Knicks brass is paying off Kristaps Porzingis in encouraging words rather than extra millions. The Knicks have until mid-October to give Porzingis a $158 million contract extension but are not planning to do so.
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At Thursday’s press conference, Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry said Porzingis understands the predicament. Brass has taken great lengths to convince him he’s still “The Franchise.” … The Knicks hope to re-sign Porzingis when he is a restricted free agent in 2019. That way, the team could climb over the salary cap. An extension now would take up precious cap room. Doing it next summer would open up $10 million in cap space.
“Our philosophy is that we’re going to stay connected with [the Porzingis camp],” Perry said. “It’s a long-term thing. Obviously you mentioned the point of the cap space in July. But we just feel like we’re in a real good space with him, as well as he is with us. And we’re going to do the right thing by him and this organization.” Mills said they have made it clear to Porzingis the Knicks’ orbit still revolves around him. “He’ll never feel like he’s not a cornerstone part of what we’re trying to do here,” Mills said. “He understands that. We make that crystal clear to him and his representation.”
The Knicks hadn’t begun negotiations on an extension with Kristaps Porzingis early in free agency and it doesn’t sound like an extension is imminent. The All-Star forward is eligible for a 5-year, $157 million extension this summer but the Knicks would have an additional $10 million in cap space in 2019 – when they hope to sign a top free agent – if they waited to extend Porzingis until next summer. Knicks GM Scott Perry was asked if the Knicks were more likely to wait until next summer to extend Porzingis. “We’ll continue to stay in touch with Kristaps,” Perry said in Las Vegas on Tuesday, per ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “He’s part of our long-term plan
Signing Kristaps Porzingis to a contract extension by October would also cost them about $10 million in 2019 cap space. Mills and Perry, in careful remarks, didn’t completely rule that out either, though they know more work needs to be done to shed other contracts. “We’ll continue to stay in touch with Kristaps,’’ Perry said. “He’s part of our long-term plan. We’ll figure out at the appropriate time in terms of when we get into that negotiation We’re comfortable where we are with him and we’ll work together with his representation to figure something out.’’
Mike Vorkunov: GM Scott Perry wouldn’t comment on whether Knicks and Kristaps Porzingis have had negotiations on a contract extension. So is he headed towards restricted free agency next summer? “We continue to stay in touch with Kristaps and he’s part of our long-term plan.” — Perry
New York Knicks president Steve Mills believes that the organization has repaired its relationship with young star Kristaps Porzingis and that the club will be well-positioned to attract top free agents in the summer of 2019.
Mills was asked by Smith if he had any concern that Porzingis, who is eligible for a five-year extension worth more than $150 million this summer, would seek a trade from the Knicks as other stars such as Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving have done in recent seasons. “No,” Mills said. “We’ve worked really hard in rebuilding the relationship with KP. For Scott and me, it’s been with his brother (Janis Porzingis). We had to make Janis, who is his agent and his brother, make him feel like he was part of our group and let him understand what we’re doing as a team. Where we’re taking this thing.”
Ian Begley: Kristaps Porzingis was asked if his contract situation – he’s up for an extension this summer – would impact anything regarding his decision to return next season from his ACL injury. He said it would not.
Ian Begley: Hornacek seems to suggest NY may wait until ‘19 to offer KP an extension: “We’re in a good position maybe not for next year, but the year after when somebody like KP, who’s up for the extension, that’s when you can go over the cap & get a free agent in there & still have him.”
When asked about it, Porzingis said he hasn’t thought much about the team’s future. He said he is “confident” that team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry will make the right decisions to improve the club. “I haven’t been really thinking about that as much. It’s something that, it’s their job, and it’s in their hands, and we’ll see what happens this summer,” said Porzingis, who is eligible for a five-year, $157 million extension this summer. “I haven’t really thought about it, and it’s also not my job. So I’m confident that they will make the right moves.”
Regarding the extension, it’s unclear how Kristaps Porzingis’ injury impacts the timing of the Knicks’ offer. Prior to the ACL tear, the Knicks likely felt comfortable offering Porzingis the extension this summer. Now, they might follow the blueprint the Philadelphia 76ers established with Joel Embiid and construct a contract that is incentivized based on health. It’s also unclear if the bad blood between the organization and Porzingis from the summer of 2017 is still a factor at this point, but the Knicks are optimistic that all parties have moved forward and are on the same page. Porzingis has said that he’ll address his feelings on the extension at the appropriate time but wants to remain in New York. The Knicks still see Porzingis as a franchise cornerstone, despite the injury.
Knicks management is making a huge effort to get on the good side of Janis Porzingis, the agent/brother of Kristaps. Before the Knicks’ 106-101 victory over the Jazz Wednesday night, team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry spoke amiably with Janis on the sidelines for nearly 30 minutes during warm-ups.
According to a source, Perry believes it’s important to improve that relationship with Janis, a former professional player in Europe.
Janis was quoted two weeks ago in a Latvian magazine, making a threatening remark about his brother’s long-term future as a Knick and creating a furor. According to a source, Janis felt badly about the way the quotes were portrayed.
