Bobby Portis has full $15.75 million team option in 2020-21, rest of Knicks signings are partially-unguaranteed
The New York Knicks have completed the signings of all their big free agent acquisitions and the details on their contracts have now become apparent. Most notably the two-year deal of Bobby Portis is only fully guaranteed for the coming season and New York has a full team option for 2020-21.
Taj Gibson, Elfrid Payton, Wayne Ellington, and Reggie Bullock each have $1 million partial guarantees for 2020-21.
Julius Randle has a $4 million partial guarantee in 2021-22.
Bobby Portis has a true team option worth $15.75 million for 2020-21.
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) July 19, 2019
With Portis’ final $15.75 million fully unguaranteed, this gives the Knicks some major flexibility at the trade deadline. They could ship his contract to a team looking to shed salary or acquire a serviceable player when making a playoff push, outright decline his option after the season to save dollars, or just keep him for another year.
It’s not the same story for their other signings, however. Julius Randle was able to negotiate a partial guarantee for the 2021-22 season (also giving the Knicks the option to use him as an asset a few seasons later) at $4 million of his estimated $21 million per. While the comparatively minute salaries of Taj Gibson, Elfrid Payton, Reggie Bullock, and Wayne Ellington are guaranteed only $1 million each in 2020-21.
The timing on these deals coincide with the big free-agent market of 2021 with the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bradley Beal, Rudy Gobert, Jrue Holiday, Blake Griffin, Victor Oladipo, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and LeBron James expected to be available, along with restricted young talents such as De’Aaron Fox, Kyle Kuzma, Jayson Tatum, and Donovan Mitchell.
Whether the Knicks are going to strike out again is unclear at this point, although the team is optimistic that as a big-market team with a storied history and fanbase, they have as good a shot as any.