Knicks Free Agency Rumors: Copeland probably gone (Updated 10:09 AM)

USA TODAY Sports

We may be nearing decisions from the Knicks' foremost free agents.

The rumor train carrying New York's free agents made some progress overnight. Barring something unexpected (which you can never, ever bar with the Knicks), it looks like a couple will return and one is almost certainly gone. What we've heard:

- J.R. Smith met with the Knicks all day yesterday to discuss a new contract. When we got word last night, it sounded like the hands were about to shake, but as of this morning, they're not there yet and probably won't be for a day or so. The reasons for the delay are, according to Marc Berman and his source, Mr. Earl Smith: 1. The lawyers involved don't want to work on July 4, which is totally fine with me because I also don't want to work on July 4. 2. Dad Smith still thinks another team might swoop in with an offer of up to $10 million per year.

New York's offer to J.R. will be somewhere between two and four years (a crucial distinction, but still not totally figured out) and league-average salary-- $5.something million per year. If, indeed, someone's going to offer J.R. $10 million, then bless 'em and godspeed to J.R. However, given what players of J.R.'s vague caliber (there's no one quite like J.R., for better or worse) are getting, a team would have to be desperate if not borderline manic to make that offer. And the most desperate (mediocre) teams-- Berman names Detroit, Phoenix, Charlotte, and Milwaukee-- appear to have lost interest. The Smiths also seem to be waiting on a Dwight Howard decision, thinking his destination may leave a different team (Houston or Dallas) with a bunch of money to spend, but I don't think that's a worthwhile wait. Though again, if J.R. can get $10 million from someone, I salute him.

I think J.R. Smith is coming back to the Knicks, and I think the only major uncertainty at this point is how long of a contract the Knicks will give him. If the Andrea Bargnani trade was part of a plan, then it would make the most sense for the Knicks to come away with a two-year deal for J.R., since 2015 is looking like the next target date for some cap space. It may have to be a four-year deal, though, because that's just what it takes to get J.R. Smith and his favorable, cap-excepted salary back and because plans are for sissies anyway.

Oh, and if Berman is to be believed, Chris Smith is about to be back in our lives-- like even beyond Summer League-- very soon. There were previous reports that the Knicks wouldn't sign Chrismith for real real no matter what, but...negotiations are negotiations, and when Dad gets involved...

- Moving on, it seems the Knicks have a deal in place for Pablo Prigioni, which just makes me whimper with joy. Julian Mozo of Olé (so he would know) reports the following:

("The Knicks' offer to Pablo Prigioni, according to reports from New York and Argentina, would be for two years and $2.5 million.")

Berman calls it a two-year deal in the "$2.3 million range", which means it is a significant chunk of the mini MLE. If Prigioni accepts that (and folks are talking about it like they expect him to do so, which again makes me so happy I want to cry), it will all but seal the departure of...

- ...Chris Copeland, who, as Berman and others report, has at least one offer sheet coming soon that will far exceed what the Knicks can match. That is what it is. I love Cope, I wish more than anything the Knicks could keep him, but the way New York's financial planning shook out, there just wasn't going to be enough money to bring everyone back. Given a choice between Prigioni and Copeland, I'm happy the Knicks are leaning toward Prigioni. Depending on the kind of offer sheet Cope's about to get, though, it might not really be a choice.

- No real discussin' has been done with Kenyon Martin, but the Knicks are "interested". It sounds like they prefer Elton Brand to Martin-- and are blowing his phone up accordingly-- but reports from the last few days make a Brand signing sound unlikely. We shall see.

Those seem to be New York's projects for the time being. Everything else is just "interest" at the moment. Remember, agreements can be made whenever, but pen can't actually be put to paper until July 10. I'm hopeful we can have a quiet July 4 free of fretting about the Knicks, but I will certainly post updates if I find anything. Have a lovely holiday. <3

Update (9:34 AM):

Update (10:09 AM):

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Posting and Toasting

You must be a member of Posting and Toasting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Posting and Toasting. You should read them.

Join Posting and Toasting

You must be a member of Posting and Toasting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Posting and Toasting. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker