Apr 26, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; New York Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni (9) is guarded by Boston Celtics guard Jason Terry (4) during the second quarter of game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks extend qualifying offer to Pablo Prigioni

Just as they did to forward Chris Copeland on Tuesday, the New York Knicks took steps on Wednesday to try and keep Pablo Prigioni in the Big Apple.

The Knicks have formally extended a qualifying offer to Prigioni ensuring that he’ll be a restricted free agent next month. Similar to Copeland a day earlier, Prigioni’s one-year qualifying offer is worth $988,872.

May 7, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Pablo Prigioni (9) dribbles against the Indiana Pacers during the second half in game two of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won the game 105-79. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

However unlike the Copeland, Prigioni’s is totally different as the Knicks should have a reasonable chance to keep the Argentine point guard.

By making the qualifying offer, the Knicks will have the opportunity to match any rival offers for Prigioni up to $3.18 million, the taxpayer’s mid-level exception.

But by being over the tax line, that is all they got, so if they choose to match an offer, that means they won’t be able to bring in an outside free agent except for the veterans minimum.

The Knicks reportedly would like to bring both Prigioni and Copeland back, but will only have that $3.18 million available. Considering the fact that Copeland will likely get a big contract, he is all but gone. However Knicks’ general manager Glen Grunwald is going to be faced with a tough decision on Prigioni on how much, if any of that money he wants to use on a 36-year old.

However the Knicks offense ran much better when he was on the floor and it was a real head scratcher why Mike Woodson didn’t play him more last season.

In his first year in the NBA, Prigioni averaged 3.5 points and 3.0 assists in 78 contests for the Knicks, but he was much better than his numbers would suggest, but played only 16.8 minutes per game.

If that is all Woodson plans on using him this season, it may not be worth committing any of their MLE towards him.

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