SAN FRANCISCO — Because the Knicks plot out their future throughout this downtrending season, a selected mould of participant stays a precedence for the entrance workplace, in accordance with sources: an athletic wing.
One in every of that ilk who has piqued New York’s curiosity is Lakers ahead Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who will probably be an unrestricted free agent in the summertime. Caldwell-Pope actually suits the perfect at simply 24 years outdated with potential as an elite perimeter defender. He does carry some baggage, nonetheless, after serving a jail sentence this season for violating probation.
Theoretically, that might assist New York land the taking pictures guard if it drives down his worth in free company. The Knicks received’t be working with a lot cap area ought to Enes Kanter, as anticipated, choose into the ultimate yr of his contract at $18.four million.
On the commerce entrance, the Knick who has garnered probably the most curiosity from groups is Willy Hernangomez. Nonetheless, that dialogue additionally comes with the next query: why isn’t he enjoying?
Falling to 3rd on New York’s middle depth chart actually has dinged Hernangomez’s commerce worth, however his potential — and pleasant contract — has made the 23-year-old extra interesting to inquisitors than Kyle O’Quinn. Courtney Lee as a commerce chip could possibly be intriguing throughout his career-best marketing campaign, however gives to this point have been underwhelming. Solely two years in the past, Lee, 32, was traded from Memphis for 4 second-round picks. He’s within the second season of a four-year, $50 million contract.
As Sunday’s embarrassing defeat to the Lakers reiterated, the Knicks want extra velocity and athleticism to maintain up with the brand new model of the NBA.
Sadly for the Knicks, the demand for these sort of wings is widespread all through the league because the Feb. eight commerce deadline approaches, in accordance with ESPN. So upgrading is extra possible through the summer time, when Caldwell-Pope and different wings hit the open market.
The Lakers signed Caldwell-Pope to a one-year, $18 million deal final summer time partly as a result of he shares an agent with LeBron James. There was hope James would bolt Cleveland for L.A. this offseason. However probabilities of that seismic shift are actually distant, and Caldwell-Pope’s introduction to the Lakers was rocky.
In line with the L.A. Instances, Caldwell-Pope missed “a number of” drug and alcohol screenings that had been mandated by a 12-month probation stemming from a conviction for permitting an individual to function his car underneath the affect.
The violations led to a 25-day jail sentence. As a part of a work-release program, Caldwell-Pope was allowed to play video games in California however missed video games exterior of the state. After 4 seasons with the Pistons, Caldwell-Pope is averaging 13.7 factors and four.eight rebounds whereas taking pictures 42 % general and 36 % from past the arc.
He’s recovering from an Achilles damage and was inactive when the Lakers shellacked the Knicks on the Staples Heart.
For Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, the Pope signing has contributed to a tough first yr for the agent-turned-executive. A subsequent 10-day contract he handed to Jamil Wilson was reneged after it was uncovered the participant is being sued by a lady alleging she contracted an STD from him.