Sunday , Jun , 10 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Gilbert Arenas Will Opt Out Of Contract With Washington Wizards Next Summer

Is ‘The Hibachi’ looking for a new patio? … Today, several Washington papers and ESPN news are reporting that Arenas will test the free agent market next summer … The star loves the Wizards, but insists it’s business … Click here for this story …

ESPN news service is reporting that Washington Wizards superstar Gilbert Arenas will exercise his player option next summer and become a free agent:

Washington’s outspoken star told two Washington-area newspapers that he plans to opt out of his contract after next season. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Arenas can sign a more lucrative extension if he were to opt out of the six-year, $65 million contract that he signed in 2003 than if he simply added years to the existing deal.

 "To me, it’s just a smarter business decision to play next season, opt out and then be able to sign a long-term deal that is going to keep me in one place," Arenas said, according to The Washington Post. Arenas said that he will act as his own agent, and at least at this point, he’s not seeking to leave the Wizards.

"I’m not looking at anything else. It’s just business. If something happens where they don’t want me or they’re going in a different direction, I can look elsewhere. But my intentions are not to leave," Arenas said, according to The Post.

However, he told The Washington Times that he will gauge other teams’ interest. "I’m going to opt out and consider some other teams next year," Arenas told The Times. "I want to test the market and test my value."

Arenas finished third in the league in scoring this season, averaging 28.4 points, and helped the Wizards reach the playoffs for the third straight year. But he missed the postseason after having knee surgery April 5.

He scored 30 or more points in 35 games and 50 or more points in three, including a franchise-record 60 against the Los Angeles Lakers in December.

Come back to throughout the day as this story develops.

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