Knicks Rumors

Knicks Re-Signing Mitchell Robinson To Four-Year Contract

The Knicks are bringing back unrestricted free agent center Mitchell Robinson, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who hears from agents Thad Foucher and Joe Smith that Robinson has agreed to a four-year, $60MM deal to remain in New York.

Robinson, 24, has spent his first four NBA seasons with the Knicks after being selected 36th overall in the 2018 draft. He emerged in 2021/22 as the team’s regular starting center, averaging 8.5 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and 1.8 BPG in 72 appearances (25.7 MPG), including 62 starts.

Robinson has made 72.2% of his career field goal attempts, including 76.1% in ’21/22, but doesn’t have an expansive offensive game, averaging just 4.8 field goal attempts per contest this past season.

The big man has conveyed some dissatisfaction with his limited offensive role in the past and didn’t agree to an in-season extension with the Knicks, prompting some speculation that he could end up elsewhere once he reached the open market. However, there were a number of reasons why it made sense for New York to bring him back.

For one, at age 24, Robinson was one of this summer’s youngest unrestricted free agents and still has room to grow. His athleticism and ability as a lob threat also bring a different dimension to the Knicks’ frontcourt than incoming center Isaiah Hartenstein will provide. Plus, his minimum-salary cap hold gives New York the flexibility to use up its cap room before going over the cap to re-sign him using his Bird rights.

The Bulls and Pistons were among the teams said to have interest in Robinson in the weeks leading up to free agency, but Chicago went for a lower-cost center in Andre Drummond, while Detroit landed rookie Jalen Duren in a draft-night trade. The Raptors also had interest in Robinson, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link), but the Knicks had been confident in recent days that they’d be able to re-sign him.

Jake Fischer first reported earlier this week that Robinson was expected to return to New York on a four-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $60MM.

Jalen Brunson To Sign Four-Year Contract With Knicks

8:36am: Brunson has now formally agreed to a four-year, $104MM contract with the Knicks, agents Aaron Mintz and Sam Rose tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The deal will include a fourth-year player option.


4:05pm: The Mavericks have been informed that free agent point guard Jalen Brunson intends to sign with the Knicks, a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link).

Brunson’s new deal will be worth in the neighborhood of $110MM over four years, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who tweets that Dallas didn’t get the opportunity to make a final offer. Marc Stein (Twitter link) hears the contract will be worth about $105MM, plus incentives.

The meeting that Brunson had set with the Mavericks in New York City at the start of free agency is no longer taking place, according to Stein (Twitter link). A report last night suggested that Brunson would meet with the Knicks, Mavericks, and Heat at the start of free agency, but word broke earlier today that the meeting with Miami wasn’t happening either.

Brunson, 25, appeared in 79 regular season games last season (31.9 MPG), averaging 16.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG and 4.8 APG on .502/.373/.840 shooting. He also posted a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, considered a strong benchmark for a ball-handler.

Brunson also excelled with a larger role in the postseason, averaging 21.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 3.7 APG on .466/.347/.800 shooting in 18 games (34.9 MPG). He led the team to back-to-back first-round victories over Utah in the absence of injured star Luka Doncic, scoring 41 points and 31 points, respectively.

Despite his strong performances last season, Brunson isn’t without flaws. He’s only 6’1″ and although he’s strong, he’s not the best athlete, which limits his defensive versatility.

The Knicks and Brunson have been linked to one another for months. As has been repeated ad nauseam, Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose is Brunson’s former agent, Rose’s son Sam Rose is Brunson’s current agent, and Brunson’s father Rick Brunson was recently hired as a Knicks assistant.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated previously reported that part of the Knicks’ pitch to Brunson is the ability to be the full-time starting point guard. In Dallas, he’s more of a secondary option at the position, with Doncic running the show.

The Mavericks had long projected confidence in their ability to re-sign Brunson, but that confidence had waned considerably over the past week or so. They held his Bird Rights, giving them the ability to offer more years (five) and money than other teams, but reportedly were only willing to go as high as $106MM over five years, which is obviously considerably less annually than the Knicks are offering.

