Chris Copeland is a restricted free agent this summer after the Knicks offered him a qualifying offer for one year at $988,872 on June 26th. Shams Charania of RealGM.com reports that the 6'8" Copeland would like to remain in a Knicks uniform despite interest from other NBA teams and overseas clubs, like FC Barcelona. Copeland's agent, John Spencer, told Charania:
"Returning is very much an option […] He turned down several options to play, turned down enormous money to get an NBA opportunity last year. He wants to play and wants to contribute. The Knicks are a good organization, with Mike Woodson and the list goes on.
“There’s a chance another team will potentially pick him up, obviously, but the Knicks gave Chris the opportunity to play and he’s loyal because of that.”
The Knicks would only be able to offer Copeland the mini midlevel exception if he returned next season. There's more from Knicks-land, including their escalating rivalry with the team across the East River, who made a splash with a certain blockbuster trade on draft night.
- Marc Berman at the New York Post says the Knicks aren't ready to relinquish supremacy of New York quite yet, despite the Nets' splashy moves to acquire Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. But they'll have to make some counter moves if they want to compete with the refurbished Brooklyn squad.
- Roderick Boone at Newsday writes that with the addition of Pierce and Garnett after the NBA's moratorium ends on July 9th, the Nets will be well over the NBA's salary cap, which limits any more moves by GM Billy King.
- Gary Dzen of the Boston Globe says goodbye to Celtics all-timer Paul Pierce.
- Amar'e Stoudemire made a bid on the Israeli basketball team Hapoel Jerusalem, reports ESPNNewYork's Jared Zwerling.
- About the possible Raptors–Clippers trade for Eric Bledsoe, Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com says (Twitter) that a Bledsoe and Caron Butler swap for Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan works, via ESPN's trade machine, but RealGM tweeted back that the salaries wouldn't be within 125% and $100,000 by July 1st, so the Clippers would need to send more.