Star guard Bryce Cotton will return to the Perth Wildcats for the next three NBL seasons.
The reigning MVP and Grand Final MVP had multiple offers on the table after opting out of his contract in the beginning of May -- including two other "serious offers" he was considering this past week, sources confirmed -- but made the decision to re-join the franchise he's led since 2017.
"I'm back for the next three seasons and I couldn't be happier sharing this news," Cotton said. "There's no place like home."
Cotton, 27, is coming off a season where he led the NBL in scoring, averaging 22.9 points per game over the course of the 2019-20 campaign, with the Wildcats awarded the title after their series with the Sydney Kings was cut short due to COVID-19.
Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said he was excited to have one of the league's greatest talents back on the roster.
"Bryce is the type of guy who makes everyone else on the team a better player. He's a pleasure to coach and a great teammate." Gleeson said. "Bryce is only 27 and to have him for the next three years and watch him at the peak of his career in a Wildcats jersey, it's going to be a fun ride."
Meanwhile NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said the league was "delighted" by the news of his "long term" commitment.
"[Cotton] is one of the superstars of the NBL, having won two MVPs and two grand final MVP awards and played in three championship winning teams with Perth," Loeliger said via a statement on Tuesday.
"His decision to make a long term commitment to the Wildcats is a tremendous show of faith in the NBL during a time of uncertainty for basketball around the world. Only five contracted players decided to explore their options under the agreement between the NBL, clubs and Australian Basketball Players' Association and two of those players, Bryce Cotton and Matt Hodgson, have already opted back into the NBL."
Last month, five NBL players opted out of their respective contracts after salary-cutting measures were agreed upon by the NBL, its teams, and the Australian Basketball Players Association.
The terms that were agreed upon stated that players earning over $200,000 for the upcoming season would have their salaries slashed by 50 percent. Cotton, like the majority of the players in that circumstance, renegotiated his contract in order to avoid receiving such a significant pay cut, sources said.
Cotton's move back to Perth makes him the second of those five players to return to his NBL team, with Matt Hodgson having already re-committed to the Brisbane Bullets.