Dallas projects to be far over the salary cap, limiting the team’s ability to secure an adequate replacement for Brunson. However, Stein reports (via Twitter) that the Mavs aren’t expected to immediately pursue a replacement, instead relying on incumbent guards Spencer Dinwiddie and Tim Hardaway Jr. for backcourt depth.

Hardway missed about half the season, including the postseason, but he should be healthy for 2022/23, Stein notes. Dallas eventually plans to go after veteran guard Goran Dragic once the team pursues higher priority targets, including wings and frontcourt players, per Stein.

It’s worth noting that reports two days ago said the Knicks were expected to land Brunson on the terms outlined above, and now his commitment to New York has all but been finalized before free agency officially opens, so it’s possible the Knicks will face a tampering investigation in the future.

Knicks, Isaiah Hartenstein Agree To Two-Year Deal

The Knicks and free agent center Isaiah Hartenstein have agreed to a two-year, $16.7MM deal, reports Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’ll be fully guaranteed, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Hartenstein had been linked to the Knicks in the days leading up to free agency, with New York said to be in the market for a backup at the five. The expectation is that the team will still re-sign Mitchell Robinson as its starting center, though no agreement is in place yet.

With Serge Ibaka still rounding into form following offseason back surgery, Hartenstein emerged early in the 2021/22 season as the Clippers’ primary backup center and thrived in the role, making 62.6% of his shots from the field and handing out 2.4 APG in just 17.9 minutes per contest. He even flashed the ability to hit the occasional three-pointer (14-of-30) and played solid defense.

Hartenstein has played for four teams in four NBA seasons and has never earned more than the minimum, but his performance this past season put him in a good position to land a multiyear deal and a raise, which he’ll get in New York.

If the Knicks are able to turn their deal with Jalen Brunson into a sign-and-trade, there are scenarios in which they operate over the cap this offseason, in which case Hartenstein would be in line for a chunk of the mid-level exception. However, if the club goes below the cap and uses room, it will have enough to accommodate both Brunson and Hartenstein.

Spurs Trade Dejounte Murray To Hawks

JUNE 30: The trade is official, the Hawks announced in a press release.

“The opportunity to acquire a player of Dejounte’s caliber, just entering his prime, doesn’t come along too often,” Hawks president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk said in a statement. “He has developed into one of the elite two-way guards in the league and we’re thrilled to add him to our group.”

In addition to the pieces detailed below, Atlanta also acquired big man Jock Landale from San Antonio. As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype tweets, in order to complete the trade before the new league year began, the Spurs needed to add a little more salary to match Gallinari’s $21.45MM incoming figure, even though it’s not fully guaranteed.

According to Kirschner (Twitter link), it’s not clear yet whether the Hawks plan to keep Landale, whose minimum-salary contract for 2022/23 isn’t fully guaranteed.


JUNE 29: The Spurs have reached an agreement to trade guard Dejounte Murray to the Hawks for a package that includes Danilo Gallinari and multiple first-round picks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). San Antonio will receive three first-rounders and a draft swap, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

According to Wojnarowski and Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (Twitter links), the three picks going to the Spurs will be Charlotte’s 2023 first-rounder (top-16 protected) and the Hawks’ own 2025 and 2027 first-rounders. San Antonio will also have the right to swap first-round selections with Atlanta in 2026.

Those 2025 and 2027 picks – along with the 2026 swap – will be unprotected, tweets John Hollinger of The Athletic.

Marc Stein first reported (via Twitter) that momentum was building toward a Murray trade, noting that the Knicks and Timberwolves were also among the guard’s known suitors. Atlanta has been the team most frequently linked to Murray though, having reportedly explored deals for him dating back to February’s trade deadline.

