Following their first playoff berth in over eight years, the New York Knicks are hoping to ride the momentum of a winning season into the summer and free agency.
But what that means for some of their in-house free agents is unclear.
Typically, after a season with such unprecedented success as the Knicks most recently underwent, players can expect to see a raise in their next deal, whether from the team they’re on or another elsewhere.
One name that’s starting to gain interest from teams outside of New York is three-and-d specialist Reggie Bullock.
The 30-year old veteran is coming off of arguably his best season to date. Bullock averaged 10.9 points and a career-high 3.4 rebounds while knocking down 41% of his 6.1 nightly attempts from behind the arc.
As Marc Berman of the New York Post reports, his performance this season with the Knicks has helped him climb the offseason totem pole as a desired free agent:
According to an NBA source, two Atlantic Division squads, the Celtics and 76ers, have interest in Knicks swingman Reggie Bullock, who started all season at either shooting guard or small forward.
Berman also linked the Los Angeles Lakers as a Bullock suitor:
The source said the Lakers, whom Bullock played for in 2018-19 alongside LeBron James, also have Bullock on their list. Interestingly, a report surfaced Wednesday the Lakers will try to lure Chris Paul back to Los Angeles. Paul and Bullock are both from North Carolina and are close.
With the 2021 NBA Draft just days away, expect rumors to continue heating up around both the veteran wing and the New York Knicks in the coming days.
There’s Mutual Interest in a Bullock Return to New York
Berman went on to report that while teams are emerging with interest for Reggie Bullock, there’s still a strong likelihood that he resigns with the New York Knicks, as is the 30-year old’s preference:
Bullock’s preference is to stay with the Knicks, but he likely will command the full mid-level exception of $9.23 million. One source believes Bullock, who turned 30 in March, will seek a three-year deal.
And they’re interested in a reunion with the starter as well:
The Knicks are always looking for the next shiny new thing and will explore their free-agent options, too, but have sincere interest in bringing back Bullock.
Bullock’s return isn’t a question of if the Knicks can afford him, but whether or not they’ll still be interested in bringing him back when they see the market rate.
New York will be operating with north of $55-million in cap space this summer, which could end up leading the NBA.
A Frank Ntilikina Update
At the end of his report, Berman made sure to tack on an update regarding Frank Ntilikina’s restricted free agency.
The eighth overall pick from the 2017 NBA Draft, he fell out of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation early on in the season despite his defensive prowess.
Berman says that there’s still an appreciation for Ntilikina’s skillset, and that could lead to the two sides striking a deal this summer in free agency.
Especially if Reggie Bullock signs elsewhere:
If the Knicks lose Bullock, they’d be more likely to attempt to match a modest offer to guard Frank Ntilikina, a restricted free agent. According to a league source, the Knicks haven’t ruled out bringing back their 2017 lottery pick selected by Phil Jackson, even if Thibodeau barely played him last season.
Ntilikina played just 33 games this season, and averaged 2.7 points per game.