NBA Rumor: Reggie Bullock Free Agency

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Reggie Bullock on leaving Knicks for Mavericks: 'It was a no-brainer'

Bullock was the Knicks’ starting shooting guard this past season, defended the opponent’s top perimeter player and wound up averaging 10.9 points while shooting a terrific 41-percent from 3-point range. Bullock signed a mid-level exception deal for three years, $30.5 million. “When I played against the Mavericks last year, I liked the way that they competed as a team,” Bullock said. “They got great players, so it was an easy, no-brainer for me. Being with the Knicks last year, we made it to the playoffs but I see [the Mavericks] as a team that’s taking that next step to be in the postseason.’’

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The idea of taking a bad contract into cap space could be one of several avenues the Knicks are considering this offseason. Depending on what they decide to do with the contract options for Bobby Portis, Wayne Ellington, Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock, New York could have more than $60 million in cap room in the offseason. The Knicks, who told teams recently they’d be open to taking on a bad contract, have not made decisions on any players with options yet.

There remains mutual interest between the Knicks and Bullock to negotiate a new deal after a medical issue hampered their original agreement, sources said. Bullock’s agent, David Bauman, and the Knicks continue to work together on a new agreement for the six-year veteran. The medical issue that caused a hiccup is unclear, but Bullock has dealt with plantar fasciitis in the past. The Knicks originally agreed to a two-year, $21 million deal with Bullock that contained a player option in Year 2.

That means the Warriors will need one of three things to happen. First, they can hope for a repeat of the scenario that played out last summer with Cousins: A free agent doesn’t receive the offers he expects to land and decides that he’d rather take less money to play one season in Golden State before reentering the market the following summer. Sources mentioned Reggie Bullock and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as players who could potentially find themselves in that situation.

Bullock open to Detroit return?

The source also said Reggie Bullock enjoyed his role as second fiddle to Blake Griffin in the Pistons’ oft-used DHO actions. Furthermore, Bullock is fond of the Michigan lifestyle, per the source. Following the trade, the source said that Bullock understood the business aspect of the decision and would still be willing to return to the Pistons as a free agent if, again, the finances were in order. Bullock has been in the league since 2013 and hasn’t made more than $2.5 million in a season.

Bullock, making $2.5 million this season, will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason so the Pistons must weigh re-signing him, trading him or risk losing him for nothing. The Pistons would like to re-sign Bullock and Smith (also a free agent) this offseason, according to the team source. It makes for a tricky situation. There are certain trade proposals that would be a no-brainer. If a team offers a first-round pick, it would be smart for the Pistons to move Bullock. Adding a solid first-rounder to their own pick would go toward the Pistons accumulation of assets. But a second-rounder? The decision becomes hazy.

Pistons keeping Reggie Bullock?

Barring a major trade, the Pistons won’t be very active during the draft or during free agency. They have no first-round selection in the draft on June 21 — their No. 12 pick was sent to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Blake Griffin deal — and they likely won’t find an impact player with their second-round pick (42nd overall). They will pick up the team option on Reggie Bullock for $2.5 million by July 15 and they’ll have to make decisions on whether to fully guarantee the contracts of Eric Moreland ($1.8 million) and Dwight Buycks ($1.6 million).

Market value and a rising salary cap in 2017-18 could mean Caldwell-Pope, 23, could command around $20 million a season. Re-signing him — and the Pistons have said they want to — would push them into the luxury tax, a play team owner Tom Gores has said he’s willing to make. “I don’t look at it as a necessity, but we would like to get something done,” Van Gundy said. “We like both guys; we’d like to have them around long-term. But it has to be something obviously that works for both sides. At this point, we don’t have that.”

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope extension unlikely

With roughly 24 hours remaining before the deadline for contract extensions for swingmen Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Bullock, Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told the Free Press this morning “it’s hard to be optimistic.” Caldwell-Pope and Bullock would become restricted free agents next off-season if they don’t sign agreements by 5 p.m. Monday. “We don’t have anything yet,” Van Gundy said. “We still would like to, but it’s not the end of the world. On those things, it’s gotta be something that both sides feel good about.”
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