The New York Knicks continued their free agent big man spending spree into the wee hours of the morning, picking up Washington Wizards center/forward Bobby Portis on a two-year deal, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Free agent Bobby Portis has agreed to a two-year, $31M deal with the Knicks, agent Mark Bartelstein tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2019
Portis spent the last 28 games of the 2018-19 in Washington after he was dealt from the Chicago Bulls, who originally drafted him in 2015. In Chicago, Portis was best known for punching teammate Nikola Mirotic in the face during practice in 2017.
Washington could have matched the offer, but chose not to do so.
Wizards will rescind their qualifying offer to Bobby Portis to allow him to sign with the Knicks as an unrestricted free agent, a league source said.— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) July 1, 2019
The Wizards don’t even have a GM at the moment, but this deal was too rich for their blood. Hmm.
At first blush, this deal doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Knicks already signed power forwards Julius Randle and Taj Gibson earlier in the day. I will say this, however: Portis played more center than power forward last season, so perhaps the front office views him as more of a backup to Mitchell Robinson. Also, the Knicks desperately need shooting, and Portis connected on 39.3% of his three-pointers last season.
Personally, I don’t like this deal. Like Randle, Portis is known to be a defensive liability, The Knicks could have saved some cash and simply re-signed Luke Kornet, who showed some promise on both ends last season.
The Knicks still have approximately $27.5 million in cap space. We can only guess as to what they’ll do with it.