Kristaps Porzingis will have to wait for an extension
Monday was the deadline for the New York Knicks to sign star forward Kristaps Porzingis to a rookie extension and they declined to do so.
This now means that Porzingis will become a restricted free agent next summer and he’ll be free to sign anywhere he wants.
Now, while Porzingis can sign an offer sheet from another team, the Knicks will have the option of matching any offer that he receives.
With KP rehabbing from a torn ACL, no one knows yet whether or not he will even play this season and I have a hard time imagining that a team will even sign him to an offer sheet if he doesn’t play in 2018-19.
The good news for the Knicks is that holding off signing Porzingis will free up $10 million in cap space, which will help them pursue some top free agents.
Now, the Knicks do need to free up more cap space if they are going to sign someone like Kevin Durant after waiving Joakim Noah this past weekend.
By stretching Noah, the Knicks can essentially have max space in 2019 for a 7-9 year free agent like Kyrie Irving.
To have enough cap space for a 10+ year free agent, like Kevin Durant, they still need to clear ~$7MM in space pic.twitter.com/m8fn1GXFmb
— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) October 13, 2018
It sounds like the Knicks are confident that Porzingis is on board with their plan.
“KP is engaged, and we’re in a good place with him,” Knicks’ team president Steve Mills said, via ESPN.
Even though Porzingis wasn’t happy at the end of Phil Jackson’s time in New York, it looks like things have changed with Mills, Scott Perry and now David Fizdale in charge.
Now there is the risk that Porzingis will decide to not sign a new contract with the Knicks next summer and become a free agent after the 2019-20 season. If that happened, I’m sure the Knicks would end up trading him.
The fact of the matter is that no one knows how Porzingis will recover from knee surgery and whether or not he’ll ever reach his potential. So not signing him to an extension now is the right thing to do.
If I had to guess what happens in the future, I think Porzingis will stay with the Knicks.