The deal represents a major backcourt upgrade for the Hawks, who will add an All-Star – and one of the league’s best perimeter defenders – to complement All-NBA guard Trae Young without giving up any players from their projected 2022/23 roster.

It’s not clear if trade candidate John Collins will still be in Atlanta when the ’22/23 season begins, but he’s not part of this deal after having being included in earlier Murray-related rumors.

Murray enjoyed a breakout season in 2021/22, averaging 21.1 PPG, 9.2 APG, 8.3 RPG, and a league-leading 2.0 SPG with a shooting line of .462/.327/.794 in 68 games (34.8 MPG). The 25-year-old was the runner-up for the Most Improved Player award.

Murray’s ability and versatility on defense make him an ideal backcourt partner for Young, who is said to be “ecstatic” about the move, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Murray is under contract for the next two seasons and is owed just over $34MM during that time.

The Spurs’ motives for making the deal are a little less obvious than the Hawks’, since it’s not as if Murray was on an entirely different timeline than the team’s young core, but perhaps he wasn’t part of the club’s plans beyond his current contract. San Antonio’s decision to accept a package heavy on distant draft picks rather than current players signals that short-term contention probably isn’t in the cards as the front office looks toward the future.

The Hornets’ 2023 pick will be lottery-protected in 2024 and 2025 if it doesn’t convey next year, then would turn into two second-round picks if it hasn’t conveyed by that point. The Hawks’ own picks – and the 2026 swap – could be more significantly more valuable, especially if the team takes a downturn within the next few years.

Gallinari’s $21.45MM salary had only been partially guaranteed for $5MM and was set to become fully guaranteed if he remained under contract through today.

The veteran forward probably isn’t in the Spurs’ plans at that full $21.45MM figure, so the most likely outcome is that he’ll have his partial guarantee increased by another $6MM-ish in order to legally match Murray’s salary, then will be waived. Gallinari may agree to push back his salary guarantee date in order to give the teams time to complete the trade and ensure that he receives that extra money, though that’s just my speculation at this point.

Free Agent Rumors: Brunson, Oladipo, Ingles, Rockets

Jalen Brunson appears ready to leave the Mavericks and sign with the Knicks for a reported $110MM over four years, but money may not be the only factor, writes Tim Cato of The Athletic. Sources tell Cato that Brunson might not be willing to re-sign with the Mavs even if they agree to match New York’s offer, which has led to pessimism in Dallas about keeping the 25-year-old guard.

Cato adds that as of Tuesday, there’s no indication that the Mavericks are considering making a larger offer to Brunson.

In the same story, Cato examines Dallas’ system for evaluating how much players are worth and explains why the team decided not to offer Brunson a four-year, $55MM extension last summer.

There’s more on the free agent market:

  • The Kings are expected to be one of the teams reaching out to Victor Oladipo, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Injuries limited Oladipo to eight games during the regular season, but he was part of the rotation during the Heat’s playoff run. Oladipo is looking for a starting position and a salary in the $10MM range, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7.
  • The Grizzlies are interested in Joe Ingles, Begley adds in the same piece. Ingles is rehabbing after his season was ended by a torn ACL in late January.
  • Rumors have linked the Rockets to several centers in free agency, but Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle isn’t convinced that it’s a position of need. Second-year center Alperen Sengun is projected to be the starter and the team plans to use a small-ball approach, with no traditional center, for eight to 10 minutes per game. Feigen notes that the Rockets want to be careful with their cap space beyond this season and suggests they may not make a large offer to a free agent this year.

Hawks Rumors: Murray, Durant, Collins, Hunter

The Hawkstrade for Dejounte Murray was the result of pressure from ownership to improve the roster before Trae Young‘s super-max extension takes effect next season, according to Chris Kirschner and Sam Amick of The Athletic. Murray is under contract for a combined $34.2MM over the next two years, and while the team doesn’t expect him to agree to an early extension that would limit his future earnings, there’s confidence that he will be a long-term backcourt partner for Young.

