NBA Free Agency Rumors: What options remain for the Knicks?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

They'll have to finish the roster with some small contracts.

Thursday was a good day. The Knicks nearly finished reassembling last year's team, and the only remaining tasks are: 1. Finish reassembling, if they can and/or want to. 2. Get to work nabbing productive players on minimum contracts. I think of that second thing as one of this front office's greatest strengths, so I'm hoping for the best. First thing first, though:

Chris Copeland is still out there. After agreeing to terms with Pablo Prigioni, the Knicks have about $1.75 million of their mini MLE available to match any offer sheet Copeland receives. Beyond that, they have to hope Cope is either not receiving offer sheets as attractive as expected, staunchly loyal to New York, or locked into a two-year cable agreement and unwilling to pay the cancellation fee. Copeland's agent, John Spencer, is talking to reporters, and he says several teams-- Indiana, Utah, Los Angeles, Denver-- fancy his client and will make offers exceeding New York's match limit. We'll see, Mr. Spencer!

Kenyon Martin is also still out there. We've heard several times over the Knicks are (one of the teams) interested in retaining his services next season, but they can probably be patient with that one. Martin's a minimum-contract guy, and minimum-contract signings come later in the summer (well, for most teams. The Knicks have only one non-minimum contract left to sign).

Speaking of Copeland and Martin and non-minimum contracts, it sounds from that Berman article like the Knicks are still hoping for Elton Brand with the rest of the mini-MLE if Copeland walks. Brand leads the "interest" list at the moment, with a slew of lower-tier point guards (Sebastian Telfair being the most recently and frequently mentioned name), and a handful of intriguing wings on there as well. On that note, Jared Zwerling heard Matt Barnes and Nate Robinson (whose rumors have traveled together this summer because they share an agency) won't settle for less than the full mini-MLE, so they're both out now. There are others at each of their positions, and, ya know, maybe they'll change their minds.

The overall point here is to be patient. The Knicks probably won't make minimum signings until they've used the rest of that mini MLE. They probably won't use the rest of the mini MLE until they figure out what Chris Copeland wants. They won't find out what Chris Copeland wants until he does or doesn't sign an offer sheet. He probably won't sign an offer sheet until teams sort out their various Dwight Howards and other, bigger signings. Things may stagnate for a bit. (Now that I've said that, expect the Knicks to somehow end the day with Dwight Howard.)

In the meantime, two more little bits of information/rumor: 1. The Knicks are supposedly one of the teams interested in Anthony Morrow, who I love (could be a Grant Hill maneuver). 2. C.J. Leslie's deal with the Knicks is partially guaranteed. I never quite what that means, but I imagine it makes his making the roster more likely.

That is all for right now. Have a peaceful Friday.

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