Rumor: Knicks believed to try to include injury protections in Kristaps Porzingis’ contract offer
The New York Knicks could employ a familiar caveat before re-signing big man Kristaps Porzingis over the summer. The Latvian forward is coming off a season-ending torn ACL, one that has kept him away from the court for the latter part of 2017-18 and the entirety of this season, which could make the Knicks include injury protections to keep from making a colossal mistake in case Porzingis’ knee doesn’t hold up well over time.
In between the extremes, there’s the Knicks offering less than the full max. Some around the league believe the team will try to include protections in the contract, meaning it wouldn’t be fully guaranteed should Porzingis miss an allotted amount of games due to a specific injury. Joel Embiid’s deal is structured in such a way. However, Porzingis views himself as a max player — as he should — and coming to the negotiating table with less risks discord, especially after letting it reach this point of restricted free agency. The Sixers extended Embiid’s contract before he became a free agent.
Giving Porzingis a max contract would be a high-risk, high-reward maneuver, but under the new reign in the front office, the Knicks have been all about minimizing potential risks and saving cap space for this upcoming summer.
Injury protections would allow Porzingis to bet on himself and his health while giving the Knicks some sense of security in their decision.
ACL injuries are quite common, but not for a 7-foot-3 player of his weight proportion, which makes him a complete enigma and a difficult one to deal with when it comes to his impending return.