Atlanta’s front office had a “sense of confusion and disbelief” that the Spurs were willing to part with Murray, a 25-year-old All-Star with a team-friendly contract, the authors add. Sources tell them that the teams discussed a Murray deal last week, but the Spurs didn’t contact the Hawks for a long time afterward, leading to concerns on Atlanta’s side that San Antonio was reconsidering the trade or may have found a better offer.

San Antonio also discussed Murray with the Timberwolves, but Minnesota wasn’t willing to give up as much as the Hawks eventually did, Kirschner and Amick add. The Knicks were reported as a possible destination, but the authors say they never had trade talks with the Spurs about Murray.

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • Amid the chaos surrounding the Nets last week, the Hawks were preparing to have an offer ready in case Kevin Durant asked for a trade, according to Kirschner and Amick.
  • Young is “really excited” about the Murray trade, states ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who adds that Atlanta likely isn’t done reshaping its roster (Twitter link).
  • The Hawks are facing a shrinking market for John Collins, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says in a podcast with Kirschner that was recorded Wednesday before the Murray trade was announced. Two potential destinations were eliminated when the Kings drafted Keegan Murray and the Trail Blazers traded for Jerami Grant. Kirschner adds that Atlanta won’t give up Collins without a decent return, so there’s a chance he won’t be traded this offseason.
  • Scotto and Kirschner address a number of other Hawks-related items. Atlanta may have interest in a Deandre Ayton sign-and-trade but only if it’s less than a max deal, De’Andre Hunter is considered part of the team’s core and could eventually land an extension near $20MM per season, and Delon Wright is much more likely to be re-signed than Lou Williams. Kirschner also cites potential “heat” on Nate McMillan, saying the Hawks will consider a coaching change if they don’t get off to a fast start next season.

Latest On Jalen Brunson

JUNE 30, 10:04am: The Heat have now put out word that they never had a meeting scheduled with Brunson and won’t be meeting with him today, according to local reporters Ira Winderman, Tim Reynolds, and Anthony Chiang.


JUNE 29, 7:47pm: Point guard Jalen Brunson is scheduled to meet with the Knicks, Mavericks and Heat when free agency opens on Thursday, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

According to Haynes, the meetings will be held in New York, with the Knicks considered the strong frontrunners to land the unrestricted free agent on a four-year deal in the neighborhood of $110MM.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, GM Nico Harrison, and head coach Jason Kidd will attend the meeting, per Haynes, as will VP of basketball operations Michael Finley and “maybe one or two” players, sources tell veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein (Twitter link). Stein reports (via Twitter) that the Mavs are very pessimistic that they can convince Brunson to re-sign, but the 25-year-old’s camp sought out meetings with the three teams before coming to a decision.

A league source tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News that the Mavericks have been unwilling to offer more than $106MM to this point, with Brunson reportedly seeking $125MM. Haynes confirms Bondy’s report, stating that Dallas has pitched a five-year, $106MM deal to Brunson, so it sounds like he might be open take a slight per-year discount ($125MM over five years vs. $110MM over four) if the Mavs are willing to go that high using his Bird Rights.

As Haynes observes, Miami’s only pathway to acquiring Brunson would be via sign-and-trade, because the team won’t have the necessary cap space to sign him outright. Such an agreement would be difficult to pull off due to sign-and-trades triggering a hard cap at the tax apron, which would limit Miami’s financial flexibility for the rest of 2022/23. That’s one reason why Haynes refers to the Heat as a “dark horse.”

Here are a couple more notes on Brunson’s free agency:

  • “At least one high-ranking member of the Knicks” views Brunson as a top-10 point guard in the NBA, Bondy reports. Given the huge offer the Knicks are reportedly willing to extend, it makes sense that Brunson has fans in high places within the organization.
  • In an appearance on “NBA Today,” ESPN’s Bobby Marks (video link) details why a sign-and-trade between the Mavericks and Knicks might make sense for both teams, assuming Brunson winds up with New York.

