“I would like to return to the NBA and work again with Dave Joerger, the coach I had in the Memphis Grizzlies who is now on the bench of the Sacramento Kings”, said the Greek point guard to Sport24.gr. “The NBA is the highest level of basketball on the planet and remains a big dream for me. The Kings’ interest honors me, and I want to thank them for that”. He then added that, “I must also respect the fact that Panathinaikos wanted me to return playing for them in the upcoming season. After all these, I am 100% devoted in leading the efforts of Panathinaikos to return on the top of Greece and Europe”.
Ainge said he hasn’t made a decision on whether to keep rookie Guerschon Yabusele stateside, but the young power forward knows what he wants in a team if he returns to Europe. And it won’t be with his team from last year — Rouen of the French league. “I want to go to a team that has a good coach, good players, that wants to play for a championship,” he said. “I want to follow my dream. My confidence after this is good. I’ve got good competition here and played very well. This was good for me.”
Obviously, the Knicks would’ve wanted him on the squad as they attempt to sign him to a contract for next season. But that’s not a given. Knicks general manager Steve Mills and Hernangomez’s agent, Andy Miller, agreed a while ago to attempt to work on a long-term contract starting July 1. But after playing for Real Madrid last season, the 6-foot-10 Hernangomez is getting European offers, according to sources.
The Knicks would love to sign Hernangomez, a former teammate of Kristaps Porzingis in Seville, to the rookie minimum for second-round picks — $550,000. But sources have indicated the Hernangomez camp will shoot for more, hoping there will be some cap space left over for the center, for whom the Knicks gave up two second-round picks and $1.5 million to Philadelphia for his draft rights. One option is the Knicks would have a room exception of $2.8 million after they spend their cap space, but that can’t be used in a multi-year deal.