Today was a pretty important day across the NBA: the deadline to pick up team options on rookie contracts and to extend players in the final seasons of their rookie deals.
The Knicks just so happen to have two such players, and the predictable result ensued for both. First off, Scott Perry and Steve Mills made the no-brainer decision to pick up Frank Ntilikina’s third-year option, ensuring that he’ll remain a Knick through at least the 2019-20 season:
The New York Knicks announced today that the team has exercised its third-year option on guard Frank Ntilikina pic.twitter.com/fLN9cd2uKZ— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) October 15, 2018
That third-year option will likely be followed by the Knicks picking up Ntilikina’s fourth-year option this time next year. But as we saw with now-Knick Mario Hezonja and the Magic last season, it’s not always a guarantee. So, uh, good job doing the logical thing, Knicks!
Secondly, the Knicks predictably did not come to an agreement with Kristaps Porzingis on a rookie contract extension. This was also a smart move.
The Knicks are not expected to come to an agreement with Kristaps Porzingis on a rookie extension prior to today’s deadline, so he will be a restricted free agent next summer: https://t.co/TIn1IEuLLT— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 15, 2018
Waiting to offer Kristaps Porzingis an extension until the summer of 2019 gives NYK an additional $10 million in cap space for the coming offseason. They’d still need to shed some salary to have enough money to offer a max contract to a player with at least 7 years of service https://t.co/4v7fM4jdEx— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 15, 2018
As Mr. Begley notes, by not extending Porzingis, the Knicks actually stand to gain a good deal of cap room for their rumored pursuit of a top free agent next summer. The reason being, Kristaps’ cap hold (the amount that he counts for against the cap prior to being re-signed) is about $10 million less than what a max rookie scale extension would put him at (roughly $17 million cap hold vs. $27 million extension salary).
How do you calculate KP’s cap hold?— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) October 15, 2018
Per CBA rules, since he is making less than league average this season and will be coming off his rookie scale contract, his cap hold is 300% of this year’s salary, or approximately $17 million https://t.co/eVjbtw7MZX
So, once again, bravo to the Knicks, even for something this simple! I’m still getting used to this competence being commonplace.