Atlantic Rumors: Knicks, Barrett, Harris, DiVincenzo

With the Knicks expecting to re-sign Mitchell Robinson, the next focus will be on finding a back-up center, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv. There’s an opening with Nerlens Noel headed to the Pistons in a salary dump trade.

New York has expressed interest in several free agent centers, sources tell Begley. He adds that the team plans to convert two-way player Jericho Sims to a standard contract and may re-sign Taj Gibson if he’s needed for depth.

Isaiah Hartenstein could be under consideration, tweets Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, although several teams have interest in the Clippers center. The Knicks will aggressively pursue Hartenstein, Begley adds in a separate story, and may have interest in Andre Drummond as well.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Fischer cites “mutual interest” in an extension agreement between the Knicks and RJ Barrett (Twitter link from Jonathan Macri of Knicks Film School). The 22-year-old swingman was the team’s second-leading scorer this season at 20.0 points per game.
  • The Sixers haven’t given up efforts to trade Tobias Harris, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN (Twitter link from Talkin’ NBA). Windhorst expects the team to shake up its roster to find players who fit better alongside Joel Embiid and James Harden.
  • The Raptors could have interest in Donte DiVincenzo, who is unrestricted after not receiving a qualifying offer from the Kings, tweets Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Grange says Toronto would have pursued Pat Connaughton if he hadn’t decided to exercise his player option with Milwaukee, adding that DiVincenzo is younger and better suited for a playmaking role.

Knicks Among Teams To Inquire On Dejounte Murray

The Knicks are among the teams to inquire on Dejounte Murray and express interest in the Spurs‘ All-Star guard, reports Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

Marc Stein previously reported of a belief that the Knicks could try to make a run at Murray, while Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report stated that league personnel began to mention Murray on Tuesday as New York’s next possible target.

The Knicks are still considered the strong frontrunners to sign Jalen Brunson in free agency, so the idea would be to acquire Murray in addition to Brunson, rather than in place of him. As Begley explains, some members of the organization are concerned about what a backcourt duo of Brunson and Evan Fournier would look like on defense and have discussed the potential fit of Brunson and Fournier.

While Murray’s defensive ability would make him a strong match alongside Brunson on that end of the court, it’s worth noting that he was the lead ball-handler in San Antonio this past season, with his usage rate increasing to a career-high 27.3%. As Fischer wrote earlier today, the Knicks are reportedly pitching Brunson on running the show in New York after he spent four years sharing point guard duties with Luka Doncic, so acquiring Murray may be at odds with that plan.

The Spurs are said to be seeking at least three or four first-round picks in any deal involving Murray, and the Knicks are well positioned to offer draft assets. New York has all of its own future first-round selections, plus protected 2023 first-rounders from Detroit, Washington, and Dallas, as well as a protected 2025 first-rounder from Milwaukee.

The Hawks have been the team most frequently linked to Murray as of late, while the Wizards are also reportedly among the clubs to inquire.

Magic Aren’t Expected To Tender QO To Bamba

It appears the Magic will let Mo Bamba become an unrestricted free agent, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel.

A source tells Price that the team isn’t expected to submit a qualifying offer to Bamba before today’s deadline. That would make the fourth-year center unrestricted and take away the Magic’s opportunity to match any offer he receives in free agency.

Bamba’s qualifying offer would be $10.1MM and it would provide him with the option of signing it and returning to the Magic next season. He has been with Orlando since being selected with the sixth pick in the 2018 draft.

The team remains interested in keeping Bamba when free agency begins, Price adds, but presumably at a lower figure. A sign-and-trade deal also remains a possibility.

Several teams are expected to pursue Bamba on the free agent market, with a source telling Price that the Raptors, Knicks, Lakers, Bulls, Rockets, Heat and Timberwolves have all shown interest.

Bamba is coming off his best NBA season, posting career highs with 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.2 assists per game. He became a full-time starter for the first time in his career, starting 69 of the 71 games that he played.