Knicks general manager Scott Perry wouldn’t address Kristaps Porzingis’ brother/agent’s comments to a Latvian magazine about Porzingis’ future with the team. Janis Porzingis made it seem that it was no slam dunk that Kristaps would sign an extension next summer. “I don’t really want to talk about that right now,” Perry said Wednesday night. “We’re looking forward and ahead. The time to talk about contract extensions, that’s far. We’re living in today. KP is playing some very good basketball right now. He’s playing well and he’s happy with this team. We’ll deal with all that stuff later. But no comment in terms of what was said because I really don’t know.”
In an article published Tuesday, Janis Porzingis suggested that Porzingis would not decide to sign an extension solely because the Knicks can offer him the most money, fueling speculation that Porzingis would leave the Knicks rather than signing a rookie extension. Asked before Friday’s game about the possible fan reaction to his brother’s comments, Kristaps Porzingis strongly indicated that he planned to remain with the Knicks. “I think fans know I’m here in New York, I love New York and I see myself as a Knick for a long, long time,” he said. “And I think they shouldn’t be worrying about that.”
He is eligible to sign a five-year rookie extension starting this summer that is worth between 25 and 30 percent of the salary cap (a projected $157 million to $188 million in total). If he wanted to become an unrestricted free agent, Porzingis would have to play his fifth season with the Knicks on a qualifying offer, which would be for $7.5 million — significantly less annual money than he could earn via an extension.
Alan Hahn: Also said this is not the time to talk about the business side. Said brother’s comments were taken out of context. “It is what it is.”
Ian Begley: Asked about possible fan reaction, Kristaps Porzingis said fans should know he loves NY and sees himself as a Knick for a long, long time.
Tommy Beer: Despite comments from Kristaps Porzingis brother – it would be very, VERY risky for Porzingis to decline the Knicks max extension offer this summer. Based on current salary cap projections, the Knicks could offer Porzingis an extension worth $156.6 million in the summer of 2018. That extension would kick in following the 2018-19 season, and would be worth an average of $31.3 million per season. If Porzigis declines that extension offer in 2018, and again in 2019 as a RFA, Knicks would still control his rights through 2019-20. And KP would earn just $7.5 million in 2019-20. Then, once he finally hit unrestricted free agency, NY would still have his Bird Rights…There’s a reason every player offered a max extension off his rookie deal has signed that extension. It’s fiscally imprudent to decline…
Kristaps Porzingis skipped his exit interview to prompt change in the Knicks since Carmelo Anthony never did it himself. And when it comes to Porzingis signing a long-term extension, the Latvian is in no rush and expects to be treated like a superstar. Both those nuggets were revealed by Porzingis’ older brother and agent, Janis, who spoke recently with Latvian website Sportcentrs.
Quoted in the April issue of the Latvian sports magazine Sporta Avize, Porzingis was asked if he will sign a second contract with the Knicks. Porzingis’ four-year rookie deal has two years left and he said he hopes to finish his career with the Knicks — with a caveat. “Absolutely, I want to stay here all my career,’’ Porzingis said, according to the English translation provided by the magazine. “But the thing I want most of all is winning. When the time comes, I will seriously start to think about it. Right now I just try to do my best.”
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September 23, 2018 | 3:48 am EDT Update
Against the displeasure of Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau, owner Glen Taylor has mandated that a deal needs to be negotiated to trade disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler in the next several days, league sources told ESPN. Butler has likely worn the Timberwolves uniform for the final time, because Taylor has no interest in bringing Butler into the team’s training camp and threatening a bigger circus than already exists within the franchise.
Thibodeau has been willing to coach the Timberwolves through the dysfunction that has surrounded his star players, but Taylor has sided with Butler and agreed that the four-time All-Star should be away from the Wolves for the foreseeable future, sources said.
Now Towns will have to follow his bold words with bold action. With his contract out of the way, the Timberwolves have shifted their focus, a source said, to finding a trade partner for Butler, who has been agitating to get out throughout the summer. The expectation from Taylor is that a deal will be done so the Timberwolves can avoid bringing Butler to training camp, which begins on Tuesday.
So far, few franchises, if any, are engaged in serious conversations with the Timberwolves on Butler, sources said. The list of organizations interested in talking further with Minnesota is significant, league sources said: Brooklyn, Detroit, Houston, the LA Clippers, Miami and Philadelphia are among the teams interested in probing for deals.
They wanted direction on how to proceed with Butler, and Taylor told them: Butler is available in trade talks, and I want it done sooner than later, sources said. “The owner’s trading him,” one Board of Governors source told ESPN. “That was made clear. It’s just a matter of when.” “He basically said, ‘If you don’t get anywhere with [Layden], and you’ve got something good, bring it to me,” another high-ranking league official told ESPN.
Taylor has far less of a stomach for a dysfunctional season of feuding among Butler, Towns and forward Andrew Wiggins and the damage that’ll do to the franchise’s image, league sources said. The franchise’s business operations want to limit the sullying of what had been until now a successful marketing campaign around the franchise’s starry young core, league sources said.