The Knicks have taken care of some 2017/18 business, officially exercising their team option on the third year of Kristaps Porzingis‘ rookie contract, as Ian Begley of ESPN.com tweets. The move guarantees Porzingis a salary of $4,503,600 for the ’17/18 season.
Most third-year options around the NBA are picked up even for players who didn’t excel in their rookie seasons, since teams don’t want to give up on first-round draft picks too soon. In Porzingis’ case though, the decision was even easier than usual.
While Karl-Anthony Towns took home the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award in 2015/16, Porzingis finished second in voting, and generated plenty of buzz and excitement in New York after being selected with the fourth overall pick. The Latvian big man averaged 14.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 1.9 BPG in 72 contests (all starts) during his rookie season.
Porzingis joins Justise Winslow (Heat), Myles Turner (Pacers), and Justin Anderson (Mavericks) as 2015 first-rounders who have had their third-year options for 2017/18 exercised so far this week. Teams must make their final decisions on third- and fourth-year options by October 31. You can check out our tracker for those decisions right here.