After striking out on stars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard, the Knicks found a type last summer – marginal veterans who’d take big two-year contracts with the second season barely or completely unguaranteed.
The hope was giving New York a competitive team (failed), trade bait (failed so far) and flexibility. At least the flexibility will still come, with decisions on salaries for next season:
- Bobby Portis: $15.75 million (team option)
- Taj Gibson: $9.45 million ($1 million guaranteed)
- Wayne Ellington: $8 million ($1 million guaranteed)
- Elfrid Payton: $8 million ($1 million guaranteed)
- Reggie Bullock: $4.2 million ($1 million guaranteed)
Bullock’s modest option year is likely to be picked up, according to an NBA source.
Does Berman’s source have direct knowledge of the Knicks’ plan? The possibility is what makes this interesting.
Otherwise, anyone with a general understanding of the league could guess. This would be my guess, too.
Bullock is a good 3-point shooter with the size to defend wings (though he doesn’t consistently actualize that defensive potential). Those types of players are in high demand.
But it’s a weak free-agent class. Bullock should have positive value on a $4.2 million salary. With only one more season left on his contract, New York won’t be stuck long-term with the 29-year-old if something goes wrong. He’s worth keeping (and I nearly selected him in our mock expansion draft).
A parting reminder: The Knicks got Bullock at such a bargain only because he failed his physical. They initially planned to pay him twice as much.