The 32-year-old shooting guard has appeared in just 25 games after signing as a free agent over the summer. His $8MM salary for next season is partially guaranteed for just $1MM, so his days in New York appear numbered.
“There will be a decision to make,’’ Ellington said at today’s shootaround. “I’m just listening to my agent at this point. I come in here, come into work every single day like it’s a normal day. Listen and get advice and take it from there.’’
The Knicks are expected to accommodate Ellington if he decides he wants out, Berman adds. Ellington’s playing time has been cut significantly since Mike Miller took over as interim head coach and Reggie Bullock returned from injury. The team showcased him a little bit on Thursday against the Magic, and Ellington responded with 12 points in 18 minutes.
Berman suggests the Lakers, who Ellington spent the 2014/15 season with, could have some interest.
“There’s a lot of stuff out there,’’ Ellington said. “There’s a lot of different things floating around for options. It’s part of the business. It’s part of the game. There’s nothing imminent right now. There’s nothing for sure. I’m going to keep pushing forward. We won three games in a row, try to keep that going.’’
Berman shares a few more buyout tidbits in his story:
- The Knicks could have obtained rookies Terance Mann and Mfiondu Kabengele along with Maurice Harkless in Thursday’s trade that sent Marcus Morris to the Clippers, but they opted for Harkless and a package of draft picks because they wanted to avoid waiving players right away. New York has a full 15-man roster and would have needed to open two spots before the deal could have been finalized. Berman suggests that management is either counting on saving money with buyouts or just wants the veterans to stay for leadership.
- Bobby Portis, another Bartlestein client, is also a buyout candidate. The Knicks have a $15.75MM team option next season on Portis, who was reportedly included in a trade offer to the Warriors for D’Angelo Russell.
- Buying out Ellington would give the Knicks a better chance to evaluate Damyean Dotson before he enters free agency this summer.