Deal With Allonzo Trier May Not Be Easy For Knicks

Allonzo Trier has been a standout among two-way players this season, but signing him to a more conventional deal might not be easy as it sounds for the Knicks, writes Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.

There’s no question that New York wants to keep Trier, who is averaging 11.8 points per game and shooting 45% from 3-point range. But that doesn’t mean negotiations won’t get tricky. The Knicks could convert Trier’s deal to a standard NBA contract without his consent, but that would make him a restricted free agent at the end of the season. If they negotiate a contract, they are limited to a league minimum offer for just two years because they’re over the salary cap. The Knicks still have their bi-annual exception available, worth $3.4MM per season, or they could dip into their mid-level exception.

However, any of those options might be less than what Trier could command on the open market. Because New York doesn’t own his Bird Rights, the organization could only offer Trier $200K over the league minimum without eating up valuable cap space.

Both sides have extreme options they could pursue if they don’t work out a deal. The Knicks could ship Trier back to the G League once he reaches his 45-day limit, which should happen within the next two weeks depending how off days are counted. However, that would rob them of an important scoring threat and a fan favorite for the rest of the season. Trier could also refuse to sign any deal and take his chances in free agency.

After going undrafted in June, Trier may not be in the mood to give the Knicks a discount if he still has hard feelings over what he perceives as a broken draft promise. He said the team offered a strong indication that it would pick him at No. 36, but went with center Mitchell Robinson instead.

“Even though I may have been their best available player and favorite player on the board they chose to go with something that would benefit them now or fill a need right now,” Trier said. “That ended up working for them too. They ended up getting me as well. Big win.”

Trier accepted a two-way offer from the Knicks on draft night and worked his way into a rotational slot. How long he remains with the team will depend on how much money the Knicks are willing to commit when they are trying to free up as much cap space as possible for free agency next summer.

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