OCTOBER 25TH, 10:51am: The Knicks may have changed their minds about exercising Larkin’s option, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). New York might be leaning towards keeping as much cap space free as possible for next summer, Wojnarowski notes.
11:00pm: The Knicks have indeed exercised their team option on Larkin, as is indicated by the RealGM transactions log. The team has not made any formal announcement as of yet.
OCTOBER 16TH, 10:03am: The Knicks have decided to exercise their team option to keep point guard Shane Larkin on his rookie scale contract for 2015/16, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Larkin will make $1,675,320 that season, the third of his four-year contract, as our Rookie Scale Team Option Tracker shows. The deadline is October 31st for the team to make the move official.
The Mavs sent Larkin to New York as part of the Tyson Chandler trade this summer. The 18th pick in the 2013 draft didn’t see much playing time as a rookie, averaging 2.8 points and 1.5 assists in 10.2 minutes per game. He’s seen nearly twice as many minutes in preseason games with the Knicks, averaging 20.9, but he’s still put up just 2.5 PPG and 1.5 APG. Phil Jackson and his staff are nonetheless satisfied with what they’ve seen from him the past few weeks, Wojnarowski writes.
Jackson is trying to keep the team’s cap sheet as clean as possible for 2015/16 as he plans a run at marquee free agents. The Knicks only have about $31.4MM in commitments for that season, so adding Larkin’s salary to that wouldn’t make much of a dent against a projected $66.5MM salary cap. Still, that figure doesn’t include a nearly $6.4MM player option that J.R. Smith possesses and more than $1.4MM in non-guaranteed salary for Pablo Prigioni. It also leaves out the team option on Tim Hardaway Jr., worth more than $1.3MM, that the Knicks will almost assuredly pick up. Iman Shumpert is up for a rookie scale extension this month, but it doesn’t appear as though the sides will come to terms.