, as of now, six Nets on last year's roster are currently not on any NBA roster: Larkin, Bargnani, Robinson, Sergey Karasev, Donald Sloan and Henry Sims.