The Charlotte Bobcats and shooting guard Gerald Henderson have agreed in principle to a three-year, $18 million contract extension, a knowledgeable source confirmed Friday night.
The deal, first reported by Yahoo Sports, will give shooting guard Henderson the option to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season.
A restricted free agent, Henderson was second on the Bobcats in scoring last season at 15.5 points per game. He finished strong, averaging 23.9 points over the last 23 games, on 48 percent shooting from the field and 86 percent from the foul line.
Henderson accepted less money in return for the player option after the second season of the deal.
Henderson and point guard Kemba Walker acted as co-captains last season. The Bobcats drafted Henderson 12th overall in 2009 out of Duke. After four seasons, he’s the Bobcats’ longest-tenured player on a roster that has experienced considerable turnover the past three years.
With Henderson returning, it appears the Bobcats have completed their major off-season transactions. Earlier in the free-agency period the Bobcats committed $41 million over the next three seasons on center Al Jefferson, a low-post scorer who last played for the Utah Jazz.
Before signing Jefferson, the Bobcats drafted Indiana forward Cody Zeller fourth overall. Zeller excelled this month in Las Vegas, being named to that summer league’s all-tournament team. So was shooting guard/small forward Jeff Taylor.
Henderson’s return projects a starting lineup for next season of him and Walker at the guard spots, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Zeller at forward and Jefferson at center. Bismack Biyombo, Taylor and Ben Gordon figure to the top three players off the bench in the 2013-14 season.