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The Knicks have picked up Allonzo Trier’s option for 2019-20; plan to waive Lance Thomas

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Iso Zo is back for a second go-around

NBA: New York Knicks at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks have picked up Allonzo Trier’s option for the 2019-20 season, valued at $3.5 million, per The Athletic’s Shams Chanaria:

That’s it, that’s the news. The Knicks had until June 20 (draft night) to make the decision, but decided to jump on it early. Now, with Trier’s option picked up, it’s worth noting that the team can include him in trade discussions as well (should any trade discussions still be in the works).

Our good friend Knicks Film School put together a nice cap breakdown of how this affects the Knicks’ cap space this summer now (which obviously seems like much less of an issue in wake of the Kevin Durant injury):

Still, though, technically speaking they could not afford to max Durant and a 7-9 years of service max free agent at this moment by a matter of inches. I can’t imagine that would be much of an issue to get around, however.

As far as Trier the player is concerned, you could definitely argue he’s being paid a fair value for his contributions last season, and that the Knicks were smart to pick up his option. Iso Zo put up 10.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game last year in 22.8 minutes per game, shooting a pretty spectacular .448/.394/.803 line for a rookie. Even though our own Jon “Stingy” Schulman wants Iso Zo to change his name to “Ishare Zo,” his rookie campaign seemed like a pretty good building block for (at least) a reliable bench scorer in the future.

But wait! That’s not all. SNY’s Ian Begley also reports on what the Knicks are planning on doing with Lance Thomas’ non-guaranteed contract:

The Knicks have a few other team options to decide on and also have until June 30 to decide on guaranteeing $1 million of veteran leader Lance Thomas $7.6 million salary.

The Knicks currently plan to waive Thomas ahead of the guarantee date, per SNY sources.

But the club has interest in bringing the veteran back as a free agent, sources say. Thomas’ leadership and professionalism is held in high regard in the organization and he is respected for his mentorship to younger players.

So the Knicks will likely scrap Thomas from the books, making him only count for $1 million against the cap next season. That said, they’re also apparently going to try to bring him back as a veteran presence on the bench. All I’m gonna say is, there’s not a limit to how many assistant coaches you can have... Maybe Lance could do that? Just please, don’t make me watch him play close to 20 minutes per game ever again. It’s really not a fun experience.

Just under a week til the draft. Things are about to get very interesting.