Having missed his 42nd game of the season, New York Knicks unicorn Kristaps Porzingis will have his qualifying offer drop from $7.5 million to $4.5 million, according to ESPN Insider Bobby Marks. Even with that smaller net amount, the Knicks will still have a $17.1 million cap hold on the books before he signs any new deal.
Porzingis is eligible for a five-year, $158 million contract with a starting salary of $27.25 million for 2019-20 — a contract he will likely negotiate this summer with the Knicks’ front office.
The 7-foot-3 forward has been out of action since sustaining and ACL tear last February, still recovering from the injury and in danger to miss the entire season with the Knicks boasting the third-worst record in the league.
To maintain salary cap flexibility, New York will dangle this qualifying offer of $4.5 million to make him a restricted free agent instead of agreeing to an extension right away.