Reggie Bullock

Knicks To Guarantee Reggie Bullock’s 2020/21 Salary

The Knicks must make decisions today on whether or not to guarantee 2020/21 salaries for several veteran players. According to Marc Berman of The New York Post (via Twitter), the team has made at least one of those decisions and will retain Reggie Bullock through his salary guarantee deadline.

Bullock, 29, missed the start of the 2019/20 season due to a back injury, but ended up appearing in 29 games for the Knicks, starting 19 of them. He averaged 8.1 PPG and 2.3 RPG on .402/.333/.810 shooting in 23.6 MPG.

While Bullock didn’t have his best year, he’s a solid defender and shooter, having made 39.2% of his career three-point attempts before last season. His salary is also pretty affordable at just $4.2MM. With that figure locked in, he’s now on track to become an unrestricted free agent in 2021.

Before the end of the day, the Knicks will also have to make a decision on Bobby Portis‘ team option ($15MM) and determine whether they’ll guarantee salaries for Taj Gibson ($9.45MM), Elfrid Payton ($8MM), and Wayne Ellington ($8MM).

Begley’s Latest: Gallinari, Green, Knicks, Wood, Portis

Some members within the Mavericks are interested in pursuing Danilo Gallinari once free agency opens on Nov. 20, according to Ian Begley of SNY. Dallas will likely join a significant number of suitors for Gallinari, with rival teams expecting that he’ll join a contender if the Thunder wind up trading Chris Paul.

Gallinari, 32, is one of the most intriguing forwards on the open market, averaging 18.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season with Oklahoma City. The Mavericks pursued Gallinari prior to last season’s trade deadline, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News, but backed away upon learning that he wouldn’t sign an extension with the team. Some members of the Knicks have also labeled him as a potential target, Begley notes.

In addition to Gallinari, Begley touched on a number of other topics related to free agency, including how teams such as the Lakers and Knicks are thinking:

  • The Lakers are willing to discuss trades involving Danny Green, Begley reports. Green, an 11-year NBA veteran, struggled with his shooting in the playoffs, connecting on 34% of his attempts from behind-the-arc. He’s a career 39% shooter from deep in the postseason.
  • Should the Knicks acquire Paul or Russell Westbrook in a trade, multiple teams expect the club to pursue veterans in free agency with hopes of making a playoff push this season, Begley notes. New York last made the playoffs during the 2012/13 season.
  • Rival teams interested in Christian Wood believe the Knicks have made him a No. 1 target for free agency, according to Begley. Wood averaged 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 21.4 minutes per game with the Pistons last season. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent.
  • Opposing teams also expect the Knicks to decline the $15.75MM team option on forward Bobby Portis, which would allow the 25-year-old to enter free agency. The current plan for New York includes retaining Reggie Bullock ($4.2MM partially guaranteed salary) and exercising the $8MM team option on guard Elfrid Payton, though Begley cautions this could change.

Atlantic Notes: Bullock, Harris, Richardson, Horford, Raptors

Knicks guard Reggie Bullock has a team-friendly, non-guaranteed $4.2MM contract for next season and there are good reasons to retain him, including his friendship with Chris Paul, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

Bullock provides a veteran presence along with his reputation for being a 3-and-D wing. New York would still take a cap hit of $1MM if it doesn’t guarantee Bullock’s contract prior to free agency. Bullock’s close friendship with Paul, a potential trade target for his former agent and current Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose, also works in his favor.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets can’t afford to let wing Joe Harris in free agency, Mike Mazzeo of Forbes.com opines. The Nets own Harris’ Bird rights, so they can make him a substantial offer even if it pushes them deeper into luxury tax territory. If they let him walk, they’d only have the taxpayers’ mid-level exception to replace him. Brooklyn is expected to have competition for Harris’ services with estimates that it would need to offer Harris a $15MM starting salary to retain him.
  • Josh Richardson and Al Horford will be traded this offseason, The Athletic duo of Rich Hofmann and Derek Bodner project in an examination of the Sixers‘ roster. In other predictions, they believe young defensive stalwart Matisse Thybulle could be added a trade sweetener in a deal involving Richardson or Horford, while Alec Burks will leave in free agency.
  • San Diego State guard Malachi Flynn and Kansas guard Devon Dotson worked out for the Raptors on Sunday, Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated tweets. Colorado forward Tyler Bey also worked out for Toronto, Alex Kennedy of Basketball News tweets. In ESPN’s ranking of best available prospects, Bey is slotted at No. 28 with Dotson at No. 33 and Flynn at No. 38. The Raptors own the No. 29 pick.

