New York Knicks: Five potential effects of not re-signing Kristaps Porzingis

New York Knicks Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
New York Knicks Scott Perry, Steve Mills (Photo by Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

2. Knicks preserve cap space

After the waive and stretch of Joakim Noah and Allonzo Trier‘s first NBA contract, the New York Knicks were left with approximately $29 million in cap space for 2019. It’s enough cash to be active, but short of handing out a max contract in free agency to one of the elite.

When the Knicks opted not to extend Porzingis on his rookie-scale deal in October, it preserved cap space for the summer. They could use that available money and re-sign Porzingis over the cap.

If the Knicks don’t do that, they have the opportunity to maintain payroll flexibility.

Porzingis’ max contract will command four years, $122.4 million — approximately a $30 million average annual value. Without that on the payroll, they won’t have the risk of flying over the $109 million salary cap and may save it once team extensions arise.

The Knicks will also save space if they don’t hand out expensive, long-term deals; something similar to 2018, with shorter contracts that maintain future flexibility.

Having cap space does not guarantee anything, of course. The Lakers went years without the ability to lure a top name. The Knicks even had it in 2016, before using it on Joakim Noah and  Courtney Lee.

Preserved cap space will provide the Knicks room to operate without Porzingis, but the grass is not always greener on the other side.