Knicks’ Deals With Portis, Gibson, Bullock, Ellington Include Second-Year Team Options

With the exception of Julius Randle, who agreed to a three-year contract, all of the veteran free agents who have agreed to sign with the Knicks so far are reportedly set to receive two-year deals. The structure of those contracts appeared to put New York on track to regain cap flexibility in 2021.

However, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the two-year deals for Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Reggie Bullock, and Wayne Ellington will all include second-year team options.

By not guaranteeing the second year on those contracts, the Knicks will be able to maintain cap flexibility for the 2020 offseason, bringing back any veterans who impress them and parting ways with those who don’t.

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Free Agent Tracker: Knicks’ Deals]

Although Randle’s contract runs an extra year, his deal will also reportedly feature a team option – or possible a modest partial guarantee – in its final season, according to reports.

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16 thoughts on “Knicks’ Deals With Portis, Gibson, Bullock, Ellington Include Second-Year Team Options

  1. shawn hemp

    I got news for Stephen A and all other crying knocks fans. They are building into something. Even with KD the cripple they were gonna be 2 years away so just let it be built. Ur young starting 5 has a lot of promise and ur deep af

    • Don’t tell that to all the haters who post here. According to them, not signing KD is the biggest blunder in history, with not getting the #1 overall pick to select Zion (which is completely out of their control; I mean they did all they could by tanking like crazy) a close second.

      Meanwhile, they signed a bunch of mid-tier players to short deals (I happen to think Randle will be very good as a Knick, but that’s just opinion) and left open trade possibilities this year and cap space over the next two years depending on the options.

      Is it great? No. But there’s a logic behind it, and that’s way more than you can usually say for the Knicks.

      • clubberlang

        Ditto. I think this is one of the smartest off-seasons we have seen from NYK in a long time. One or two of those players will net some nice assets at the deadline. They didn’t max out anyone unworthy. If I rooted for the Knicks I would be cautiously optimistic about the future. The Nets won’t win a chip with Kyrie and KD.

          • @kenleyfornia2
            I actually hate Dolan. Grew up watching the Knicks in the very early 90s and Dolan is an awful owner and I wish he would take his horse teeth and go permanently on tour with his terrible band.

        • LordBanana

          I mean the Nets are only going to have a healthy KD and Kyrie for like three years, only three teams can win in that span. Not exactly a bold prediction. I bet they’ll get a lot closer than the Knicks.

    • LordBanana

      Their future still relies on free agency unless all their players develop like a video game. Their team is young but full of question marks.

  2. KnicksFanCavsFan

    Let’s all confess that we’re disappointed they didn’t sign KD, Kyrie or others. We are. We should be. But the fact of the matter is they chose to sign elsewhere. No need to denigrate KD or anyone else because we whiffed. That being said, the Randle signing might be a slight overpay but if he can repeat his 2019 performance and maintain it then ot’s a great sign. He’s a 20/8/3 guy at the age of 24. These vet signings make sense if you use common sense and not compare them to the primo guys we missed on. Randle is a building piece. The rest are on 1 year deals with an option. They can choose who to keep or who to trade for assets and all are guys that should be in demand by playoff contenders looking to add pieces headed into the stretch drive. Smart strategy. I would wish they would sign a PG or SG but those guys appear to be in high demand if you consider what Rubio received (3/$51 mil).

    Knicks fans have a right to be disappointed but this simply means that a turnaround will take longer. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Let’s see how it turns out and be optimistic. If you are truly a “Knick fan” then you DON’T bail out now. RJ Barrett can be a star. Robinson can be a defensive monster. Knox had a solid season and is only 19. Let’s push fwd and support what they are trying to do.

    • x%sure

      I think Randle is more of a hired gunslinger than a building block. That better describes the more conventional Portis. Both are 24yo PFs.
      Randle can be marketed in a transition period and take some heat off RJBarrett.
      But it is hard to tell the Mills/Perry plan for sure.

  3. Reflect

    Unpopular opinion but I actually think the Knicks are better off this way. I think 2 years from now people will look back and the Knicks will be glad they are not committed to a not-quite-the-same Durant and an overdramatic/childish Kyrie.

    Lots of players and contracts just dont hold up. Ask the Rockets, Thunder, Lakers, Raptors, Blazers about the big deals they’ve signed in the last 2-3 years. The Knicks know a thing or two about albatrosses themselves.

    It would be different if Durant were healthy, but he isn’t healthy, and that alone is a game-changing piece of information that makes it a risk not worth taking.

  4. Score one for the Stooges. This explains what appears to be massive overpays. 1/1 deals carry a premium. So, each of these contracts (other than Randle) is better than thought, but there are still too many of them. There are other uses of cap space that more directly and definitively bring future assets. 1/1 contracts don’t become trade assets unless the player outperforms par (since he’s paid a premium above that). That requires minutes, which is another reason rebuilding teams don’t stockpile 1/1 deals. Only so many minutes to go around, and a rebuilding team wants most of them to go to younger players. So, Bullock and Ellington can’t get minutes to establish value at their contract price, while Dotson and Trier also get minutes to develop or demonstrate their worth longer term. All 4 project as backup SGs (principally), who also backup the 3 spot. Dotson and Trier are RFAs next summer, so one would think the priority would be to get them relatively consistent minutes. But, with the Stooges, who knows?

  5. Socrates Curveball

    Might be in minority here, but after missing out on big fish I liked how the Knicks bolstered their roster with players that can upgrade the roster’s depth and potentially become trade assets near the deadline. The other aspect is piecing together multiple could put Knicks in position to acquire a more bonafide player with a long term contract, say D’Angelo Russell or Andrew Wiggins?

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