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Knicks not extending Luke Kornet a qualifying offer

luke kornet, knicks

The New York Knicks have not extended a qualifying offer to second-year center Luke Kornet, which means that Kornet will be an unrestricted free agent when NBA free agency begins on June 30.

Kornet was something of a folk hero in New York, especially considering the team had the worst record in the league and was only playing for lottery position. Kornet’s growth from his rookie to sophomore season was a rather engaging process for Knicks fans, and Kornet’s size (7-foot-1, 250 pounds) and three-point bombing potential (8.9 triple attempts per-36 minutes, according to Basketball Reference) made Knicks fans forget all about the Kristaps Porzingis trade. Well, maybe not.

Still, though, Kornet produced an interesting combination of shot-blocking (4.5 percent block rate per Basketball Reference) and three-point shooting (68.2 percent three-point attempt rate per BballRef) that should be highly sought after on the free agency market.

In fact, only two players in the NBA last season notched a higher than 60 percent three-point attempt rate and higher than 4 percent block rate: Kornet was one and another pending free agent, Brook Lopez, was the other.

Of course, those two players were on the opposite sides of team success, but Kornet is still only 23 and could fit onto a variety of different rosters – though a team that is still building its youth might make the most sense.

Perhaps the Atlanta Hawks or New Orleans Pelicans might make some sense in free agency or perhaps a potential return to NY could be in the cards if the Knicks strike out on Kevin Durant or DeMarcus Cousins (per recent reporting).