Eastern Notes: Mahinmi, Sabonis, Nunn, Knicks

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said on Wednesday that center Ian Mahinmi will not play in tomorrow’s regular-season finale against the Celtics, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link).

Since the Wizards landed in Orlando for the seeding games, Mahinmi has not played a single minute. This season, the 33-year-old center only played in 38 games, averaging 7.4 PPG and 5.7 RPG.

The Wizards were expecting Mahinmi to be their veteran rim protector when they signed him to a four-year, $64MM contract in the summer of 2016. However, that never came to fruition due to injuries. Over the last two seasons, Mahinmi has only played in 72 games. The veteran center is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Here’s more from across the Eastern Conference:

New Dates Set For Option Decisions, Salary Guarantees, More

As part of the revised Collective Bargaining Agreement terms that the NBA and NBPA have agreed to, a series of option decision deadlines, salary guarantee dates, and other offseason dates and deadlines have been pushed back.

We don’t yet have a full list that outlines how every date and deadline will be adjusted, but in cases where a deadline fell slightly before or after the start of the 2020/21 league year, those dates have been pushed back to coincide with the new start date for the league year, which will begin on October 19 rather than July 1.

For instance, as Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets, player option decisions for Gordon Hayward (Celtics), DeMar DeRozan (Spurs), Mike Conley (Jazz), and Andre Drummond (Cavaliers) will now be due on October 17 instead of June 29. Lakers big man Anthony Davis will have to decide on his 2020/21 player option by October 14, one day after a potential NBA Finals Game 7, Charania adds.

[RELATED: Re-Examining NBA Player Options For 2020/21]

Meanwhile, the salary guarantee date for four Knicks veterans – Reggie Bullock, Taj Gibson, Wayne Ellington, and Elfrid Payton – who currently have $1MM partial guarantees for 2020/21 will be October 17 at 3:00pm eastern time, rather than on June 28, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Additionally, as Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link) reported over the weekend, traded player exceptions that were set to expire in early July will have their expiry dates moved to corresponding dates in October. For example, since the free agency moratorium will now expire on October 23 instead of July 6, the Warriors‘ $17.2MM TPE that would have expired on July 7 will instead do so on October 24.

[RELATED: Outstanding NBA Trade Exceptions]

There are other deadlines that figure to be closely tied to the new league year as well. For instance, the deadline to tender a qualifying offer to a potential restricted free agent will likely be on October 17 rather than June 29.

Some date adjustments may be trickier to determine and will require further clarification. For instance, some players had been scheduled to receive full or partial guarantees if they remained under contract through August 1. That date may simply be shifted to November 19, one month after the ’20/21 league year begins. But the NBA has proposed opening training camps for next season on November 10, complicating that timeline.

Knicks Likely To Guarantee Bullock’s 2020/21 Salary

Of the four Knicks veterans with $1MM partial guarantees on their contracts for 2020/21, none has a more modest overall salary than Reggie Bullock ($4.2MM). Given that manageable cap hit, the club will likely pick up Bullock’s “option” rather than waiving him before his salary guarantee date, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post.

