It’s buyout season in the NBA, and what that largely means is that players who performed well below expectations all season long will now be suddenly coveted by multiple teams due to their minimum contract price.
The Knicks are reportedly in talks to cut ties with Metta World Peace, via ESPN New York, either through buyout or outright release — something confirmed publicly by the player himself.
World Peace was expected to be an addition to New York’s regular rotation when he signed a two-year deal in the offseason, but he’s appeared in only 29 contests, and has averaged 4.8 points in 13.4 minutes per game this season.
The Knicks are also reportedly in similar discussions to part ways with point guard Beno Udrih, who was pressed into action earlier in the year due to others being injured, but was mostly dreadful in his 12 appearances in the starting lineup.
Neither of these moves are motivated by money, but what they will do is open up a roster spot or two for the Knicks to add other free agents in hopes of improving the talent in place.
After a tough double-overtime loss in Orlando on Friday, New York is 21-34 on the season, but still just four and a half games out of the final playoff spot in the East — so even the smallest of upgrades to the end of the bench is worth a shot.
There will be teams interested in World Peace, with the Clippers — who were interested last summer and have taken a look at seemingly everyone — likely at the top of that list.
The Pistons will start Reggie Jackson at point guard, and they signed Ish Smith to provide better backup at the position.
The competition for the third point guard spot is heating up.
With Lorenzo Brown and Ray McCallum already signed to unguaranteed deals, Detroit is adding undrafted Old Dominion guard Trey Freeman.
Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:
The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.
Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.
Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.
Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.
For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.
But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.
With 32 wins and missing the playoffs, last season wasn’t exactly what the Knicks hoped for. However, last season also came with hope in the form of Kristaps Porzingis.
And there were highlights. Check out the team’s Top 10 plays, courtesy NBA.com.
It starts with some Derrick Williams moments, and ends with a Jose Calderon game winner, but there are moments from players the fans actually like in between.
At this point, there is zero chance Russell Westbrook‘s posts are a coincidence.
First. he posted a video of himself singing along to Lil Uzi Vert’s “Now I Do What I Want.”
Then came the shoe ad that was another little jab at now Warriors Kevin Durant.
Now comes Westbrook’s return to karaoke posts, this time singing Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.”
Apparently, Westbrook and Durant are having one rough teenage breakup.
One of the great stories of last season was the return of Paul George to All-Star level form (then to watch him be crucial to the USA winning gold this summer).
It was a great story because vintage Paul George was so great. Watch this throwback video of him blowing by LeBron James and dunking over Chris Andersen from a few years back — this is vicious.
By the way, if you’re not following NBA history on Twitter and Instagram, you’re doing it wrong.