O’Connor’s Latest: Spurs, Porzingis, Sixers, Wolves

The Spurs are viewed by front office sources around the NBA as a team with “significant interest” in Kristaps Porzingis, reports Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Porzingis will be a restricted free agent this summer and while the Knicks are expected to retain him, they may be pushed by rival suitors if they’re unwilling to put a fully guaranteed maximum salary offer on the tables themselves.

Of course, as O’Connor acknowledges, San Antonio isn’t particularly well positioned to make Porzingis a lucrative long-term offer. Even if they waive and stretch Pau Gasol, who has a partially guaranteed salary for 2019/20, the Spurs will have about $96MM+ in guaranteed contracts on their books for next season.

That $96MM+ figure doesn’t account for San Antonio’s first-round pick or any other cap holds. Assuming a projected salary cap of $109MM, the team would need more than $27MM in room to offer Porzingis his maximum salary. In other words, even if the Spurs’ does have serious interest in the Knicks’ young big man, they’d have to reshape their roster substantially to go after him — New York’s top competition for Porzingis may ultimately come from elsewhere.

Here’s more from O’Connor:

  • While Jimmy Butler‘s issues with the Sixers‘ offensive system appear real, league sources tell O’Connor that the All-NBA swingman has “developed a good relationship” with Philadelphia stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. On Monday night, we passed along Butler’s comments on Brett Brown and the coach’s system.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns said on Monday that no one saw the firing of Tom Thibodeau coming, and it seems that doesn’t just apply to the Timberwolves‘ players — sources tell O’Connor that the decision came as a shock to many in the organization, and some staffers are “in limbo with no idea about what will happen next.”
  • According to O’Connor, league sources believe Fred Hoiberg will be a top candidate for the Timberwolves‘ permanent head coaching position, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday. However, there have been no formal conversations between Hoiberg and owner Glen Taylor about the job, and the club is expected to wait until the offseason to make any decisions on its full-time coach and general manager. For now, coach Ryan Saunders and GM Scott Layden will remain in those roles.
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10 thoughts on “O’Connor’s Latest: Spurs, Porzingis, Sixers, Wolves

  1. wettle

    Hope they give Ryan the rest of the year to be the HC. I hope he can turn things around. His dad would be one happy man.

  2. acarneglia

    KAT promised Flip he’d lead the T-Wolves back to the promised land before he died, why not let Ryan be the one coaching him.

    • JD396

      Sadly these issues for the Wolves are all a lasting effect of losing Flip. It’s not just that it was poor judgment to give Thibs open license to run the team. Glen Taylor had Flip to run the team but had no choice but to try to find *someone* who could take over at a very critcal stage of building the team, and he thought it was Thibs. It wasn’t, and here we are.

      One can only wonder what if… give Flip this level of raw talent and let him piece the roster together… who knows.

  3. greg1

    I am torn on this Zinger to San Antonio, or to anyone via trade or FA.

    In one hand, using the Spurs as an example, a trade that sees Zinger and Lee go out, with Murray, Walker, Gasol and 2 firsts clears cap space, and nets some nice assets to fail safe Zinger being offered a deal this summer that the Knicks feel uncomfortable matching.

    On the other hand, having Zinger in tow and healthy gives a big FA a reason to sign with the Knicks. Maybe it’s that I am just not 100% sold on Kris, his health or his true interest level with being a career Knick.

  4. padam

    Knicks won’t let it happen, and the Spurs would need to move mountains to get the cash right.

    • 4Quarters

      Spurs would need to trade for him before the summer & they’ll have the right of first refusal during FA (can match any contract and keep him)

      If they’re banking on offering a deal that the Knicks don’t want to match – this is all smokescreen/media drivel & they don’t “really” want him.

      The trade is easily doable with the 1-year deals on the Spurs books (Cunningham, Pondexter, etc) + Murray’s rookie deal

      • 4Quarters

        It gets more tricky if this is the deal where the Knicks want to move other contracts, but that would hurt the draft pick compensation coming back. KP for Murray & deals to make #s work would come with some decent draft picks (as decent as they can be from a contending team)

  5. Rewane

    I wonder why the article mentioned Spurs as a possible destination for Zinger when out of the other twenty some teams who also have serious interest in signing him but have no cap space.

  6. Baileyg3rd

    Dolan favorite player was Demetris Nichols from Syracuse University! Nichols has been tearing up the Euro Leagues! He’s the 3 point King has won multiple Championships. Shoots Three pointers like layups! Donlan get you’re Boy Back!

  7. Z-A

    It’s almost a lock that Knicks match any offer to KP. However, any team w the cap space should be putting an offer into this guy. I have KP, KAT, or Markkanen as the next to carry the Top Stretch Big torch currently owned by K Love, which was Dirks.

    If the Sixers dont max out Butler for some odd reason or traded him if things fell apart… I’d offer that max to KP. Which actually would leave them with more Cap Space than maxing Butler. And enough to make an offer to Russell, Rozier, or Brogdon. The vets like Kyrie will require more than the 29.5M in space they’d have available. But again, I cant see a situation where NYK do not match.

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