As Berman explains, interim head coach Mike Miller “fell in love” with Bullock’s basketball IQ, perimeter defense, and outside shooting, sticking with the veteran even when fans wanted him to pivot to giving younger players more minutes.

The Knicks will likely hire a new head coach at season’s end and there’s no guarantee that Miller’s replacement will be as attached to Bullock. However, $4.2MM is a pretty fair price to pay for a 29-year-old three-and-D wing and the team will be seeking shooters and “solid veteran influences” for next year’s roster, according to Berman, who notes that Bullock had a positive impact on younger Knicks like RJ Barrett.

Taj Gibson ($9.45MM), Wayne Ellington ($8MM), and Elfrid Payton ($8MM) each have $1MM partial guarantees on their salaries for 2020/21 as well, and Bobby Portis ($15.75MM) has a team option. New York figures to move on from one or more of those players, particularly if the team wants to make use of cap space during the 2020 offseason.

Knicks Not Planning To Buy Out Veterans

The Knicks have no plans at the moment to buy out any of their veteran players on expiring or pseudo-expiring contracts, according to Steve Popper of Newsday.

New York began its post-All-Star schedule hoping to make a push for a playoff spot in the East and not intending to prioritize playing youngsters over veterans if it compromised the team’s ability to win games. That philosophy has meant that players like Reggie Bullock, Bobby Portis, and Taj Gibson are still key contributors rather than buyout candidates.

While it’s possible the Knicks will adjust their approach to late-season player development as their postseason hopes continue to fade, their position on buyouts isn’t expected to change, says Popper. The team still views many of its veteran contracts – several of which include team options or small partial guarantees for 2020/21 – as potential trade assets for the offseason, Popper adds.

Besides Bullock, Portis, and Gibson, Wayne Ellington and Maurice Harkless are among the vets who fit the mold of a typical buyout candidate, at least to some extent. However, if those players aren’t interested in buyouts, the Knicks would have little to gain from pursuing them — the team already has one of the NBA’s lowest payrolls for 2019/20 and the savings would be minimal.

Additionally, none of those players have more than $1MM in guaranteed money on their contracts for next season, so they could be easily cut loose if no trade materializes in the offseason and the Knicks decide to move on. The only real benefit to moving on from them now would be to open up an immediate roster spot or two for developmental projects.

For what it’s worth, players like Portis and Harkless have publicly suggested they’re not looking to go the buyout route.

Knicks Notes: Anthony, Robinson, Bullock, Predictions

Carmelo Anthony received a hero’s welcome as he returned to Madison Square Garden with the Trail Blazers last night, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Anthony was cheered during pre-game introductions and every time he touched the ball. The cheers grew even louder when he scored, as the fans offered their thanks for his six and a half years of service to the Knicks.

“The love was definitely felt tonight,” Anthony said. “From the fans that were here, just the city as a whole, just being back. I think that feeling is kind of hard to explain. But for me to kind of get that ovation, I think I’ve always had the love from the city like that. But to be back in this building where I spent so many years, that love felt extremely good tonight.”

It was only Anthony’s second trip back to Garden since being traded in 2017, and he celebrated with a season-high 26 points. He admitted to reporters that he’d like to see the Knicks retire his number some day.

“I did glance up at the rafters today during the national anthem,” Anthony said. “You know, they say in life you’ve got to envision, so I was envisioning seeing Anthony hanging up there.”

There’s more from New York this morning:

  • The difference in the fan reactions to Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis may have something to do with the return the Knicks got for each player, suggests Marc Berman of The New York Post. While the Porzingis deal brought back Dennis Smith Jr. and a ton of cap room that failed to deliver a star, the package for Anthony included a second-round pick that turned into Mitchell Robinson. The second-year center delivered one of his best performances Wednesday, making all 11 of his shots from the field in a 22-point, eight-rebound night. “I honestly think he’s getting better and better and better,” Anthony said of Robinson. “I don’t really think he understands how good he is or how good he can be and his ceiling. The way he plays is perfect for the way the Knicks play.”
  • Reggie Bullock made his Knicks debut last night, giving the team five healthy shooting guards for the first time this season, Berman notes in a separate story. Playing his first game since spinal fusion surgery in July, Bullock scored 11 points in 15 minutes as Wayne Ellington and Allonzo Trier both remained on the bench.
  • Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic offers several Knicks predictions for 2020, including no first-round pick in exchange for Marcus Morris, roster moves to get rid of Ellington and Bobby Portis by the end of February, and no Mark Jackson or Masai Ujiri in the team’s future.

