JULY 9, 7:50pm: The signing is official, the team announced today.
JULY 5, 2:28pm: The Knicks have agreed to sign Lithuanian forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas and bring him over to the NBA, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. The two sides have reached agreement on a two-year deal, as first reported by Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link), and as confirmed by Ian Begley of ESPN.com.
Kuzminskas, 26, has spent the last few seasons with Unicaja Malaga in Spain. In Euroleague play this past season, the forward averaged 12.0 PPG and 3.4 RPG, shooting 54.9% from the floor and 37.7% from downtown in 23 games (20.7 MPG). Kuzminskas had been set to play in Turkey next season with Darussafaka Dogus, David Blatt‘s team, but has reportedly informed the club that he wants to make the move to the NBA.
Per Sportando (Twitter link), the Knicks will have to pay a “high” buyout in order to bring Kuzminskas stateside, though it’s not clear exactly how significant that payment will be. According to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link), New York offered Kuzminskas a two-year, $6MM deal, so it sounds like the club will likely use its room exception – worth about $2.9MM in 2016/17 – on him. That would allow the Knicks to use up all their cap room finalizing other moves before making this deal official.
We had heard on Monday that Kuzminskas recently worked out for the Lakers and Hawks — at that point, he was said to be close to making a decision on whether to continue his basketball career in the NBA or overseas.