It is day three of NBA free agency. After the Knicks opened the period like a lion (a drunk, draft-pick-vomiting lion), they and their free agents have been pretty quiet. Let us run through the rumors that emerged overnight, though. Since there's a lot, this first thread'll just be for the Knicks' own free agents. I'll put another thread up as soon as I can for New York's interests outside last year's roster.
- Chris Copeland either does or does not have some real, concrete offers in hand. We know there's interest in Cope around the league, but we don't know how many dollars over how many years a non-Knicks team is willing to give him yet. Here's what we have:
(Don't ask me what an exploratory offer is. I picture it like "Would you consider growing your hair down to your waist for a bigger contract? Could we pay you in yen? What is money, anyway? Like, what if we all agreed it didn't have any value anymore?", but that's probably not what it's like. Anyway, moving on with Copeland:
Told Indy sent a nice package for Copeland's perusal but have not made an offer. Yet.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) July 3, 2013
Pacers continue to pursue Knicks free agent Chris Copeland, I'm told, and have offer on the table to the restricted free agent— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2013
And via RealGM's Shams Charania:
After discussions with the Indiana Pacers since the start of free agency, free agent forward Chris Copeland hasn’t received a contract proposal from the organization and will continue talks on Wednesday, a league source told RealGM.
So, whatever the above means, WE don't know yet how much the Pacers or Lakers are offering Copeland, even if he does. He might not. Maybe they're stringing him along a bit while they explore higher-priority options. Whatever the case, note that New York: 1. Has not made Copeland an official offer and seems to be waiting for him to get one from elsewhere. 2. Can only match offers up to the mini MLE (which affects their other signings).
- On that note, Argentine source PickandRoll reports the Knicks have made a two-year offer to Pablo Prigioni. That report has been shared by local reporters (I found it via Adam Zagoria), if not actually confirmed. If the Knicks have made an offer, I imagine it's a chunk of that same mini MLE. Unless they're willing to accept minimum deals, Prigioni and Copeland are drawing Knicks offers from the same small, finite fund of $3ish million per year.
- J.R. Smith does not have an offer from the Knicks or any other team yet (we haven't even heard about him talking to other teams), but we do have some things. Because other, somewhat comparable shooting guards like Kevin Martin and J.J. Redick have agreed to deals, the Knicks and Smith have a sense for how much okay shooting guards are worth this summer:
The contracts signed by J.J. Redick and Kevin Martin are similar to what J.R. Smith can get from the Knicks.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 3, 2013
The first thing is roughly true. Isola doesn't couch the second thing in any "sources say", but I imagine he heard something to give him that impression, like perhaps from a Smith. Meanwhile, Steve Popper reports the Knicks did, quietly, have a chance to meet with J.R. this past weekend:
Smith met with Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, sitting down at Amar’e Stoudemire’s wedding this past week, to discuss his future with the organization.
Because, these are the Knicks-- and because they just made a move geared toward clearing space in 2015-- we can't be sure of anything, but it does seem like everything's in place for the Knicks and J.R. Smith to agree to the most they can offer him: a four-year deal of around $25ish million. But maybe they don't want that money committed three or four years from now. You never know. And, of course, other teams like the Bucks can and might exceed what the Knicks can offer, but probably not by so much.
That's what's going on with New York's free agents. New thread comin' up about free agents the Knicks are courting from elsewhere.
Update (11:59 AM):
Pablo Prigioni told a friend today that he "hopes" to reach an agreement on a new deal with the Knicks "real soon."— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 3, 2013