This morning, the New York Knicks have started to clear up a significant amount of cap space by getting rid of four different players. Taj Gibson and Elfrid Payton have both been waived, as they hold a total of 18 million dollars in cap space. Additionally, the Knicks have declined the team option for Bobby Portis. Lastly, with still no news of a contract renewal, Damyean Dotson will become a free agent. We’ll go into why certain players have been released, and what to expect from Leon Rose in the future.
Bobby Portis and Damyean Dotson
Last night, the NBA draft ended with the Knicks picking up forward Obi Toppin and guard Immanuel Quickley. Despite being a successful draft, these new players will be taking up the spots of the players listen above. Toppin will likely take over as the starting power forward, leaving Bobby Portis without a real spot on the roster considering he struggled to start games last season.
In 2019, Portis averaged 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. He also shot 35.8 percent from three and 45 percent from the field.
Immanuel Quickley, a shooting guard out of Kentucky will leave Damyean Dotson out of the roster because of the recent decision in the front office to keep Reggie Bullock. Dotson didn’t receive too much playing time last season. Only two guards could stay in New York, and to many fans’ surprise, the Knicks chose Bullock.
Gibson was a veteran on the squad last year who took up many minutes that could’ve gone to 22-year-old center Mitchell Robinson. Additionally, Gibson’s $10 million dollar contract impedes the Knicks’ ability to trade or sign a big contract. Gibson was not a key piece on the team and New York surely won’t be missing him much next season.
Taj Gibson averaged 6.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game on 16.5 minutes. Oddly enough, the Knicks played Gibson at the center position, even though he is a traditional power forward.
The waiving of Payton’s contract has brought excitement to many Knick fans. After not drafting a point guard yesterday despite clearing needing one, the Knicks have waived Elfrid Payton, a point guard. This could mean the front office is planning on acquiring a point guard on a big contract. Both Russell Westbrook and Fred VanVleet have shown up as options to come to the New York Knicks. Additionally, with rumors circulation about D.J. Augustin as the backup point guard, it seems clear as to why Payton was waived.
Fans will have to wait and see what this clearout by Leon Rose means for the future. However, with around $40 million in cap space, the possibilities are endless for New York.