Atlantic Notes: Larkin, Morris, Aldemir

The Atlantic Division is home to the teams with the NBA’s two highest payrolls — the Knicks and the Nets — as well as the Sixers, who have the lowest. All three of them are under .500, and the Knicks, with 21 losses, have suffered just one fewer defeat than Philadelphia has. Here’s more on a trio of teams with different approaches and similar results:

  • Shane Larkin wants to re-sign with the Knicks next summer even though they declined their 2015/16 team option on his rookie scale contract, as Larkin tells Dan Feldman of“I love it here. I want to be here,” Larkin said. “Obviously, I want to help bring the Knicks back to what they used to be.” The Knicks haven’t dismissed the possibility, but declining the option hamstrings the team, which can’t pay more than the $1,675,320 value of his option if they were to re-sign him, as Feldman points out, examining the risky play of ceding control over young talent in exchange for cap flexibility.
  • The non-guaranteed minimum-salary deal that the Nets gave Darius Morris last week covers two seasons, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The salary for 2015/16 becomes partially guaranteed for $25K if he remains on the roster through July 1st, and there are additional guarantee dates later in the year that further raise that guaranteed amount, as Pincus shows on the Basketball Insiders Nets salary page.
  • Furkan Aldemir received a signing bonus of nearly $306K, Pincus reports (Twitter links). His base salary is $2.8MM in the first, third and fourth years of his four-year contract and $2.7MM in year two, Pincus adds. The first two seasons are fully guaranteed, so the cap hits for the signing bonus, which by rule are spread over the guaranteed seasons of the deal, come to $2.96MM for this season and $2.84MM for next, as Pincus also reveals.
  • The amount of guaranteed money going to Aldemir signals the gravity of his signing amid an otherwise low-risk strategy for Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, writes John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Daily News. Aldemir’s ability to develop will be a key bellwether for the success of Hinkie’s tenure, Smallwood believes.

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