There are new rookies to ogle, but the business of basketball doesn’t stop because of the draft. According to reports, the Knicks will retain Reggie Bullock this season but are waiving Elfrid Payton, Kenny Wooten, Taj Gibson and Wayne Ellington. They’ll also choose not to pick up Bobby Portis’ option, nor will they extend a qualifying offer to Damyean Dotson.
Teams must make decisions on players with options by this afternoon, meaning the Knicks had to figure out, today, what they are doing with most of last year’s roster. The first domino to fall was Bullock. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, he’ll get another chance to show he can be a viable sharpshooter for the Knicks when the season begins next month.
As expected, Knicks plan to exercise $4.2M option on swingman Reggie Bullock today. Is a no-brainer as 3 and D guy. Thibodeau likes defense and veterans. Bullock missed OTAs because girlfriend having twins, as we reported.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) November 19, 2020
Bullock’s first season in New York didn’t go exactly as planned. He had surgery for a cervical disc herniation the day after he was signed last July, and in October was forced to grapple with the murder of his 22-year-old sister. Consider the fact that his other sister was also murdered, back in 2014, and it becomes clear that Bullock deserves to be cut some slack for his struggles last season.
He wound up only playing in 29 total games, 19 of which he started. Bullock averaged 8 points, 2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game, shooting 40% from the field and 33% from deep. For his career, Bullock — who turns 30 in March — is a 38.5% three-point marksman, meaning the Knicks must believe last season was a blip rather than the start of a downward trend.
A few hours after the dust settled on Bullock being brought back, more moves started to emerge. Per Newsday’s Steve Popper (and also Berman of The Post), the Knicks are doing a bunch of stuff.
The players who are waived today could be back - but on a lesser deal than what they were in line for.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) November 19, 2020
The moves create some more cap flexibility - someone like Powell could get a two-way, more cap room for deals or signings.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) November 19, 2020
There will be no Taj Gibson-Tom Thibodeau reunion, The Post has learned. He's been waived, The Post has learned. Not that he can't be re-signed. Wayne Ellington waived too.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) November 19, 2020
Before we move on, a quick shout out to Dotson, who performed admirably during his three years in New York but never caught on with any of his many coaches.
Maybe Dotson will wind up in Golden State where he can provide 1/100,000th of what Klay Thompson brings. All prayers to Klay, by the way.
As noted earlier, the Knicks could still bring back the guys who got waived if they can come to terms on different contracts. Thus, it’s not completely official that we’ve seen the last of them all. Still, the moves ensure something we already knew: there’s going to be tons of roster turnover this year, which is probably for the best since the Knicks were atrocious last season.