Stan Heath

Eastern Notes: Ntilikina, Kemba, Simmons, Timma, Magic

The Knicks have renounced their free agent rights to former lottery pick Frank Ntilikina, according to RealGM’s transactions log.

The move, which was necessary in order for New York to maximize its cap space, doesn’t preclude the team from re-signing Ntilikina. The Knicks no longer have his Bird rights, but could still re-sign him using cap space or an exception (such as the minimum-salary exception). There has been no indication that’s in the cards, however.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Kemba Walker‘s new two-year, $18MM contract with the Knicks is fully guaranteed with no options, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Keith Smith of Spotrac, providing the year-by-year breakdown, notes (via Twitter) that the two-year value technically comes in at about $17.89MM.
  • Checking in on the Ben Simmons sweepstakes, ESPN’s Zach Lowe confirms that the Spurs, Warriors, and Timberwolves are among the teams that have had some talks with the Sixers and reiterates a point that a few other reporters have made — Philadelphia likely wants to wait to see if Damian Lillard becomes available before moving Simmons. For now, the Trail Blazers star hasn’t asked to be dealt and is off the table, Lowe adds.
  • Josh Robbins of The Athletic takes a closer look at the bid 29-year-old Janis Timma is making to earn a spot on the Magic‘s roster. The 60th pick in the 2013 draft, Timma has spent his professional career in Europe but is part of Orlando’s Summer League squad. “I just want to show that I’m ready to play here and I belong here,” he said.
  • The Lakeland Magic have hired Joe Barrer as their head coach, according to a press release from the team. Barrer spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach to Stan Heath for Orlando’s G League affiliate. Heath, who led Lakeland to an NBAGL title and earned Coach of the Year honors earlier this year, left for a job at Eastern Michigan.