Sunday was the deadline for NBA teams to extend qualifying offers to certain players, including Frank Ntilikina. We Frank stans had been dreading this day for months, and sure enough, the axe fell on our French Prince.
Frank Ntilikina, longest-tenured Knicks, going to be an unrestricted free agent. Knicks didn’t submit a qualifying offer at 5 pm deadline, taking off restricted tag. Could still re-sign him.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) August 1, 2021
In truth, this was inevitable, particularly with the way Leon Rose and the Knicks brain trust have been wheeling and dealing to grow their cap space. Frank carried a $18.5 million cap hold for the Knicks, which would have hurt their chances to sign free agents this summer.
As Berman notes, the Knicks could still re-sign Frank as an unrestricted free agent. There have been reports that they would perhaps be interested in a reunion if they can’t re-sign Reggie Bullock. But they will probably have at least some competition, and now that Frank is unrestricted, they no longer have the option of matching any offer or re-signing Frank over the cap.
In happier news, the Knicks did pick up Mitchell Robinson’s $1.8 million option for next season. This, too, was an inevitable move, even with the Knicks trying to shave every dollar off the cap. Mitch is just too valuable to let go, especially at that price.
Finally, the front office released fourth-string center Norvel Pelle. We’ll always remember the dislocated finger game, Norvel!