Knicks Notes: Porzingis, Lee, Mudiay, Porter

The Knicks have treated the re-signing of Kristaps Porzingis as inevitable, given his pending restricted free agency, but the idea that Porzingis will have no leverage in the process is “bogus,” according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, who points out that star players can “maneuver themselves out of undesirable situations” even when they’re under contract.

Even if Porzingis doesn’t go the extreme route – accepting his one-year qualifying offer and becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2020 – he could make things difficult on the Knicks by demanding a shorter-term deal (three years with a fourth-year player option) or signing an offer sheet with another club. In that scenario, the Nets would be a team to watch, per Bondy, who writes that GM Sean Marks is high on Porzingis and has a history of pursuing RFAs.

A five-year, maximum-salary deal with the Knicks would allow Porzingis to maximize his earnings and would give him long-term security. However, some people around the NBA believe the Knicks may try to include injury protection language in their offer, says Bondy. That way, if Porzingis has recurring issues related to his ACL recovery, the team would be protected to some extent. The youngster views himself as a max player though, according to Bondy, so New York could risk creating discord by offering less than that.

As we wait to see how Porzingis’ free agency plays out, here’s more on the Knicks:

  • While Enes Kanter has expressed frustration and met with GM Scott Perry about his reduced playing time, another veteran – Courtney Lee – has been taking his diminished role in stride, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. Lee has been a DNP-CD in three of the Knicks’ last four games, but is keeping a positive outlook. “I believe in karma, man,” Lee said. “Not going to come in here and be negative. Not going to pout. Not going to be a distraction because you never know when something could happen, then I get out there and I just play miserable and that’s all because I wasn’t being a professional. Just stay positive and stay ready for whatever happens.”
  • In a separate Newsday story, Popper explores how Emmanuel Mudiay‘s confidence has increased since he was dealt from Denver to New York last year.
  • Within a story about Courtney Lee, Marc Berman of The New York Post provides a tidbit related to the 2018 draft, citing sources who say the Knicks passed on Michael Porter Jr. last June in part because they were told he wouldn’t play in 2018/19. However, Berman now hears there’s still a chance Porter will make his NBA debut for the Nuggets later this season.
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6 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Porzingis, Lee, Mudiay, Porter

    • Decius

      I like Porzingus but I’m worried about his long-term health. Bodies as big as his weren’t meant to run up and down a basketball court the way he does. I really hope I’m wrong.

    • GuruGray

      So ignorant. He’s soft because he tore his ACL? I suppose the Sixers should have let Embiid walk due to his soft foot

  1. Bondy’s good at creating strawmen and then arguing with them. Knicks’ believing KP re-signing is inevitable isn’t the same thing as floating the idea he has no leverage. He has the leverage to get a max deal despite being hurt and out for most of the prior year, so yeah the idea of leverage is quite bogus, albeit never raised except Bondy.

    No player the Knicks wanted to keep at market has ever left them as a FA. And the first is going to be a 23 year old coming off a serious injury, to instead take a 1 year QO-? He’ll also make history as the first guy coming off a RS contract to turn down a max offer for QO. The Knicks really don’t care if he wants to waste his time with a 3/1 offer sheet, since he’d be taking less annual and total money. Worry about 3 years from now? Nope, and because any offer sheet is going to be matched, it doesn’t really matter if the Knicks “try” to get an injury qualification (that’s the notion that’s bogus btw); it all comes out in the wash, because it’s inevitable.

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