Ian Begley: Phil Jackson says that he expects to re-sign both Langston Galloway and Lance Thomas. But the Knicks likely will have competition for both players. The Thunder, Nets and Mavericks are among the teams who are expected to have interest in the 28-year-old Thomas, per league sources say. The market for Thomas is unclear but hell certainly benefit from the salary-cap increase. The cap will increase from $70 million to $94 million this summer.
Frank Isola: The Knicks want to he re-sign free agents Lance Thomas and Langston Galloway, two hard working role players & high character guys.
That number would jump to $35 million if the club renounced all of its free agents, including guard Langston Galloway and forward Lance Thomas. The guess here, though, is that both Galloway and Thomas will be back. But the Knicks likely will have competition for both players. The Thunder, Nets and Mavericks are among the teams who are expected to have interest in the 28-year-old Thomas, sources say.
Industry sources believe Thomas can triple his salary and get a mid-level-range contract, perhaps starting at $4.5 million. The Knicks, if they exercise a cap hold of $2 million, can make a competitive offer because they hold Thomas’ early Bird rights. “I love New York,” Thomas said. “I really don’t know what’s going to happen, to be honest. I love New York, I’m from the area. If it works out that way, I’d love to come back.”
Still, Thomas’ season ended morosely. He re-injured his left knee during a non-contact pregame warmup drill in Denver on March 8 and missed the rest of the season. According to a source, Thomas inflamed a nerve inside the knee — a different injury than his knee sprain from late January. Thomas said he would’ve been ready to return had the Knicks made the playoffs. A source said signing with a playoff contender also will be a factor for Thomas now that he finally may have choices.
Giving up his other 2015 signees Arron Afflalo and bench sparkplug Derrick Williams, though, is unlikely. Despite their recent slumps, the Knicks consider Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams as revelations, part of the core and prefer they don’t opt out. Robin Lopez and Lance Thomas are also part of the inner circle.
For now, NBA coaches are talking up Thomas more than the media and fans. Thomas signed this offseason for a little more than the minimum — a one-year, $1.5 million deal. But come July 1, when Thomas becomes a free agent again, the fans may become disappointed when Knicks president Phil Jackson is unable to re-sign him because of his growing price tag. The Brooklyn-born Duke product is shooting an excellent 47.7 percent — 41.6 from 3-point range – and averaging 8.7 points per game. Until this season, Thomas never had a 3-point shot, attempting 22 in his first four seasons. He’s already taken 77 this season and it’s mid-January. It would seem that vague Most Improved Player Award is meant for the kind of season Thomas is weaving.
April 20, 2021 | 8:02 pm EDT Update
Bobby Marks: Julius Randle has now played in 58 games. If the Knicks earn a spot in the top 6 or make the playoffs as a result of the play-in tournament, Randle will earn a $945K bonus. Randle has already earned a $945K bonus for his selection to the All-Star game.
Sarah K. Spencer: Trae Young is wearing goggles/glasses tonight — he took an accidental hit to his right eyelid last game, which led to some swelling and soreness. It didn’t affect his vision at all. The goggles are a precaution.
Jordan Brand has unveiled Pelicans superstar Zion Williamson’s first signature sneaker and apparel line. The Zion 1 marks a new era for Jordan as Williamson represents the brand’s first Gen Z signature athlete on a talented roster that includes Luka Dončić, Jayson Tatum, Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal and Caris LeVert. “Words can’t really explain it. As a kid you just say it to put in the atmosphere like, Hey, I want my own signature shoe, but as you get older you see it is tough to get your own signature shoe,” says Williamson. “Things have to really go your way, and I just want to thank Jordan Brand for the opportunity because I don’t think it has hit me yet.”
Williamson says there were a lot of Zoom calls in the process but mentioned that he would get lost in thought about this actually happening. “What makes my signature line unique is that you are going to find a lot of gems within the line and you are going to learn about me. I am a very out-there guy, but when you actually get to know me, I am just this super chill and down-to-earth dude.”
Jordan Brand designers spoke highly about working with Williamson on his first signature shoe. “We are working with one of the most humbled athletes I think we have seen with the brand. His humility and down-to-earth manner were just refreshing to see and how he approached this entire process,” says Jarrett Mann, product director of Jordan Brand Footwear. “It was an 18-month process working with a 19-year-old signature athlete and the first Gen Z signature athlete. We wanted this to be the beginning of a shoe that bridges the gap from this generation but also have that Jordan DNA.”