EuroLeague star Kevin Punter had serious contract talks with the Raptors but the 30-year-old shooting guard decided to stay overseas, Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops.net relays. Punter would up extending his contract with Partizan Belgrade for two years after rejecting an offer from FC Barcelona. Punter averaged 15.5 points in 34 EuroLeague games last season while making 41.7% of his 3-point attempts and 90.6% of his free throw attempts.
“We were talking with the Raptors really heavily. I thought that was going to be an opportunity. We’ve been speaking with them for a while now, so I thought that was possible I was going to go to Toronto,” he told Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews during a podcast. “It didn’t work out. Obviously, it’s a game of leverage. You can’t give the NBA too much of your leverage because the NBA will take it and run with it.”
We have more from the Atlantic Division:
- Evan Fournier and his expiring $18.9MM contract remains the biggest issue hanging over the Knicks, Zach Braziller of the New York Post writes. Fournier is in limbo, with no future in the organization. However, his contract would come in handy if the Knicks have a chance to complete a blockbuster trade. His salary could also facilitate a deal for a backup power forward in the aftermath of the Obi Toppin trade with the Pacers.
- The Knicks are still far from their goal of being a championship-level team, Steve Popper of Newsday opines. They must determine whether to surrender their assets — including RJ Barrett or Immanuel Quickley — for an impact player such as Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine or OG Anunoby.
- The cost of acquiring a star like Damian Lillard or a top-notch offensive player like Tyler Herro might not be in the Nets’ long-term interests, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Brooklyn isn’t close to contending for a title and even a perennial All-Star Lillard won’t change that, so the team would be better off exercising patience rather than taking on either of those multiyear contracts, Lewis concludes.