Reggie Bullock Ready To Make Knicks Debut

Swingman Reggie Bullock is expected to make his Knicks debut on Wednesday night, according to Peter Botte of the New York Post.

Bullock has been rehabbing from a cervical disk herniation, which required surgery in July shortly after he signed with the Knicks. Bullock recently revealed that the injury was something he simply woke up with one morning.

The injury cost him millions. Bullock originally agreed to a two-year, $21MM deal in free agency, then settled for a two-year, $8.2MM contract with the second year non-guaranteed after he failed a physical.

Bullock told New York-area reporters he just wants to look ahead and added he’s been treated well by the organization.

“I’m very excited. The injury is something that’s behind me,” he said. “I’m no longer talking about it anymore. I’m just focused on basketball and being back here with my team. The Knicks have done a great job of helping me out through the whole thing, with my family situations and everything.’

Knicks interim coach Mike Miller hinted that he’ll throw Bullock right into the rotation.

His abilities I think will impact both sides of the ball,” he said. “With what we’ve seen when he’s been out here, No. 1 he’s a high basketball IQ guy. He’s a good defender. He adds more length. He’s a versatile defender. He has good awareness off the ball. And then the offensive stuff.”

Bullock, 28, is a 39.2% career 3-point shooter. He appeared in a combined 63 games with Detroit and the Los Angeles Lakers last season before he became an unrestricted free agent.

Atlantic Notes: Thomas, Irving, Temple, Bullock, Burke

Wizards guard and former Celtic Isaiah Thomas believes that Kyrie Irving may not have been cut out to be the Celtics’ leader, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports.

“That’s just like Boston and New York. You have to have a different type of skin to be able to succeed there,” Thomas said when asked about Irving. “They won 17 championships. They have 30 jerseys retired. So it’s expectations like you can do great but we need better and it’s always been like that. The media attention of putting on a Celtics jersey, a Knicks jersey, a Lakers jersey, those legendary teams and franchises, it’s just a little different.”

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Garrett Temple got off to a hot start with the Nets but he’s cooled off considerably while playing big minutes due to injuries, Brian Lewis of the New York Post notes. In his past five games heading into Monday’s action, Temple was shooting 26.6% overall and 24.3% from deep. “Yeah, I’ve got to figure out a way to get out of this slump,” Temple said. “I’ve got to make shots for us to keep the defense honest, but also just to offensively help us have more balance.” The Nets hold a $5MM option on Temple’s contract for next season.
  • Knicks guard Reggie Bullock‘s neck injury did not occur while playing, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reports. Bullock, who is close to returning for the Knicks after offseason surgery for cervical disk herniation, said the injury came as a surprise to him. “I didn’t get hurt in an actual game or anything,” Bullock said. “It was just something that I woke up with.” The injury cost him millions. Bullock originally agreed to a two-year, $21MM deal in free agency, then settled for a two-year, $8.2MM contract with the second year non-guaranteed.
  • Sixers point guard Trey Burke believes he can play effectively with floor leader Ben Simmons, as he told the team’s website. “I think [Ben and I] play off each other pretty well,” he said. “I think I could play the two out there, and give (Josh Richardson) a break, and still be in the game with Ben.” Burke is on a one-year, $2MM contract that doesn’t fully guaranteed unless he remains on the roster through January 10.